What better food to feature as we turn the corner of June and head into July with summer in full-fledge, than SUMMER squash. Available as zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and scallop squash; I found zucchini in abundance at the local market last week, so this is your opportunity to find them at their freshest. Although varying in size, color and flavor, they have in common that are all completely edible (flesh, seeds, and skin- some even have edible flowers). They are a primary food source of alpha-and beta-carotene. In addition, they’re top sources of lutein, zeanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These all provide antioxidant support, notably for the eyes and for macular degeneration prevention. It’s excellent rating of manganese and vitamin C, also provide antioxidant support. The skin is particularly rich in antioxidants. Also interesting is that steaming seems to be one of the best ways to prepare summer squash to retain antioxidant properties. Even more promising is that frozen and then steamed also seems to work, for those who like to freeze them for times of shortages (in the winter when they’re not available). They also seem to have great potential to protect against inflammation due to:
- omega-3’s in the seeds
- anti-inflammatory carotenoids (notably lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene)
- anti-inflammatory polysaccharides
Some have considered them starchy, but it appears that the unique polysaccharide-homogalcturonan– has demonstrated in animal studies that it may protect against diabetes and better regulation of insulin. It’s summer so enjoy some squash and check out our website bodychange.net for more information on our fat-burner weight loss program.