Yellow squashes are vegetables from the botanical point of view, but as they contain the seeds of the plant, they are considered as fruits. Generally, squashes belong to the Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables and are fleshy, protected by a rind. Apart from boasting of great taste, But do you know that these yellow squashes contain numerous health benefits. Surprised? Well! Read this article to know a lot more about the benefits of yellow squash nutrition.
Squash(1) had an average of 1,615 cwt per acre in 2016. California leads the nation in the value of squash production followed by Michigan, Florida, and Georgia.
For processing and fresh market, the United States grew 4.6 million cwt of squash in 2016 valued at $149 million. The average price for squash was $32.70 per cwt in 2016. The 2016 crop was planted on 37,400 acres, and 36,300 acres of that was able to be harvested.
Yellow Squash – An Overview
The squash is generally native to the Americas and has been found in Central America and Mexico as far as 7000 BC. Squash is one of the oldest known crops. Squash usually comes in different colors and shapes including blue, tan and orange. The terms pumpkins, winter squash, summer squash have been applied to fruits of different species.
There are about eight varieties of summer squash such as yellow zucchini, green zucchini, Costata Romanesco zucchini, pattypan squash, yellow squash, zephyr squash, Cousa squash, and eight ball zucchinis.
The yellow squash is yellow and usually has a smooth skin, creamy flesh with larger seeds than other varieties of summer squash. Yellow squashes have fatter bottoms and taper towards the neck. The yellow squash can be cooked with both excellent and sweet applications.
Yellow Squash Nutritional Facts
Yellow squash falls into the category of highly nutritious vegetable as it contains a high concentration of lutein and beta-carotene. The vegetable also contains healthy doses of potassium, calcium, and magnesium(2). The squash contains 346.60 mg of potassium per 100 grams.
The yellow squashes are excellent sources of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C. A 100 gm serving of yellow squash provides about 2.52 grams of fiber. Proceed to know about the different health benefits of yellow squash nutrition.
[Read: Health Benefit of Walnut Oil]
Difference between Yellow Squash and Zucchini
Besides the color, the main difference between the two vegetables is their shape. Yellow squash has a big bottom and tapers towards the neck, while zucchini is straight and it has more seeds in its flesh. Zucchini has a unique flavor that is sweeter than yellow squash.
Yellow squash lends a nutty flavor, while young zucchini tastes more like fresh cucumbers. Zucchini’s flesh is crisp and firm but tends to be moderately softer than yellow squash when cooked.
Health Benefits of Yellow Squash
1. Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels
The yellow squash is higher in fiber content that is a clear indication that it can maintain and lower cholesterol levels. Stroke and cardiovascular diseases are caused due to high cholesterol levels in your body. Hence, you can manage your cholesterol levels right if you eat yellow squash regularly.
2. Provides Antioxidant Benefits
Yellow squash is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. The antioxidants help the body to counter the damage caused by free radicals. You can fight off signs of skin aging and other cognitive disorders that are triggered by exposure to free radicals.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure
Yellow squash contains high source mineral potassium. Intake of this mineral can help in relaxation of blood vessels and arteries. Potassium is an essential mineral for fluid balance in cells and tissues in your body.
It effectively reduces high blood pressure. The presence of magnesium in yellow squash helps in the absorption of potassium. The vegetable also contains zinc that plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure in the body.
4. Prevents Constipation
Yellow squash fruit provides a high amount of dietary fiber, (2.52g for each cup of yellow squash). Yellow squash contains laxative properties and is regarded as the best bulk laxative. The potent fiber content provides relief from constipation and supports the colon’s membrane by making it resistive to infections.
Yellow squash contributes to the overall digestive health and helps relieve many of the common gastrointestinal symptoms that we are familiar with like indigestion and diarrhea.
5. Provides Healthy Bones
Yellow squash contains a variety of essential minerals like manganese, zinc, and calcium which are known to have a positive effect on the bone and muscles healthy. Manganese helps in maintaining strong bone structure, calcium absorption, enzyme creation, and enhances the mineral density of the spinal column.
The calcium deficiency increases the risk of your bones becoming weaker and developing common conditions like osteoporosis. So, it is essential to consume vegetables like yellow squash for maintaining healthy bones.
