Spaghetti squash is the perfect winter vegetable for PCOS fighters. Unlike many other squash varieties, spaghetti squash is low on the glycemic index and high in fiber. Both of these properties allow spaghetti squash to help stabilize blood sugar levels. It is also high in beta-carotene which may increase chances of conceiving by protecting the ovaries from free radicals (damage from free radicals interferes with progesterone production)¹. Additionally, one study found that people with the highest levels of carotenoids were least likely to develop diabetes or insulin resistance². This recipe will fill two squash boats, and may provide leftovers for the next day.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup of corn, frozen or canned
- 1-2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- basil to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- Cut squash in half length-wise with a large, sharp knife (carefully, please!) This was tricky (I have seen a few recipes cook the entire squash first before cutting which I may try next time).
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Brush inner flesh with olive oil.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the cut side down .
- Cook in oven for 35 minutes (any longer will make the squash soggy).
- Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic. Set aside.
- Prepare and rinse other ingredients (beans, corn, spinach, basil).
- Once 35 minutes is up, carefully pull baking sheet out of the oven (I found that the pan was surprisingly heavy and tippy).
- Flip over squash and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
- Stir in beans, corn, and spices.
- Once squash is cool enough to touch, scrape out the inside flesh with a fork (should look like stringy spaghetti!).
- Finally add the squash and spinach to the skillet.
- Scoop veggie mixture into the squash bowls and serve.
- garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
- ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
- onion = promotes liver detoxification, improves digestion & is high in chromium which helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels
- spinach = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which some women with PCOS are deficient in
- turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levelsReferences:
- Schweigert, FJ et al., Concentrations of carotenoids, retinol and a-tocopherol in plasma and follicular fluid of women undergoing IVF. Human Reproduction. 2003, 18(6):1259-1264.
- Ford ES et al., Diabetes mellitus and serum carotenoids: findings from the third national health and nutrition examination survey. Am J Epidemiol. 1999, 149:168-176.