Nutrients in Butternut Squash
- Butternut squash composed of many vital polyphenolic antioxidants and vitamins. Like in other Cucurbitaceae members, butternut too has very low calories; 100 g provides just 45 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, is a rich source of dietary fiber and phytonutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetables that often recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- It has more vitamin-A than of pumpkin. At 10,630 IU per 100 g, it is perhaps the single vegetable source in the Cucurbitaceae family with the highest levels of vitamin-A, constituting about 354% of RDA. Vitamin-A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for healthy eyesight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin-A help the human body protected against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Furthermore, butternut squash has plenty of natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds like A and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert into vitamin- A inside the body and deliver the same protective functions of vitamin-A in the body.
- It is rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- It has a similar mineral profile as that in pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Butternut squash seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit heart health. Also, they are rich in protein, minerals, and numerous health-benefiting vitamins. The seeds are an excellent source of health-promoting amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to health benefiting GABA neurochemical in the human brain.