When You Eat Spaghetti Squash, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Spaghetti squash is a hearty winter squash packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Scientifically known as Cucurbita pepo, spaghetti squash is a yellow, melon-shaped vegetable that is usually cultivated in the fall (via WebMD). This nutrient-dense squash is native to the Americas and is closely related to pumpkin and zucchini. Spaghetti squash is known for its nutty flavor and fibrous flesh, which becomes stringy when cooked, resembling strands of spaghetti.

As a result, spaghetti squash is often used as a low-calorie and low-carb alternative to pasta and can be prepared with olive oil or tomato-based sauces (via Well+Good). While spaghetti squash is usually available all year round, it's best to buy it when it's actually in season in the late fall and early winter months. When picking out a spaghetti squash at the grocery store or farmer's market, try to find one that is both firm and heavy. The heavier the squash, the more stringy flesh will be inside.

Health benefits of spaghetti squash

In addition to being low in carbs and calories, spaghetti squash is also linked to a number of important health benefits. For instance, eating spaghetti squash can help improve your digestive health (via Healthline). That's because spaghetti squash is rich in fiber. Just 1 cup of squash contains 2.2 grams of fiber, which is 9% of your daily recommended fiber intake. "Fiber acts as a prebiotic by feeding the good bacteria in your intestines which form a vital part of your digestive and immune systems," Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, told Well+Good. Adding fiber to your diet can also help bulk up your stool and keep you regular.

Since spaghetti squash is high in antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene, it can also help prevent inflammation and chronic illness. In fact, research has shown that antioxidants play a role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. That's because antioxidants help fight off disease-carrying free radicals, which damage cells and cause oxidative stress.