Spaghetti squash is a vibrant winter vegetable that has a nutty flavor and an impressive nutrient profile.
Spaghetti squash or pasta pumpkin is a close botanical relative of pumpkins and squash. It comes in various sizes, shapes and colors (from white to dark orange).
It not only has a low calorie content, but is also saturated with nutrients, and is associated with a number of healthy properties.
This article discusses the nutritional profile, the benefits and potential disadvantages of spaghetti squash, and tips on how to add it to your diet.
Useful properties of spaghetti squash
Packed with vitamins and minerals.
Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-rich product that is low in calories but high in some key vitamins and minerals.
In particular, spaghetti squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6.
One cup (155 grams) of cooked spaghetti squash contains the following nutrients ( 1 ):
- Calories: 42
- Carbohydrates: 10 grams
- Fiber: 2.2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Vitamin C: 9% of the Reference Daily Value (RDI)
- Manganese: 8% of RDI
- Vitamin B6: 8% of RDI
- Pantothenic Acid: 6% of RDI
- Niacin: 6% of RDI
- Potassium: 5% of RDI
Spaghetti squash also contains a small amount of thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium and iron.
Spaghetti squash is a low-calorie, but rich in nutrients product with a high content of fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6.
Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful compounds that can help fight free radicals, thus preventing oxidative stress and reducing damage to your cells.
Studies show that antioxidants can help in the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer ( 2 ).
Winter types of squash, such as spaghetti squash, are loaded with antioxidants.
Spaghetti squash contains a lot of beta-carotene and vitamin C – two antioxidants that can inhibit the formation of free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
May help improve digestive health
Spaghetti squash is a great source of fiber. A serving for one cup (155 grams) contains 2.2 grams – 9% of your daily fiber requirements ( 1 ).
Fiber passes slowly through the digestive system, increasing the volume of feces, which promotes regular bowel movements and relieves constipation ( 6 ).
Increased fiber intake can benefit several aspects of digestive health.
In fact, studies show that a high fiber diet can be useful in treating conditions such as diverticulitis, intestinal ulcers, hemorrhoids, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) ( 7 ).
Adding only one or two servings of spaghetti squash to the diet, along with a variety of fiber-rich foods, can increase regularity and ensure the normal functioning of the digestive tract.
Spaghetti squash contains a lot of fiber, which can contribute to regular stool and helps treat digestive problems like diverticulitis, intestinal ulcers, hemorrhoids and GERD.
Promotes Weight Loss
Spaghetti squash is a low-calorie product, but high in fiber, which makes it a healthy diet for weight loss.
In addition, with just 42 calories per cup (155 grams), using spaghetti squash as a low-calorie alternative to recipes like gratin, casserole, lasagna, or pasta can contribute to weight loss.
Spaghetti squash is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it a great addition to a diet for weight loss.
Versatile and delicious
Spaghetti squash is a winter vegetable with a mild flavor and viscous texture that works well in many recipes.
It can be easily baked, boiled, steamed or even in the microwave for a tasty and nutritious meal.
In particular, it is a popular pasta substitute, because it can reduce the amount of carbohydrates and calories in your food, allowing other flavors to appear in your dish.
Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta, mix with ingredients such as meatballs, marinara sauce, garlic or parmesan.
You can also try stuffing it, and use the pulp in pancakes and casseroles.
Spaghetti squash is a versatile ingredient. You can bake, fry or microwave them for use in a variety of recipes.
Easy to cook
Spaghetti squash is easy to prepare and a great substitute for low-carb noodles in your favorite pasta dishes.
To get started, slice the pumpkin in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.
Then sprinkle each half with a little olive oil, season with salt and lay side by side on a baking sheet with the side cut off.
Bake in the oven at 200 ° C for 40–50 minutes or until tender (pierce with a fork)
Once your squash is fully cooked, use a fork to scrape off the spaghetti-like strands.
Finally, choose flavored condiments, sauces and toppings – such as garlic, parmesan, marinara sauce, meatballs or vegetables – and enjoy a delicious, nutritious and wholesome meal.
Cook squash spaghetti by frying it, chopping the fibers and adding your favorite toppings.
Potential Harm of Spaghetti Squash
Although spaghetti squash is very nutritious, there are some things to keep in mind before adding it to your diet.
Some people may be allergic to winter vegetables, such as spaghetti squash, which can cause food allergy symptoms, such as hives, itching, swelling, and digestive problems ( 10 ).
If you experience these or any other adverse symptoms after eating spaghetti squash, stop drinking immediately and consult your doctor.
In addition, spaghetti squash has very few calories.
Although it can be very useful for those who want to lose weight, it is important to avoid excessive calorie reduction, since a serious calorie restriction can reduce the metabolic rate in your body ( 11 , 12 ).
To maximize the potential health benefits of spaghetti squash, choose wholesome toppings and combine them with other nutritious foods like vegetables, herbs, spices, heart-friendly fats, and low-fat proteins.
Spaghetti squash can cause food allergies. For best results, combine it with other healthy foods and fillings.
Spaghetti squash is a winter vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Due to its low calorie content and high fiber content, its use can help weight loss and healthy digestion.
Try fried spaghetti squash as an alternative to a low-carb pasta in combination with vegetables, protein, whole grains and healthy fats.