6. Promotes Eye Care
Yellow squash contains a considerable amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for eye health. According to research vitamin A helps in improving vision even during the old age.
Yellow squash has the potential to maintain your eyesight, and regular consumption of the fruit can delay macular degeneration. Add vitamin A to your daily diet to improve your vision.
7. Boosts Immune System
Yellow squash is an authoritative source of antioxidant properties, making it a natural barrier against diseases. It is a rich source of vitamin C that is essential for a stronger immune system and boosts the immune system.
Yellow squash prevents infections and protects the body entirely from viruses. Yellow squash also promotes cell regeneration and wound healing properties.
8. Serves Good Amount of Protein
Many people opt for l meat to meet the protein requirements of their body. But with animal meat, you always get some fat content. Yellow squash can serve as a source of vegetable protein, and its protein content is not very high, but you can consume it to supplement your overall protein intake.
9. Prevents cancer
Yellow squash antioxidant compounds prevent cancer from developing and neutralizes free radicals which cause oxidative stress in the body’s cells and organs. The high levels of beta-carotene in yellow squash help to reduce signs of improving cardiovascular health, boost the health of your eyes, prevents premature aging, and even prevents specific mutations in cells that can lead to cancer.
The vegetable also contains vitamin A which protects lungs and oral cavity cancers.
10. Maintains Prostate Health
Yellow squash is effective in relieving the symptoms of a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). This disease is characterized by an enlargement of the prostate gland that causes difficulties in both sexual and urinary functions.
Ways to Consume Yellow Squash
Squash Zoodler Omelet
Squash Zoodler omelet is a healthy meal that you can incorporate in your regular diet. For this easy and quick omelet, you must add yellow squash with cilantro, spinach, and top with mozzarella cheese and eggs.
Yellow Squash and Tofu Stir Fry
Yellow squash and tofu stir fry is a fantastic and quick vegetarian recipe that includes yellow squash, tofu, and zucchini that makes it a beautifully-colored dish. Embrace the health benefits of the yellow squash by adding it in your diet.
Squash and Kohlrabi Empanadas
The yellow squash and kohlrabi empanadas is the best spiced up recipe. You can either use homemade dough if you want, else you can use store-bought pie crust that works great.
Summer Squash burritos
The squash burrito bowels are stuffed with veggies, beans, and salsa and topped with broiled cheese. The dish makes a healthy and super delicious vegetarian meal.
The yellow squash, pan-fried zucchini, and carrot cakes with crispy golden edges and tender inside make for a mouth-watering recipe.
How to do?
- Toss squash, zucchini, and carrots with salt in a colander and drain for 10-12 minutes. Wrap all the vegetables in a clean cotton towel and squeeze out as much moisture from the vegetable as possible.
- Combine baking powder, paprika, muffin mix in a bowl and stir well.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over normal heat. Make sure the oil is spread full on the skillet.
- Pan fry zucchini batter into the hot oil for 1-2 minutes until golden browns. Cool slightly and serve it.
Side Effects and Precautions to Keep in Mind
- People with kidney problems should take care when consuming large amounts of potassium. Because if the kidneys remove excess levels of potassium from the blood, it can be a danger.
- Bell peppers are generally well-tolerated and healthy but for some people, it may be allergic, and it is quite rare. Allergic cross-reactions can also happen between certain other foods due to allergens similar in chemical structure.
- Regular and moderate consumption of yellow squash is beneficial for your stomach and helps in keeping the digestive system healthy.
- High use of yellow squash can also cause hypoglycemia, a condition in which the blood sugar levels go down to a seriously low-levels, giving rise to symptoms like excessive sweating, headache, rapid heartbeat, and blurry vision.
- Yellow squash is a healthy option, but its high potassium content suggests that we consume it in moderation.
The yellow squash is undoubtedly a tasty and healthy choice to be a part of your diet. The health benefits of yellow squash nutrition mentioned above are beneficial and give spectacular results. There are numerous ways to add yellow squash to your diet to provide a unique taste and nutritional values to you.
However, you must keep in mind the side effects of the yellow squash before you add it your supplement. Therefore, you can enjoy this fantastic vegetable any time through the year to procure its various health benefits.