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Acorn Squash Health Benefits

Acorn squash was commonly used by Native Americans, and it is native to North and Central America. Acorn squash is rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds.

 

It has spread across the world, both east and west, because the European explorers took the squash seeds back to their lands and began to cultivate this vigorous and nutritious fruit.

 

The high content of potassium found in this delicious variety of squash means that blood pressure can be maintained at a safe level.

 

Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing stress on the heart and lowering blood pressure.

 

Potassium also helps to regulate the fluid balance in the cells and tissues, boosting metabolic efficiency and keeping our enzymatic and cellular pathways functioning properly.

 

Magnesium regulates the uptake of potassium, so the high content of magnesium in acorn squash makes these effects even stronger.

 

Antioxidants are found in many foods, but acorn squash is particularly fortunate to have very high levels of vitamin C and beta carotene, two very effective antioxidant compounds.

 

This means that free radicals can more easily be neutralized before causing mutations in healthy cells.

 

Along with preventing various types of cancer, antioxidants like those found in acorn squash also prevent cognitive disorders, premature, aging, and a range of other serious health conditions that are often associated with oxidative stress from free radicals.

 

It contains vitamin A, niacin, folate, thiamine and vitamin B-6, but it is an especially good source of vitamin C. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked, cubed acorn squash provides approximately 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for healthy adults following a 2,000-calorie diet.

 

Adequate vitamin C intake promotes the health of the immune and skeletal systems and may help prevent hypertension, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis.

 

The vitamin C content of foods is degraded by exposure to air, light, heat and water.

 

Not only are acorns great food for us, but for many birds and animals as well.

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