Spaghetti squash is a nutritious winter vegetable that’s often used as a low carb substitute for pasta. It pairs well with olive oil and tomato-based sauces due to its mild, slightly sweet flavor. When boiled or baked, the fibrous flesh transforms into spaghetti-like threads.
The vegetable is closely related to pumpkin, zucchini, and other types of squash. Besides being low in calories and rich in nutrients, it’s also associated with a range of health benefits.
In this article, we will discuss the nutritional value and health benefits of spaghetti squash and check if it’s a good food for weight loss.
Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Facts
A cup of cooked spaghetti squash (155 grams) contains the following nutrients:
Carbs: 10 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
Vitamin C: 6% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Pantothenic acid: 11% of the DV
Manganese: 7% of the DV
Niacin: 8% of the DV
Spaghetti squash contains minerals like potassium, thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and iron.
Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense food, which means it’s low in calories and rich in healthful nutrients that provide a plethora of health benefits, like:
1) Supports Strong Bones
Among the minerals found in spaghetti squash that contribute to bone health is manganese.
It helps maintain a healthy bone structure, promotes bone metabolism, and may help prevent osteoporosis5. Howerver, research on the mineral’s role in osteoporosis prevention has produced contradictory results.
Vitamins and minerals in spaghetti squash interact in a synergistic manner. Unlike dietary supplements, it’s typically advised to obtain nutrients through food.
2) May Promote Bladder Health
Several studies suggest that seed extracts obtained from spaghetti squash may be useful in the treatment of urinary stress incontinence.
It’s a condition that arises when the pelvic muscles supporting the bladder and sphincter muscle, which regulates urine flow, become weak. However, this aspect was studied using a supplement derived from spaghetti squash and other plant sources.
Components obtained from spaghetti squash may also aid in the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome, which is characterized by the frequent need to urinate followed by the involuntary leakage of urine. In contrast, investigations so far have focused on dietary supplements containing chemicals derived from spaghetti squash and other plant sources.
3) Can Improve Memory
Vitamin B present in spaghetti squash and other meals allow the brain to transmit memories and information across regions.
In addition, uncontrolled hyperglycemia is an Alzheimer’s disease risk factor. Some medical professionals have dubbed Alzheimer’s disease “type 3 diabetes” due to the impact of high blood sugar on the disease’s progression.
Several types of winter squash have been found in animal experiments to help avoid an increase in blood sugar level after eating.
4) Protects Eyes
The vitamin A and vitamin E in spaghetti squash are good for preventing age-related macular degeneration by protecting the eyes from oxidative damage. Getting these nutrients from food rather than pills gives health benefits and reduces the danger of supplement toxicity.
5) Can Help Prevent Cancer
Cucurbitacins found in spaghetti squash and other related plants have been demonstrated in preliminary in vitro tests to destroy cancer cells, indicating the need for additional exploration.
Moreover, vitamin C and vitamin A are renowned for their antioxidant properties.
Is Spaghetti Squash Good For Weight Loss?
Low in calories and high in fiber, spaghetti squash is a nutritious addition to a weight loss diet for weight loss. In fact, it’s a popular replacement for carbs, as it can be used for various pasta dishes made with spaghetti.
Fiber can aid weight loss by slowing the emptying of the stomach and maintaining blood sugar levels, reducing hunger and appetite. In addition, as spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories per cup (155 grams), substituting it for pasta in recipes such as gratin, casseroles, lasagna, and noodle dishes can aid in weight loss.
Spaghetti squash is a winter food that’s high in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Its low calorie count and high fiber content suggest that it may be beneficial for weight loss and maintaining digestive health. If you’re looking for a low-carb alternative to pasta, try spaghetti squash that has been roasted and blended with vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.