Health Benefits of Summer SquashCredit: Adrienne Leonard

While we hear a lot about super foods that have extremely high densities of nutrients. There are also some major benefits to foods you can find in any grocery store or even grow yourself. One of those foods is summer squash. While it may not be what you envision when you think of cancer-fighting, anti-aging antioxidants, this common veggie has some amazing things to offer when added to your diet. This hearty summertime vegetable has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, folate, potassium, iron and calcium. 

Here are some of the ways it can help:

Improved Vision - Carrots usually take the cake when it comes to improved vision, but it turns out summer squash has similar benefits. It's the high concentration of lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin that make this vegetable so healthy for the eyes. These antioxidants are beneficial to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. They make a great alternative if you're tired of eating carrots for healthy eyes. 

Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar - Squash has several of the B vitamins, which are essential to maintaining healthy blood sugar. Also the flavonoids and vitamin C found in the skin of the vegetable help regular the body's glucose levels. This vegetable is an easy to prepare, inexpensive and a healthy addition to anyone struggling to keep a stable blood sugar. 

Relief from PMS -  The manganese found in squash has been used to ease the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome. This mineral, especially with calcium, has shown to ease painful cramps and irritability commonly associated with PMS. Try eating some for pain relief, and you may find your symptoms are actually due to dietary deficiencies. 

Ease Inflammation - The omega-3 content as well as they sight boosting antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, work double time helping with the eyes and alleviating inflammation. 

Anti-microbial - There are parts of the world where the extract from the seeds of summer squash are used to treat intestinal parasites. Although this method is used with large quantities of the seeds, and not practical for the average consumer, you can feel confident this vegetable will do more good than harm if you suffer from a microbial disorder.

To get the greatest benefits of summer squash make sure to prepare it with the skin on and keep the seeds, both of which contain the majority of nutrients found in these summer veggies.