Again linking up with the Veg Power UK campaign, we bring you this vibrant traybake full of flavour and textures.
Butternut Squash: Contains carotenes which help to prevent certain cancers (lung, colon and prostrate), reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage. It is a good source of the antioxidant vitamins A (essential for good eye health and vision) C, E and B vitamins along with calcium, potassium and magnesium. Like all fruits and vegetables, it is a source of soluble fibre.
Squash seeds can be eaten like pumpkin seeds and are nutritional powerhouses rich in protein, zinc (boosting the immune system), iron (important for healthy blood cells and energy levels), omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium, selenium, calcium and many other nutrients . They also contain heart healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and can benefit your heart, liver and immune system as well as helping to fight the onset of diabetes . They also contain tryptophan; an amino acid which is needed by the body to produce serotonin. This brain chemical helps regulate mood, appetite, digestion, sleep and memory. Low levels are linked to depression
Onions of all types are truly a superfood containing vitamin C and compounds which have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease as well as regulating insulin response (insulin resistance is often a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes).
Cheese is an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, calcium (needed for strong bones) as well as other various vitamins and minerals. There is still a lot of conflicting advice on eating saturated fats in dairy foods but recent research has shown that they have little effect on the heart or risks of strokes and may actually help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Like most foods, they should not be eaten in vast amounts but certainly as part of a healthy diet.
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