You may only think about them in the fall, but these nutrient-dense veggies pack a punch when it comes to fighting disease. And better yet, some are available year-round.

While it is often treated as a vegetable, squash is actually a type of fruit, as it comes from a flower and contains seeds. You can enjoy these seeds, as  well as the flesh and, in many cases, the skin. With most types of winter squash, however, you may prefer to scoop out the flesh and discard what’s left. No matter how you eat it, this tasty treat.

The many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in squash provide several health benefits. The antioxidants in squash can play an important role in reducing oxidative stress. In turn, this may help with cancer prevention. 

Other health benefits provided by squash include:

  • Improved Eye Health
  • Reduced Risk of Depression
  • Enhanced Skin Health
  • Regulate blood sugar as a good source of fiber and vitamin B, which help stabilize insulin and glucose levels
  • Strengthen bones with valuable trace elements such as calcium and zinc

Squash can be found in almost any grocery store, health foods shop, or farmer’s market. It’s also easy to grow at home.

While ideal growing conditions vary somewhat based on the specific variety, squash in general thrives when it is planted in an area with full, direct sunlight.

Although it can be eaten raw, you can enjoy it steamed, roasted, fried, or pureed. A versatile ingredient, it can be included in a variety of sweet and savory dishes.

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