7 Potential Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

Technically a fruit but often treated as a vegetable, butternut squash is easily recognizable for its crooked, oblong shape — which is why it’s sometimes referred to as crookneck pumpkin. It’s bright orange like pumpkin and sweet potato, and it kind of tastes like them, too. Butternut squash has a mild but nutty flavor with a slight sweetness, so it can be used in sweet and savory recipes.

A vibrant look and a delightful flavor aren’t the only features that make butternut squash a hit in the kitchen, this fruit also has an impressive nutritional profile. “Butternut squash is low in calories yet dense in nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A,” says Jamie Lee McIntyre, RDN, who’s based on the East Coast. “Butternut squash can be julienned, spiralized, cubed, and mashed, making it versatile in dishes like soups, pilafs, salads, sides, pasta, and more.” Or you can roast chopped butternut squash on a sheet pan in the oven for a hearty side dish.

Butternut squash is in season during the fall and winter months, which is why it’s considered a winter squash, but canned and frozen varieties are typically available year-round. It’s no wonder registered dietitians are fans of butternut squash: It’s pleasant to eat, rich in nutrients, 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 packs a good amount of potassium, as data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests. This nutrient is key to a heart-healthy diet, especially if lowering blood pressure is one of your health goals.


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