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Author Topic: Acorn Squash Soup and Health Benefits  (Read 2968 times)

Offline LynneB

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Acorn Squash Soup and Health Benefits
« on: January 16, 2010, 06:59:50 PM »
Acorn Squash Soup (prepared recipe)
By Lynne Bennett
Servings: 8

4 cups organic chicken broth
1 cup organic buttermilk
1 medium acorn squash, cooked, peeled, and seeded
2 tsp. organic maple syrup
2 pinches nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Pink Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a Vita-Mix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1 and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 4-5 minutes or until heavy steam escape from lid vents.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Health Benefits: Acorn Squash Soup

Acorn Squash
Winter squash emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash emerged as a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid. How does this amazing array of nutrients support our health?

One of the most abundant nutrients in winter squash, beta-carotene, has been shown to have very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-carotene is able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized cholesterol is the type that builds up in blood vessel walls and contributes to the risk of heart attack and stroke, getting extra beta-carotene in the diet may help to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.
It may also protect against diabetic heart disease and may be useful for preventing other complications caused by free radicals often seen in long-term diabetes. Additionally, intake of foods such as winter squash that are rich in carotenoids may be beneficial to blood sugar regulation. Research has suggested that physiological levels, as well as dietary intake, of carotenoids may be inversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
Studies have also shown that a good intake of beta-carotene can help to reduce the risk of colon cancer, possibly by protecting colon cells from the damaging effects of cancer-causing chemicals. Finally, beta-carotene's anti-inflammatory effects may help to reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, which all involve inflammation.

Other nutrients found in winter squash are also useful for a number of different conditions. The potassium in winter squash may help to lower blood pressure, and the vitamin C may be able to reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis and also to prevent the progression of conditions like atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.

In addition to its ability to lower high cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease, the fiber found in winter squash is also able to prevent cancer-causing chemicals from attacking colon cells. This is one of the reasons why diets high in fiber-rich foods have been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Cinnamon's essential oils also qualify it as an "anti-microbial" food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida. In laboratory tests, growth of yeasts that were resistant to the commonly used anti-fungal medication fluconazole was often (though not always) stopped by cinnamon extracts.

Cinnamon's antimicrobial properties are so effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives. In a study, published in the August 2003 issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology, the addition of just a few drops of cinnamon essential oil to 100 ml (approximately 3 ounces) of carrot broth, which was then refrigerated, inhibited the growth of the foodborne pathogenic Bacillus cereus for at least 60 days. When the broth was refrigerated without the addition of cinnamon oil, the pathogenic B. cereus flourished despite the cold temperature. In addition, researchers noted that the addition of cinnamon not only acted as an effective preservative but improved the flavor of the broth.

Maple Syrup
Zinc and manganese are important allies in the immune system. Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optimal function. Particularly in children, researchers have studied the effects of zinc deficiency (and zinc supplementation) on their immune response and their number of white blood cells, including specific studies on T lymphocytes, macrophages, and B cells (all types of white blood cells important for immune defenses). In these studies, zinc deficiency has been shown to compromise numbers of white blood cell and immune response, while zinc supplementation has been shown to restore conditions to normal. In addition to the role played by zinc, the manganese in maple syrup is important since, as a component of the antioxidant SOD, it helps lessen inflammation, thus supporting healing. In addition, manganese may also act as an immunostimulant.

Offline jodi f.

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Re: Acorn Squash Soup and Health Benefits
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 06:34:36 AM »
Beautiful, simple recipe, and the addition of this specific nutrition information is deeply appreciated. Hope you don't mind if I add it to my recipe files, giving you full credit, of course.

I make a variation of this soup, using coconut milk and curry powder, enhanced with a little extra turmeric. This is my anti-inflammatory version. Very good with toasted pepitas on top.