Fall’s Own Superfood

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If you've been to the grocery store lately, you may have noticed that the produce aisle has gotten its annual autumn makeover. The bright reds and greens of just a few weeks ago have given way to oranges, golds and browns, and everything has gotten bigger, rounder and a little more rustic-looking.​

It's Squashtober! That time of year when the gourds rule the earth and the rich flavors of fall infuse everything. The best part about it is that, in all ways, squash pretty much rocks:

  • It's inexpensive
  • It's filling
  • It's versatile: Have you tried it as a base for your favorite pasta sauce? Or topped with beef or chicken and gravy? It can fit any recipe as a substitute for potatoes or pasta, and be cubed or pureed into almost any kind of soup

And, of course, squash is a nutrition powerhouse. Here are just a few health reasons that squash is a great mealtime addition for older adults… and everyone else:

  • Some experts believe it may have more vitamin A than any other vegetable. This is important for good skin, vision and mucous membranes, and it also may help protect against the risk of mouth and lung cancers
  • One cup of squash has 42 percent of your RDA of vitamin C to help you fight off all those fall colds and flus that are about to start circulating
  • The starch is good starch. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties. And, because starch makes you feel fuller faster and longer, eating squash could help you consume fewer calories overall
  • Winter squash, in particular, is packed with soluble fiber, which also helps you feel full and regulates blood sugar. This means that it can help fight heart disease and type two diabetes
  • One cup of baked winter squash will provide you with approximately one-third of the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats as walnuts, but with fewer calories
  • Squash is full of beta-cryptoxanthin, which is a known fighter of inflammation-related disorders (potentially including everything from depression to Alzheimer's to cancer)
  • Got potassium? Squash does. Which means it is good eating for many vital organs including the heart and kidneys, as well as the nervous system and muscles and bones
  • The vitamin B6 in squash can help the nervous and immune systems
  • The carotenoids in squash make it an anti-inflammatory food
  • All of the above, and it's cholesterol-free!

You can find recipes with squash and other nutritious foods to enjoy with the entire family here. For more information on caring for older adults, please contact us!


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