7 Incredible Benefits of Acorn Squash

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of acorn squash may include a boosted immune system, improved vision, protection of the skin, strengthening of the bones, reduced blood pressure, maintained fluid balance, regulated blood sugar and cholesterol, improved digestion, and proper circulation.

Half sliced acorn squash with a knife on a wooden cutting board

Acorn squash is also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Squash, winter, acorn, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]87.78
Energy 40
Energy [kJ]167
Protein [g]0.8
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.1
Ash [g]0.9
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]10.42
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.5
Calcium, Ca [mg]33
Iron, Fe [mg]0.7
Magnesium, Mg [mg]32
Phosphorus, P [mg]36
Potassium, K [mg]347
Sodium, Na [mg]3
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.13
Copper, Cu [mg]0.07
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.17
Selenium, Se [µg]0.5
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]11
Thiamin [mg]0.14
Riboflavin [mg]0.01
Niacin [mg]0.7
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.4
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.15
Folate, total [µg]17
Folate, food [µg]17
Folate, DFE [µg]17
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]18
Carotene, beta [µg]220
Vitamin A, IU [IU]367
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]38
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.02
16:0 [g]0.02
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
18:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.04
18:2 [g]0.02
18:3 [g]0.03
Tryptophan [g]0.01
Threonine [g]0.02
Isoleucine [g]0.03
Leucine [g]0.05
Lysine [g]0.03
Methionine [g]0.01
Cystine [g]0.01
Phenylalanine [g]0.03
Tyrosine [g]0.03
Valine [g]0.03
Arginine [g]0.04
Histidine [g]0.02
Alanine [g]0.03
Aspartic acid [g]0.09
Glutamic acid [g]0.14
Glycine [g]0.03
Proline [g]0.03
Serine [g]0.03
Sources include : USDA [1]

Nutritional Value of Acorn Squash

As mentioned above, acorn squash is extremely nutrient-dense for its size, but also, it has a diverse range of nutrients. It is rich in dietary fiber, like most fruits and vegetables, while also being very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. In terms of vitamins and minerals, acorn squash has significant levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and other B-family vitamins, and its range of minerals is truly impressive, including potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, and calcium. [2]

Health Benefits of Acorn Squash

The health benefits of acorn squash are mentioned below:

May Boost Immunity

Acorn squash is a great source of vitamin C, which may be one of the best ways to boost your immune system. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, may help stimulate the production of white blood cells, which defend the body from pathogens and other unwanted germs/microbes. Furthermore, vitamin C is an important part of the body’s development, in terms of muscle tissue, blood vessels, teeth, skin, and organs. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant, helping to protect the body from serious conditions, like heart diseases.

May Improve Vision

Vitamin A may be found in significant quantities in acorn squash. And, while that isn’t an unusual vitamin to find, high levels of it mean high levels of beta-carotene as well, which is a very good antioxidant to have in our system. Beta-carotene, specifically, might have been directly linked to reducing oxidative stress in the eyes, which means that cataracts and macular degeneration can be prevented with proper intake of the vitamin A in acorn squash. [3]

May Promote Skin Care

Along with protecting the eyes, vitamin A may also play an important role in maintaining skin health. The antioxidant compounds derived from vitamin A, as well as other vitamins found in acorn squash, ensure that the skin looks young and toned. They may also help to eliminate blemishes and scars, speed the healing of wounds, and protect the skin from pathogens and premature aging. [4]

May Control Diabetes

Perhaps the most significant component found in acorn squash is dietary fiber that can regulate our digestion by adding bulk to our bowel movements and may eliminate constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. Furthermore, it may even help regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body, thereby helping to prevent the development of diabetes and maintaining stable glucose levels. [5]

May Regulate Blood Pressure

The high content of potassium found in this delicious variety of squash means that blood pressure can be maintained at a safe level. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can relax blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing stress on the heart and lowering blood pressure. Potassium may also help regulate the fluid balance in the cells and tissues, boosting metabolic efficiency and keeping our enzymatic and cellular pathways functioning properly. Magnesium regulates the uptake of potassium, so the high content of magnesium in acorn squash can make these effects even stronger. [6]

May Build Strong Bones

Acorn squash has a wide variety of minerals, including calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorous. Many of these minerals are integral parts in the development of new bones, as well as the regrowth and healing of the bone matter we already have. Sufficient mineral diversity in the body may help prevent osteoporosis and ensure that our bones remain strong and functional well into our later years. [7] [8]

Word of Caution: Acorn squash is very high in carbohydrates, and while there aren’t any simple sugars in acorn squash, as you would normally find in carbohydrates, they still fill the body up in terms of calories. Those on low-carb diets should probably choose another fruit to complement their dietary restrictions.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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