Constance’s advanced wellness, anti-ageing practice, The London Wellness Centre, advises clients and patients in wellness through a what to know, what to do and how to reduce premature ageing by perking up wellness.
Squash is laden with starchy carbohydrates but studies also show it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. So many people nowadays totally avoid carbs completely – which isn’t good for the body. In fact, squash is a particularly useful carb when avoiding cravings for other, nastier carbs, such as pasta and potatoes! The squash family includes courgettes, butternut, buttercup, acorn, pumpkin and kabocha.
Many of the carbs in winter vegetables come from polysaccharides, which are found in the cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins — specially structured polysaccharides that in squash often include special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan. Studies now show that these starch-related components in winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.
Essential carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin, give many squash its signature orange colour and are really healthy. Moreover, carotenoids are anti-cancer agents and are good for eye health.
Squash contains vitamin C, potassium, fiber, manganese and folate, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and copper. Those are all essential nutrients in the chain of wellness requisites and ideally are found in the food we eat. Constance adds that we should we should vary the vegetables we purchase to get the full range of nutrition we need.
Most varieties of squash are biologically classed as fruits, but cooked as vegetables. They start out looking green and turn orange when ripe, but it is useful to know that some are actually ripe when green. When choosing look out for fruits that are heavy for their size with a hard shell. They are all easy to cook, most particularly when chopped in pieces and thrown into a roasting dish with a small spattering of crushed crystal sea salt mixed with a robust grating of black pepper.
Constance also advises her patients to use a good quality organic coconut oil to roast as opposed to olive oil, so as to avoid AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End-products).