Butternut squash is low in calories, a good source of fiber and an excellent source of beta carotene. It is also a source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, niacin and folate. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body which is important for healthy skin, vision, bones, and immune function.
Butternut squash is an excellent source of several carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and especially high in beta-cryptoxanthin – which research suggests may play a role in protecting against esophageal and colon cancer and diseases of the lung.
The fiber found in butternut squash is mainly in the form of soluble fiber which benefits healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in butternut squash, has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation.
Research has also shown that processing beta-carotene-rich vegetables, like butternut squash, through certain cooking and processing methods, such as pureeing, may increase the bioavailability (absorbability) of beta carotene.