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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Summer Squash

Summer Squash

There was time where summer squash, as the name suggest was available only in summers. Now besides summers, the creamy white soft shell squash is available throughout the year, however the months May and July dominates its availability. Summer squash comes in different varieties; it is a relative of both cucumber and melon and is a member of Cucurbitaceous family. It is wise to consume summer squash fresh, as unlike winter squash it is fragile and can not be stored for long periods of time. The whole vegetable is edible including the skin, seeds and the flesh (some even produce edible flowers).
Common varieties of summer squash include Zucchini, Crookneck and Pattypan squash.

Health and summer squash

  1. Summer squash helps to promote optimal health of an individual. It is found to have anti-cancer properties and has the ability to prevent cell mutations, but unlike other root vegetables it is not that potent and also phytonutrient researches related to summer squash are limited.
  2. Summer squash promotes men’s health, extracts of summer squash is often used to minimize symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) a condition common in men (in this condition the exceptionally enlarged prostate gland causes difficulty in urinating and affects the sexual function in men). Summer squash when combined with other phytonutrient-containing foods is helpful to decrease the symptoms of BPH.
  3. Summer squash provides and impressive list of nutrients. It is an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, phosphorous, copper, folate and fiber. Studies have proved many of these nutrients to have cardiovascular protection by preventing atherosclerosis and diabetic heart diseases.
  4. Summer squash is considered a disease fighting food as the variety of nutrients present in it also prevents other disease conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and maintains colon health.
Summer squash should be handled with care as even a small puncture can promote its decay. For delicious summer squash recipes remember the following points.
  1. Wash thoroughly and cut both ends. Summer squash can be grated on top of salads and sandwiches
  2. Summer squash tastes excellent when combined with other vegetables like onions, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes and bell pepper.
  3. It can also be eaten raw with your favorite dips.
  4. Take care of the oxalates present in summer squash, especially for people suffering from calcium oxalate stones in the body. Oxalates when combined with calcium have a tendency to crystallize and cause health problems.
Submitted on January 16, 2014