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Squash is the genus Cucurbita, belongs to family Cucurbitaceae and native to Mexico and Central America. In North America, squash is divided into summer squash or winter squash, depending on the maturity of squash when harvested, immature fruit called summer squash and mature fruit called winter squash.
Difference from summer squash, it is harvested and eaten when the fruit is completely mature, the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. Winter squash can be stored for a long time and generally is cooked before eating.
3. Fat (Omega 3 fatty acid)
4. Dietary fiber
10. Vitamin A
11. Vitamin B1
12. Vitamin B3
13. Vitamin B5
14. Vitamin B6
16. Vitamin C
A. Health Benefits according to studies
1. Cell wall polysaccharides
In the investigation of Cell wall polysaccharides of 'Scarlet Warren' winter squash (Cucurbita maxima ) before and after thermal processing found that no difference was seen between raw and cooked samples. Likewise, the mobility of semimobile pectic polysaccharides was apparently unaltered by cooking. No change was detected in the rigid cellulose microfibrils on cooking, according to "Effects of cooking on the cell walls (dietary fiber) of 'Scarlet Warren' winter squash (Cucurbita maxima ) studied by polysaccharide linkage analysis and solid-state (13)C NMR" by Ratnayake RM, Sims IM, Newman RH, Melton LD.(a)
2. See above Summer squash studies
B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is not only important in preventing types I diabetes, according to "A close relationship between type 1 diabetes and vitamin A-deficiency and matrix metalloproteinase and hyaluronidase activities in skin tissues" byTakahashi N, Takasu S.(1) but also may be associated with compromised bone health, according to "Vitamins and bone health: beyond calcium and vitamin D" by Ahmadieh H, Arabi A.(2)
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the key antioxidant vitamins which is abundant in the extracellular fluid lining the lung and low vitamin C intake has been associated with pulmonary dysfunction, such as asthma, according to the study of "Vitamin Csupplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(3)
b. DNA Damage
Ascorbic acid (AA), known as vitamin C, has important antioxidant vitamin has exerted the activity in preventing (imazalil)IMA-induced cause of DNA damage, according to the stuyd of "The protective role of ascorbic acid on imazalil-induced genetic damage assessed by the cytogenetic tests' by Türkez H, Aydin E.(4)
3. Dietary fiber
Daily intake of right amount of fibers can prvent and treata. Diabetes, as Increased consumption of vegetables, whole grains, and soluble and insoluble fiber is associated with improved glucose metabolism in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis were more evident in participants following a plant-based diet compared with other commonly used diets, according to the study of "Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus" by Wolfram T, Ismail-Beigi F.(5)
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(6) and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(7)
C. Other health benefits
1. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 beside is important in functioning as a co-enzyme for production of energy, it also helps to prevent nervous tension and muscle abnormalities by decreasing the effect of Beriberi that cause confusion, muscle wasting, nerve problems and a rapid heartbeat, according to the article "Beriberi " posted in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beriberi)
2. Vitamin B2
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 beside plays a significant role in the production of energy in carbohydrate metabolism, it also aid iron in the formation of fresh red blood cells and immune system in producing of antibodies in the body, accorsing to the study of "Immunoglobulins can utilize riboflavin (Vitamin B2) to activate the antibody-catalyzed water oxidation pathway" by
Nieva J, Kerwin L, Wentworth AD, Lerner RA, Wentworth P Jr., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16386801)
3. Omega 3 fatty acid
Omega 3 fatty acid beside plays an vital role in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) that reduces the risk of plague building up in the arterial wall, causing Coronary Artery Disease, (according to the study of "Omacor and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease and the Pleiotropic Effects" by Kar S., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21975796), it also balances the ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid that lessens the risk of the production of prostaglandin hormone, leading to menstrual abnormal cramps and pain, according to the study of "Herbal and dietary therapies for primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea" by Proctor ML, Murphy PA., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Omega%203%20fatty%20acid%20and%20Cramps%20and%20pain)One small trial showed fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids), researchers wrote that to be more effective than placebo for pain relief. JAPANESE HERBAL COMBINATION: One small trial showed the herbal combination to be more effective for pain relief than placebo, and less additional pain medication was taken by the treatment group.
Folic acid beside is important for the production of red blood cells, and for the proper development of the brain and spine, according to the study of "Go folic!" by Bland J., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21853697) it also enhances the replication and maintenance of DNA and RNA., according to the study of "A folate- and methyl-deficient diet alters the expression of DNAmethyltransferases and methyl CpG binding proteins involved in epigenetic gene silencing in livers of F344 rats" by Ghoshal K, Li X, Datta J, Bai S, Pogribny I, Pogribny M, Huang Y, Young D, Jacob ST., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702315)
Tryptophan beside is an amino acid required by the human body to process proteins by producing serotonin which helps to enhance the brain in regulating appetite and mood. Some of the serotonin are converted to melatonin, which aids sleep patterns, according to the study of "Tryptophan increases nocturnal rest and affects melatonin and serotonin serum levels in old ringdove" by Paredes SD, Terrón MP, Cubero J, Valero V, Barriga C, Reiter RJ, Rodríguez AB., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17222434)
Winter squash contains a measure amount of oxalates that can cause problem for some people who have untreated kidney and gallbladder diseases.
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