Spaghetti squash is non-starchy and has yellow flesh and is often used as a substitute for pasta. It is mild and a little of sweet flavor perfect for olive oil and tomato based sauces. The flesh gets stringy like spaghetti but much lower in carbohydrate. It has a more nutrient dense version of the traditional spaghetti. When cooking squash, its flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands. This is great if you love spaghetti but limits your calories or carbs. This vegetable replacement provides nutrients, including fiber and vitamins. Read more about spaghetti squash facts and nutrients.
Facts About Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash with a tough rind that’s difficult to cut. Baking or boiling it is the easiest way to cook it. You can cut in half when cooked or drag a fork across the flesh to separate it into strands. This can be the best substitute for pasta as it has only 42 calories in one cup unlike on the 200 calories/cup of pasta. This means that you will get only 10 grams of total carbohydrates as one-fourth of the amount from the pasta. Your daily intake of these vegetables will give you the needed dietary fiber to your body. It gives you the needed vitamins A and C.
- Vitamin A. You will get vitamin A in the form of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. This vitamin is what your body needs to maintain normal vision and healthy skin. It is also essential as an antioxidant that prevents cellular damage. This means that you can fight from free radicals and fight inflammation. A cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides 6 percent of vitamin A that you need every day.
- Vitamin C. This vitamin helps to fight against free radicals throughout your body. The free radicals occur during normal metabolic processes. But in some instances, this might be a result of other negative things that impact your body. The free radicals attach to cells and cause damage if they are not neutralized. The vitamin C is important to support the immune system and to make collagen, great in wound healing. A cup of cooked squash gives you 7 percent vitamin C that you won’t get from pasta.
- Potassium. Ingesting spaghetti squash will also give you potassium. This is also a mineral that your body needs to carry an electrical charge through fluids in your body. Potassium helps to sustain a regular heartbeat and works together with another electrolyte. It can also stimulate muscles and nerves. Your body needs the right amount of potassium as you are burning 20 to 40 percent of the potassium while resting. You will get 4 percent of the daily intake of potassium from a cup of spaghetti squash. This is three times more than the amount in a cup of cooked pasta and much healthier.
If you are planning to add this veggie to your diet, make sure to choose a firm with no soft spots or blemishes squash. Take the one that feels heavy for its size. Ensure to wash the skin before cutting and keep in a cool, dry place. You can also store in the fridge in a closed container once cooked to ensure freshness for up to a few days.