1. Health Benefits Of Squash
1.Winter squash contains polysaccharides
Polysaccharides are long chains of saccharides.
Saccharides include fructose, glucose, lactose, carbohydrates and fiber (also a carbohydrate, but one that the body can't break down).
Polysaccharides can be used to build structure.
Many plant cell walls are made from polysaccharides. When you eat the plant, your body uses the polysaccharides for energy or to help you feel full.
They can also be used to store energy.
Your body can build polysaccharides called glycogen. This glycogen is an energy reserve that can be used faster than the normal process of obtaining energy from the break down of ATP.
Starch is a polysaccharide.
Plants store energy in starch. When you eat starch, your body converts the starch to glucose.
Cellulose is another polysaccharide.
Cellulose is what trees and paper are made of. Humans lack the ability to digest cellulose.
Take Away: Polysaccharides help your body build structures like cells, and store energy for cell use.
2. Disadvantages Of Squash
1. Squash can easily pick up contaminates from the ground.
These contaminates are stored in the squash.
Any thing from heavy metals in the soil, to pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are absorbed by the squash plant and stored in the fruit (the gourd).
If contaminated squash is eaten, the contaminates are passed on.
These contaminates aren't broken down by the squash, and so, when eaten, they get absorbed by the person that ate the squash. These contaminates can get stored in the body's supply of fat.
Contaminates can cause cancer and birth defects.
Some of the contaminates cause cancer in those people that ate the contaminated squash. Birth defects can be caused to future children who get exposed to the contaminates that are stored inside of their mother.
Take Away: Don't eat squash that is used to remove contaminates from the soil.
3. Top 100 Squash Recipes
4. About Squash
How many species of squash are there?
There a 9 species of squash.
How many varieties are there?
13 scientifically recognized varieties exist, although there are hundreds of hybrids.
What's the difference between summer and winter squash?
Summer squash is harvested within a shorter time period after being planted, before the skin and the seeds have a chance to harden or mature, making it possible to eat the whole squash at the same time without cooking it.
Where does squash grow?
Squash will grow in zones 3 – 10, once the air has reached an average of 65o F.
5. History of Squash
One of the 'big 3' staples of ancient Native American society.
Indigenous peoples would plant beans, maize, and squash together for stronger crops.
Squash is native to the area around Central America.
Two out of the three lines of squash appear to have come from northern Central America or Southern Mexico. The third seems to have come from around the northern part of Argentina.
6. Q&A About Squash
How tall do squash plants get?
Many summer squashes are now bushes, getting as tall as three or four feet; winter squash is a climbing vine.
What's the best way to fertilize them?
These plants need a lot of nutrients, so it's best to work in a lot of nitrogen and compost into the soil before planting. You can use manure if you wish.
Can I plant squash seeds from a squash that I bought at the store?
You can try. Many of the squash at the store are from hybrid plants. They may grow vines, but not fruit. Also, squash produce male and female flowers and growing them from the store may cause your plants to grow just male flowers.
What type of climate does squash grow in?
Squash is a cooler weather plant, preferring an average temperature of around 650 F, but they can grow in hotter climates as well, just make sure to water them more often.
7. Work Cited
Albert, Steve. "Squash Growing - Harvest to Table." Harvest to Table RSS. Harvest to Table, 11 June 2008. Web. 28 June 2016. http://www.harvesttotable.com/2008/06/growing_squash/.
"Classification | USDA PLANTS." Classification | USDA PLANTS. USDA.gov, n.d. Web. 28 June 2016. https://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=CUCUR.
"Eugene Man Breaks Record for Largest Squash." - KPTV. KPTV - KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, 5 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 June 2016. http://www.kptv.com/story/26708134/eugene-man-breaks-record-for-largest-squash.
"List of World Records Held by Plants." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 June 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_records_held_by_plants.
National Museum of American History. "From the Victory Garden: American History Told through Squash." National Museum of American History. National Museum of American History, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 28 June 2016. http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/11/from-the-victory-garden-american-history-told-through-squash.html.
Shtop, Adrianne L. "All About Squash - Hobby Farms." Hobby Farms. Hobby Farms, 29 June 2010. Web. 28 June 2016. http://www.hobbyfarms.com/all-about-squash/.
"Types of Squash - Summer and Winter Squash How To Purchase and Prepare Perfect Squash." Squash Varieties, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Whats Cooking America. What's Cooking America, n.d. Web. 28 June 2016. http://whatscookingamerica.net/squash.htm.