7 Potential Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

Technically a fruit but often considered a vegetable, butternut squash is easily recognized by its crooked, oval shape — which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a crookneck squash. They are bright orange like pumpkins and sweet potatoes, and taste just like them. Butternut squash has a mild but spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness, so it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Vibrant appearance and interesting taste are not the only characteristics that make butternut squash popular in the kitchen, this fruit also has an impressive nutritional profile. “Butternut squash is low in calories but packed with nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A,” says East Coast-based Jamie Lee McIntyre, RDN. “Butternut squash can be chopped, twisted, cubed and mashed, making it versatile in dishes like soups, pilafs, salads, sides, pastas and more.” Or you can roast chopped butternut squash on a pan in the oven for a tasty side dish.

Butternut squash is in season during fall and winter, which is why it’s considered a winter squash, but canned and frozen varieties are usually available year-round. It’s no wonder registered dietitians are fans of butternut squash: It’s delicious, nutrient-dense and full of potential health benefits. Here are seven to consider.

1. Butternut Squash May Help Lower Blood Pressure

You’ve probably heard that bananas are a rich source of potassium, but they’re not your only option. Butternut squash contains a good amount of potassium, as suggested by data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These nutrients are key to a heart-healthy diet, especially if lowering blood pressure is one of your health goals.


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