Ordinary Gourd Squashes Cancer and Heart Disease

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

Pasta is the best.

Well, the best at making you gain weight, sending your blood sugar into orbit and making you feel sluggish, bloated and gross.

But who can say no to a piping-hot bowl of noodles drowned in a robust, garlicky red sauce?

I know I can’t.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to have your pasta and eat it too — just without the high blood sugar, extra pounds and bad feelings.

Plus, this tasty and fresh pasta replacement is also rich in heart-healthy B vitamins, folate and loads of antioxidants that fight cancer and protect your heart — unlike the carb-filled wheat versions.

So what is this delightful, healthy noodle substitute?

Spaghetti squash.

And the best part — it’s easy to make and is now in season!

--More Powerful Than Pasta

Because its flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands when cooked, this fall treat is known as spaghetti squash or noodle squash.

Except unlike its nutritionally inferior namesake, it comes loaded with cancer-busting antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin A. These powerful compounds help protect your body from oxidative stress that comes with age.

Studies show that eating vegetables with high beta-carotene and vitamin A content can help your body fend of cancer and heart disease while also boosting your immune system and protecting your eyes. Plus, beta-carotene helps cells communicate better with each other, which could help prevent the growth of cancer.

In addition, spaghetti squash is rich in heart-protective B vitamins and folate. These nutrients help you strengthen blood vessel walls and can also promote healthy circulation. Not to mention spaghetti squash is a good source of potassium, the mineral that assists in proper nerve and muscle function, which is vital to heart health.

Source: Winnedixie.com/

But what’s most incredible about this nutrient-packed squash is it also contains powerful fatty acids that are typically found only in nuts or animal food sources like fish and grass-fed beef — omega-3s.

Omega-3s are proven to combat inflammation and arterial stiffness, which helps promote a healthy heart and can lead to better brain function. (But you should know that the amount of omega-3s found in spaghetti squash doesn’t meet your daily needs, so be sure to eat other omega-3-rich foods or take omega-3 supplements.)

When you combine all of these amazing health benefits, it seems like ditching pasta for spaghetti squash is a no-brainer!

--How to Get Your Hands on the Gourd

So where can you find a spaghetti squash?

Since these squashes are harvested in the early fall through the winter, we are almost in peak season.

They are available at farmers markets, produce stands and most retail grocery stores. If you own a share in a CSA, you can contact your farmer or check the farm chart to see if you’ll be getting one soon.

Once you get one, you’ll have to cook it before you can use the noodle-like flesh as a pasta substitute. Luckily, this is very easy to do!

Here’s how to roast a 3-pound spaghetti squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rinse squash thoroughly and pat dry.
  3. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds with a spoon.
  4. Place cut sides down in a baking dish. Bake for 35–45 minutes or until tender.
  5. Remove and let cool enough to handle comfortably.
  6. Hold squash in one hand and use a fork to loosen fibers. Scrape squash strands out with a spoon.

Source: recipehubs.com

You can serve the squash as is or toss it with a bit of butter. Or if you’re really craving pasta, cover it with your favorite fresh-made pasta sauce and grated cheese.

Uncooked squashes can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two months. Cooked squash can be stored in your refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for later use.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily


[1] Science on Your Plate: The Science of Squash

[2] What Is Spaghetti Squash Good For?

[3] BENEFITS OF SPAGHETTI SQUASH

[4] What’s New and Beneficial about Winter Squash

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

Household Favorite EXPOSED as Cancer Risk?

We all want to believe that the products we use daily are safe. After all, if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be on store shelves, right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but sometimes, the truth is far more alarming than we’d like to admit. The World Health Organization (WHO) has just dropped a...

Read This

Hidden Heatwave Threat REVEALED

Heat waves can have serious consequences. After all, staying cool isn’t just a comfort issue. When the mercury soars, it threatens your health—especially when you’re a senior. There are various reasons for this, including chronic medical conditions and bodies that just don’t regulate temperature as well as they once did. But there’s another heat-linked threat...

Read This

The Hidden Threat Behind Your Achy Joints

Picture this… You’re trying to enjoy a leisurely stroll in the park, but each step sends a jolt of pain through your knee. Or maybe you’re attempting to open a stubborn jar lid, only to have your fingers refuse to cooperate, leaving you feeling frustrated and helpless. Perhaps you’re simply trying to get out of...

Read This

Parkinson's Signs You Can't Afford to Miss

Imagine waking up one day to find your body betraying you. Your hands tremble as you try to button your shirt. Your feet shuffle when you want to walk with purpose. Once strong and clear, your voice now barely reaches above a whisper. This is the reality for those living with Parkinson’s. But what if...

Read This

Do Protein Needs Drop with Age? The SURPRISING Answer

I had a patient ask me the other day if they needed as much protein now as when they were younger. After all, we aren’t quite as active as seniors compared to when we were spring chickens. It’s a good question. And the answer might surprise you… Remember when you could devour a whole pizza...

Read This

Follow Your “Gut Feeling” to Reduce Diabetes Risk

It seems like every day we learn something new about the incredible influence our gut has on our overall health. From mood to immunity, and even to how well we sleep, the community of microbes in our digestive tract is pulling the strings behind the scenes. So, it should come as no surprise that researchers...

Read This

Mailbag: Don’t Miss These Dementia Red Flags

“I’ve noticed that my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I often forget where I’ve placed my keys or struggle to recall names. Should I be worried about dementia since it runs in my family? When should I worry?” – Elizabeth Hi Elizabeth, It’s totally normal to have some memory slips as...

Read This

“Down and Dirty” Trick Supercharges Your Microbiome

There was a time when we thought staying squeaky clean would help keep us healthy. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” we’d insist. However, the opposite is likely true. In fact, research finds getting your hands dirty is GOOD for you. But it’s got to be done the right way… Scientists say gardening shouldn’t be restricted...

Read This

Nutty Solution CRACKS the Weight Loss Code

I’ve been preaching the nut gospel for years… they’re delicious and (despite the rumors) won’t make you fat. Now, new research is backing me up in a BIG way. The study found that eating nuts is excellent for weight CONTROL. Many soul-crushing, joy-killing diets have you count every calorie and leave you feeling famished and...

Read This

Diet Trick Slashes Multiple Sclerosis Risk

Multiple sclerosis (MS) only strikes younger people… right? So, if you’ve reached your senior years, you should be in the clear. Not so fast. It turns out the number of older folks being diagnosed with MS is rising. In fact, it has been since the 1970s right along with the overall number of diagnoses—it’s just...

Read This