There are so many types of healthy foods to choose from these days, even in a world that is bombarded with fats, sugars, and calories. Foods like cucumbers, apples, bananas, and peas are some of the best fruits and vegetables around. But, many people who can get their hands-on squash love its benefit, too.
In a study done in 2011, the United States of America was the largest creator of squash in the world at almost 800 million pounds. Despite popular belief, squash is not a vegetable, but rather a fruit. Squash can come in a lot of forms like pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti, or the Hubbard variety.
At its creation, researchers believe that squash is native to the country of Mexico and the Central America region of the world. Squash is considered to be one of the oldest crops and has been around since 8,000 B.C. Because of its importance to the world, squash was even created into a game, with its literal meaning to flatten or pound. With all the facts, squash is an essential crop for humanity. Still, humans are not the only ones that enjoy this fruit. Dogs also can eat this nutritious food to aid in their bodies as well.
Nutritional Value of Squash
When it comes to nutritional value, squash has a lot to offer to our four-legged friends. Regarding protein, most squashes have between 1 to 2 grams of protein per serving that help nourish the body. Depending on the squash, the nutritional value may change, but here is some information on a few of the main squashes mentioned earlier.
Pumpkin: This squash has the smallest amount of carbs, in this article, at 5, with the fewest calories too at 20 per pumpkin squash.
Butternut: 10 carbs are packed into this squash, with 40 calories to boot.
Acorn: Acorn squash has almost nine carbs in every serving, as well as 35 calories when consuming this vegetable.
Spaghetti: Squash, of the spaghetti variety, has about 6.5 carbs and another 30 calories for energy.
Hubbard: As one of the least well-known squash, Hubbard has nearly 6.5 carbs with 30 calories in every serving.
Vitamins & Minerals in Squash
Regarding vitamins and minerals, there is a lot to like about squash. Vitamin A is one of the most valuable substances that come from squash. This fat-soluble vitamin helps promote better vision and brain functioning. For Perfect Daily Values, Vitamin A has double or more of what people need on a daily basis, so you can imagine the positive effect it can have on canines.
The next vitamin that squash produces is Vitamin C. As one of the most heard of vitamins in the world; Vitamin C offers some significant benefits. One of the most significant benefits of this vitamin is that it helps to repair tissues when the body is injured. Also, heart disease can be prevented when consuming Vitamin C in squash. Furthermore, iron is absorbed better because of Vitamin C.
Carotenoids are one of the last major phytonutrients, which are also in Vitamin A and Vitamin C that come in squash. Without carotenoids, also called beta-carotene, there would be no color to squash, and that is why there are reds, yellows, and oranges. Furthermore, these phytonutrients come specifically in plants like squash and are overflowing with antioxidants.
More health benefits that come from squash include protections against various cancers and tumors, along with defenses against the immune system. The cells communicate better and better with the help of the benefits in squash.
Fiber in Squash
Fiber is another health benefit that comes from squash. Fiber has been known to do a lot of great things. First off, it is an anti-diarrheal substance which helps tremendously. Fiber does this by being a simple soluble. What this means is water absorbs quickly, and the digestive process is slowed to help out the gastrointestinal tract.
Furthermore, the stool becomes fuller, and food picks up speed through the digestion process. Studies have shown that even issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are slowed by adding more squash to a diet. Canned squash has even more fiber because it is compressed and packed into every bite.
Suitability for Dogs
The question is whether or not squash is healthy for dogs. With so many options to choose from for dogs, there have been concerns over food that is not healthy for your dog. However, you can breathe easy when it comes to squash. Because of the many health benefits in squash, dog owners should not be anxious about giving their dog this food. Even if there are concerns, there are a variety of do-it-yourself recipes that most canine owners can agree upon. But, there are a few precautions you should take. First, buy certified organic and never go for squash that has added chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). Also, no spices or sugars should be added to the squash because this can be harmful to your furry friend.
Different kinds of squash to offer your dog is a great way to experience an assortment of textures and tastes. Even in today’s food market, big-time commercialized pet foods are adding pumpkin and sweet potatoes in their mixes because of it anti-diarrheal properties. The misconception has been that all squash tastes the same, but this could not be further from the truth. Think about apples for a second. They come in a lot of varieties and shapes like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. The same can be said with squash.
Squash – The Bottom Line
Squash is a food that is not only fantastic for the human race, but for dogs as well. The benefits of squash are non-toxic to canines and help them live a healthier lifestyle. As an anti-diarrheal, squash can aid in a canine’s digestive system and get them back to normal sooner than anticipated. Consider using squash in your dog’s diet and see what it can do to help in the long run. Whether you make your own recipe or buy it off the shelves, squash will do your dog right.