Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash with a difference.
Other winter squashes, like butternut and acorn are starchy; whereas spaghetti squash is more vegetable than starch. It is more like any other low-calorie, low-carb veggie, such as cauliflower or broccoli. It is available year-round and is very easy to prepare as it can be cooked in a variety of ways.
If you are unfamiliar with spaghetti squash, my favorite way to prepare it is to roast it. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. I drizzle each half with olive or avocado oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. I put cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and roast at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Then you can carefully scrape the spaghetti-like strands out with a fork and top with tomato or meat sauce, or use in recipes as you wish.
One cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides:
- 42 calories
- 10 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.2 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of protein
- 0.5 grams of fat
Here are my top 10 health benefits spaghetti squash:
It is versatile
It can be baked, as I explained above, boiled, steamed, or even microwaved. It is a very popular pasta-substitute because of its ribbon-like strands that look like spaghetti and hold up very nicely with sauces while providing a low-calorie and low-carb pasta option.
It is a nutrient-dense food; meaning it is low in calories but high in nutrition
This makes it an excellent weight-loss food. The fiber content helps you feel satisfied and full while the low-carb and calorie count fit nicely with a healthy weight-loss plan. Be mindful of the sauce you choose to top it with. A healthy tomato-based sauce, meat sauce, or even extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese are delicious and healthy.
Its fiber content alone, has numerous benefits including:
Aids in digestion
It does so by adding bulk to stools; promoting regularity, and alleviating constipation.
Binds to cancer-causing toxins in the colon
Which protects against and treats cancer, diverticulitis, ulcers, hemorrhoids, GERD, and IBD.
Fiber and polysaccharide content
It has been proven to reduce triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol levels while triggering an increase in the “good” HDL cholesterol; resulting in improved heart health.
Healthier blood sugar levels
The fiber content along with its low-glycemic index and polysaccharides can prevent blood sugar from rising after eating and helps manage healthy blood sugar levels.
It contains several minerals including manganese, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc that support healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Prevents birth defects
It is rich in several B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, folate, and thiamine; which are important for the formation and development of new cells. In the case of folate, it may help prevent birth defects.
Reduces high blood pressure
Its potassium content helps maintain muscle and nerve function and helps reduce high blood pressure.
Beneficial for our skin and eyes
Its vitamin A and beta carotene content help maintain the integrity of skin and mucous membranes and are important for healthy eyesight, as well.
Spaghetti squash seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. You can dry and roast them just as you would pumpkin seeds for a nutritious snack.
My bonus benefit is that it is delicious!
Have you ever experienced the benefits of spaghetti squash? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!