High Fiber Food Spaghetti Squash Helps Prevent Colon Cancer
Spaghetti squash is well-named because when cooked, its golden-yellow inner flesh shreds into strands that resemble spaghetti noodles. For this reason, many people use it as a substitute for regular pasta. This wonderful winter squash is harvested in early fall, and its fiber and water content make it a great choice for colon cancer prevention.
Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash contains dietary fiber, which is critical for colon health. For years, studies have shown that an increased intake of dietary fiber decreases risk of colorectal cancer. Each 10-gram per day increase in total fiber was linked to a 10 percent risk reduction in colon cancer.
In another study, researchers found that a low-fat, high-fiber diet was associated with a lower recurrence of colon polyps. Fiber adds bulk to the digestive system, quickly moving toxins and waste out of the body. The ideal goal for cancer prevention is to get 30-35 grams of fiber daily, but most Americans only get about half of that.
Spaghetti squash has other benefits for colon health and overall health as well – including high levels of water, vitamins and minerals. Increased water intake flushes out toxins and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort. And of course, vitamins and minerals are essential for colon health too!
If you’ve never tasted spaghetti squash, now is a good time to try it! It goes well with red pasta sauce but tastes even better with homemade pesto!
Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tsp oil
- ¼ cup red onions, diced
- ⅓ cup red peppers, diced
- Dash of sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp extra parmesan cheese (for topping)
Pesto Ingredients (makes about ⅓ cup):
- 5 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- ¾ tsp garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half across the width. Carve out inside seeds with a spoon. Place squash face down on a pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until you can stick a fork through the outer skin. Take out of the oven, flip the squash halves over, melt the butter inside, and set aside to cool down for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine chopped basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and pepper in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Pour a little oil into a small pan and saute the onions for a few minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper, along with the red peppers, and cook for another minute or so.
- Using tongs to hold the spaghetti squash in place, while using a fork to scrape out the inner squash and place into two separate bowls.
- Pour pesto on top, add sauteed veggies and extra shredded parmesan, and serve!