Tap to Read ➤

The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash

Sonia Nair Dec 5, 2018
Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash with a high nutritional value. When cooked, the flesh of this squash can be separated into noodle-like strands, and hence, the name.
Squashes are plants that belong to the genus Cucurbita and family Cucurbitaceae. There are different varieties of squashes, like the pumpkin, acorn, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. Squashes are categorized as winter and summer varieties, based on the time of harvest.
While summer squashes are harvested when the rind is tender and edible, winter squashes are fully mature vegetables with hard rinds and seeds. Summer squashes are high in water content but not as nutrient dense as the winter ones. Winter squashes are richly-colored vegetables with a high nutritional value.
The spaghetti squash is also known as vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow, squaghetti, gold string melon, and fish fin melon. As the name suggests, the flesh of cooked spaghetti squash resembles spaghetti strands.
The color of its skin can range between cream, yellow and orange, with some varieties having a green and white rind.
There are large seeds in the center and the flesh is dark yellow or orange. The green rind variety has white flesh. Apart from its interesting looks and great taste, this vegetable is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Here is a brief overview of spaghetti squash nutrition.

Nutrients in 155 g of Cooked Spaghetti Squash (boiled, drained, or baked, without salt)

Calories - 42 Kcal
Water - 143 g
Carbohydrate - 10 g
Protein - 0.99 g
Fiber - 2.2 g
Total Sugar - 3.9 g
Total Fat - 0.4 g
Vitamins and their Values
Vitamin A - 170 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - 0.057 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - 0.028 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - 1.256 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - 0.153 mg
Folate - 12 mcg
Vitamin C - 3.3 mg
Vitamin E - 0.19 mg
Vitamin K - 1.2 mcg
Minerals and their Values
Potassium - 167 mg
Selenium - 0.3 mcg
Calcium - 33 mg
Sodium - 28 mg
Phosphorus - 19 mg
Magnesium - 17 mg
Iron - 0.48 mg
Zinc - 0.29 mg
Manganese - 0.15 mg

Nutrients in 155 g of Raw Spaghetti Squash

Calories - 48 Kcal
Water - 142 g
Carbohydrate - 10.75 g
Protein - 1.02 g
Fiber - 2.3 g
Total Sugar - 4.29 g
Total Fat - 0.88 g
Vitamins and their Values
Vitamin A - 186 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - 0.059 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - 0.034 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - 1.473 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - 0.157 mg
Folate - 19 mcg
Vitamin C - 5.4 mg
Vitamin E - 0.20 mg
Vitamin K - 1.4 mcg
Minerals and their Values
Potassium - 181 mg
Selenium - 0.5 mcg
Calcium - 36 mg
Sodium - 28 mg
Phosphorus - 22 mg
Magnesium - 19 mg
Iron - 0.53 mg
Zinc - 0.31 mg
Manganese - 0.2 mg

Health Benefits

The spaghetti squash is ideal for those who want to reduce their calorie intake. This squash is rich in nutrients and low in calories. You can even replace spaghetti pasta with spaghetti squash, in order to reduce your calorie intake. This squash has high levels of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids.
It has considerable amounts of B vitamins that are beneficial in various ways, especially for regulating blood sugar levels. Let us take a look at some of the health benefits of spaghetti squash.
  • Apart from being a rich source of vitamins and minerals, this squash has high levels of beta carotene, which can prevent atherosclerosis by lowering the cholesterol levels. It is also beneficial for people with insulin resistance.
  • Along with lutein, beta carotene can reduce the risk of eye problems, like macular regeneration and cataract. They can also improve eyesight.
  • Spaghetti squash contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. While the former is good for preventing heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and inflammation caused by arthritis; the latter promotes brain function.
  • Recent studies suggest that this squash is good for prostate health, and it can also be used for treating benign prostate enlargement.
  • While potassium helps to lower blood pressure, folate is good for preventing damage to blood vessel walls. Folate is also beneficial for pregnant women as it can prevent some types of birth defects in the baby.
  • Spaghetti squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C that are antioxidants that can prevent cell damage. The B vitamins in spaghetti squash promote proper cellular function.
In short, spaghetti squash is highly nutritious, with a very low calorie count. You can include it in your diet and reap its health benefits. Cooking this squash is very easy, as you can boil, bake, or roast it. All you have to do is to wash the squash, peel its skin, and cut the flesh into cubes, before boiling or steaming.
You may also retain the skin, if you want to bake the squash. Cut it into halves (lengthwise) and remove the seeds before baking. Otherwise bake the squash in whole. In that case, don't forget to poke some holes through the squash with a knife or fork, beforehand. Once done, you can cut the squash and remove the seeds.
Steaming is said to be the best method of cooking squash, as the nutrients are retained to the maximum. Whatever may be the recipe, this squash can be very tasty and at the same time provide you with the much-required daily nutrients.