Can You Eat Spaghetti Squash Raw?

Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences

Written by Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. Updated on March 12, 2023.

The scientific name for spaghetti squash is Cucurbita pepo. It is a distinctive winter squash that belongs to the same family as pumpkins, zucchini, and gourds.

The squash plant originated in Central America and spread across the rest of the globe due to exploration and establishing trading routes over land and water.

The spaghetti squash was initially documented in Manchuria, China, around 1850. While its origins are unclear, it was a popular food source for communities and was originally introduced to Japan by the Aichi Prefectural Agricultural Research Station in 1921.

The squash became a popular food item across Asia and the Americas, with its popularity in the United States rising exponentially after World War II.

The average spaghetti squash is about 30 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide and weighs between 4 and 8 pounds.

It looks like a melon because it is long, cylindrical, and has a small, light brown stem. The skin is firm and smooth, and when it’s ready, it changes from green to a bright yellow or a pale yellow, depending on the type.

The flesh is dense, smooth, and pale yellow, with a huge cavity containing threadlike pulp and flattened cream-colored seeds.

One of spaghetti squash’s most distinctive features is its flesh, which, when cooked, splits into long, transparent threads like angel hair pasta.

The unique nature of spaghetti squash makes it a popular food item in many cultures worldwide.

Spaghetti squash has a long, cylindrical shape and a yellow-orange color.

It has a mild, sweet flavor and tender flesh, and when cooked, the strands of squash pull apart into thin strands resembling spaghetti.

Spaghetti squash is now a staple in many diets and can be enjoyed cooked or raw.

Can You Eat Spaghetti Squash Seeds?

All squash seeds can be eaten and are a good source of nutrients. The seeds of various squashes, including butternuts, crooknecks, and spaghetti squash, are edible.

Since pumpkins are a kind of squash, too, you can eat these seeds the same way you would pumpkin seeds.

The taste of squash seeds is nutty. You may season them with salt and pepper or roast them. Either way, they are a flavorful, healthy snack.

The squash seed shell (hull) is edible, but you may boil or roast them and use only the inner kernels, called pepitas. Boiling the seeds makes them softer, but roasting them produces a richer, nuttier flavor.

One of their most significant advantages is that you may keep roasted squash seeds for extended periods.

Furthermore, they have a three-month shelf life when stored at room temperature. They may also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to a year.

To prepare spaghetti squash seeds for raw consumption, cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and rinse them off with cold water.

Then spread the seeds out on a paper towel or cloth and let them dry. Once dried, you can store the seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Benefits of Eating Spaghetti Squash Raw

Eating spaghetti squash raw offers numerous health benefits. It is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Raw spaghetti squash is also very low in calories, making it ideal for those trying to lose or maintain weight.

Some health benefits of eating raw spaghetti squash are given below:

Eye Health

Raw spaghetti squash benefits eye health due to its high vitamin A content.

Vitamin A helps protect the eyes from age-related vision issues such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and night blindness.

Additionally, raw spaghetti squash is a good source of vitamin C, which helps protect eyes from UV damage and supports the growth of eye tissue.

Anticancer Properties

Spaghetti squash is also a great source of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

These two carotenoids are essential antioxidants that can help prevent or slow the development of certain cancers.

Research has found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood are associated with a lower risk of developing prostate, ovarian, breast, colorectal, and bladder cancer.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

The carotenoids in spaghetti squash have been linked to anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

These anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Anti-hypertensive Properties

Spaghetti squash is also believed to have anti-hypertensive properties, which can help reduce high blood pressure.

This could help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other severe cardiovascular conditions.

Additionally, the high fiber content of spaghetti squash helps lower harmful cholesterol levels, which can further decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Side Effects of Eating Spaghetti Squash Raw

While eating spaghetti squash raw has many positive health benefits, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects.

Eating spaghetti squash raw is linked to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping.

Squash contains a compound called cucurbitacin that can cause toxic squash syndrome. Symptoms of toxic squash syndrome may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.


Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash. It is related to pumpkins, zucchini, and gourds. The earliest records of it date back to the 1850s in Manchuria, China.

When cooked, its flesh separates into long, clear threads like angel hair pasta. There are many health benefits to eating raw spaghetti squash.

It has a lot of fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

Raw spaghetti squash is also low in calories, making it a good food for people trying to lose weight or stay the same size.

There is evidence that spaghetti squash contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help decrease inflammation throughout the body.

Spaghetti squash has a lot of fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol levels. This can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes even more.

Eating spaghetti squash raw can produce undesirable side effects like bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.

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