I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this year’s harvest. God has blessed our family with a good amount of food this year. But even more, I am so thankful for HEALING FOOD. Not only does God provide us with good food to eat, He provides us with FOOD THAT IS MEANT TO HEAL AND RESTORE OUR BODIES. Take winter squash for instance.
Just a cup of winter squash contains 457% (yes, that’s is 457 %, not a typo) daily recommended value of vitamin A and 52% of vitamin C. Both vitamins A and C are extremely useful in fighting infection and building the immune system.
Yes, one of the Vitamin A benefits is that it acts as an antioxidant. But it’s not exactly Vitamin A that’s acting as the antioxidant… it’s the carotenes. Let me explain.
Carotenes (i.e. beta carotene, alpha carotene) are the precursor of Vitamin A and are found in plant sources (i.e. carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin).
And the human body has 2 functions for carotenes… turn it into Vitamin A or turn it into an antioxidant.
About 40% of carotenes are converted to Vitamin A while 60% functions as powerful antioxidants.
This is good for you because your body will turn carotenes to Vitamin A only if your body needs it. The rest will circulate through your blood as antioxidants. This is helpful because there are some issues with Vitamin A overdose and toxicity. No need to really worry about that with carotenes.
And there are many types of carotenes that act as great antioxidants (i.e. alpha & beta carotene, lycopene). Carotenes specifically fight off the singlet oxygen free radical. Source
During the winter months when the flu season is in full swing, what did God make available to us? The very nutritious high antioxidant winter squash.What a WONDERFUL MAKER and LOVING GOD!
Squash are also great for soups and stews, providing warm comfort food during the cold winter months. There is a great simple recipe for butternut squash soup here > Butternut Squash Soup.
I recently discovered that you can bake whole squash in the oven. There is no need for the tedious process of cutting hard uncooked squash and removing the slimmy seeds. Instead, puncture 7 or so holes in the squash with a knife and bake at 350 degrees until you can push a dent into the cooked skin with your finger (around 1 1/2 hours). Cut the squash and remove the seeds after it has cooled and voilà, you have a yummy squash dish.
Thank God for providing such a healing food such squash by include it in your defense against illness this cold and flu season.
Do you have any squash recipes you would like to share?