Advances in discoveries related to food , nutrition and health increased as the waist line increased and the weight control programme came in. There is more to diet than weight.
Squashes are from pumpkin and gourd family. They are native of Mexico and Central America. They are used in abundance there and were introduced to world.
Squash are grouped as summer squash and winter squash.
Every part of the squash can be eaten.
Winter squash are round and elongated, pear shaped and the pulp is golden yellow to orange. Some of them are acorn, butter cup, carnival squash etc.
Winter squash has more nutritive value than summer squash, has thick skin.
Summer squash has thin skin.
1= Winter squashes are rich in anti cancer nutrients that prevent cell mutation.
2= The nutrient reduce BPH in men. (Prostate hypertrophy.)
3= They lower the risk of lung cancer.
4= They protect the lungs from infection due to presence of anti inflammatory agent , beta carotene.
5= Beta carotene helps to prevent atherosclerosis.
6= It also regulates blood sugar.
7= It reduces the risk of colon cancer.
8= Potassium lowers the blood pressure.
9= Diseases like osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and asthama can be made less severe.
10= Squash is very beneficial for pregnant women as it has folate in it.
11= It helps to prevent certain birth defects.
12= Folate in squash helps to prevent heart attack.
13= Helps prevent emphysema.
14= Beta carotene decreases macular degeneration.
15= Studies suggest that squash contains coumarins which is used as the blood thinner in treatment of venous and arterial thrombosis and stroke.
16= Squash is rich in fiber which prevent colon cancer.
17= It lowers high cholesterol.
18= The folate in squash helps in breaking of homocysteine, to prevent strokes.
19= The copper content remove painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
20= S ummer squash contains large amount of water which prevents dehydration.
21= the carotene help protect the body against the damaging effect of sun.
22= It has very low calorie thus best for diet plan.
There are lots of culinary uses. It can be added to pasta, sandwich, Salads.
Squash breads, pudding, and sweets can be made from it.
Soups can be made. Puree and pieces can be added to pasta and pizza, lasagna.
It can be frozen and kept.
It can be added to variety of juices , the best being with maple syrup.
The advantage of it is that squash can be cooked, baked,sauted,boiled and can be eaten raw.
This fleshy vegetable brought lots of benefits to the natives as every part of the vegetable is useful, the skin, pulp, seeds and rind.
Squash are represented frequently in moche culture, a culture from Peru.
They are represented in ceramics and pottery.
It is an effort to introduce new but a very beneficial food.
It will not be difficult to find it in super markets, only must be called by a different name locally.