MELT THE FROST
Are you tired of eating potatoes? Are you out of side-dish ideas to serve your family? Are you at the verge of giving up preparing a hearty winter meal for your guest coming over?
Well, have some little Faith (me), here is a little treat for you!
The winter butternut squash is where you begin. The nutrition and health benefits of butternut squash are plenty, and you can enjoy it—baked, boiled, or sautéed on its own, or added to stir fries and salads. It’s the perfect side dish to any entrée.
Before we delve into the recipe, let me give you some 10 amazing health benefits that the butternut squash can bring to you, your family and guests!
The Health & Skin Benefits of Butternut Squash
1. HEALTHY BONES
Have you been experiencing some leg or joint pains? Have you been struggling to go for those morning runs because your legs start aching when you run that first kilometre? The solution lies in including butternuts in your diet! The winter squash contains plenty of manganese and vitamin C. Manganese helps to maintain a healthy bone structure, calcium absorption and enzyme creation. Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen, which is vital for building bone mass. Magnesium also contributes to the health of joints and bones. The squash contains minerals such as iron, folate, zinc and phosphorus which contributes to healthy bones and protects them against osteoporosis.
2. REDUCES PMS SYMPTOMS
Have you been suffering from excruciating cramps before or during your monthly period? Well, some people rely on the pills to subside the pain, but, how about approaching this differently. How about you try to adjust your diet, start to eat healthily or exercise more often? I believe that doing things the natural way will lead you to the perfect you. When you do so, you will experience fewer period cramps and have an immune system which is less prone to viruses (airborne). A study proved that the women who consumed high amounts of this mineral as part of their daily diet suffered fewer mood swings and cramps than others. Therefore, eating squash is a great way to increase your intake of magnesium.
3. ASTHMA PREVENTION
Butternuts contain high levels of Beta-carotene: an antioxidant. Studies have found that people who have a high intake of beta-carotene have a lower risk of developing asthma. This delicious orange vegetable can prevent the emergence of asthma in you or your loved ones.
4. MAINTAINS A HEALTHY SKIN
As mentioned earlier, squash is an excellent source of vitamin A. It has beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A within the body. Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A is required for maintaining proper health and integrity of the skin. The butternut squash also contains nearly half of your daily dose of vitamin C, which has been linked to healthier skin.
5. PREVENTS SKIN AGING
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between vitamin C and skin ageing in 4,025 women aged 40-74 and found that higher intakes of the vitamin were linked to a lower likelihood of wrinkles and dryness. The squash protects your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and prevents dehydration. Regular consumption of squash keeps your skin hydrated. Look younger!
6. BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The butternut squash is the best choice for healthy and sustainable weight loss. It is fat-free and very low in calories. A cup of yellow squash contains about 36 calories, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1-gram protein and less than 1-gram fat besides being cholesterol free. The squash has low-calorie content due to fewer carbohydrates. Thus, if you want to lose weight, you can easily replace higher calorie vegetables like potatoes and corn with yellow squash.
7. PREVENTS & FIGHTS CANCER
The high antioxidant content in the butternut helps in eliminating free radicals from the body. The beta-carotene present in the vegetable protects the body from pollutants and chemicals that can lead to cancer.
8. PERFECT FOR YOUR EYE HEALTH
The squash contains lutein antioxidant which plays a huge part in preventing the emergence of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often leads to blindness. If you want healthy eyes and improved eyesight, then start eating!
9. PERFECTS YOUR HEART HEALTH
Butternuts reduce the risk of heart disease as they contain negligible fat and almost no cholesterol. They also contain magnesium which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Magnesium along with potassium helps in reducing high blood pressure. The vitamin folate present in butternuts helps in removing an unhealthy metabolism which is responsible for heart attack and stroke. Moreover, folate lowers cholesterol levels, and this reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
10. FIRES UP YOUR DIGESTION
Doctors recommend that you should consume plenty of fibre-rich foods to aid the body’s digestion process. The squash contains good amounts of dietary fibre, and you can include it in your diet to facilitate bowel movements. If you have been having digestion issues such as constipation or bloating, the butternut squash can relieve those symptoms.
• 800 grams of butternut
• 350 ml of water
• 125 ml of full cream
• 10 grams of chia seeds
• ½ grapefruit
• ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
• Cooked beetroot
• Mint leaves
- Chop the butternut into cubes
- In a saucepan, put the butternut pieces, pepper & water, then bring to boil.
- Boil for 20 min.
- Put the boiled butternut into a food processor.
- Add cream, squeeze the grapefruit juice into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy
- Decorate your soup with sprinkles of chia seeds, cucumbers and cooked beetroot. Enjoy!
Prep time: 25 min
I would like to thank The Refillery SA for the wonderful chia seeds!