Articles. Join the healthy conversation.

Butternut Bursts with Immune Benefits

Fall markets are awash with squash – and butternuts one of the best at supporting immune function in anticipation of winter colds, thanks to their unique nutrient combination of vitamins A, C and E.

One cup of cooked butternut squash provides over 450% of your Daily Value of vitamin A – commonly known as the “anti-infective” vitamin for its role in developing immune and mucosal cells – cells that line the airways, urinary and digestive tracts – thus forming the body’s first line of immune defense. The same serving supplies over 50% of your Daily Value of vitamin C (helps inactivate viruses and may reduce the severity and duration of colds) and 13% of your Daily Value of vitamin E (shields immune cells from free radicals and may boost the production of bacteria-busting white blood cells). That 13% of daily vitamin E is nothing to sneeze at – especially when you consider its one of the highest fruit (yes, butternuts a fruit, not vegetable) sources, while even “top” E sources (like sunflower seeds) only supply roughly 30%.

More reasons to go nuts for butternut: One serving provides plenty of potassium, magnesium, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, and folate – all for just 82 calories. This gourmet gourd also supplies a top source of the antioxidant phytonutrients, beta-carotene (more than pumpkins), alpha-carotene (more than carrots), and beta-cryptoxanthin (best food source bar none). As mentioned in the last DNN, beta-cryptoxanthin may reduce the risk of polyarthritis (inflammation that affects at least two or more joint groups) as well as lung and prostate cancers.

Published November 7, 2005

Share Your Thoughts!

What is 15 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math.