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DALLAS (KDAF) — Pumpkin flavoring is no doubt delicious. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin creme cold brew, there are so many tasty pumpkin options. But did you know that this fall favorite has many health benefits?

Registered dietitian Meridan Zerner at Cooper Clinic in Dallas joined us to talk about the health benefits of pumpkin.

The first order of business, though, is the distinction on whether or not you can eat pumpkin. In the traditional sense, when you think of pumpkin you probably think of the Halloween jack-o-lantern, naturally.

And yes, you could eat that. But, according to Zerner, it could be tough, grainy, and bland.

“So when we think about that pumpkin flavor, you’re going to want one of the little Cinderella pumpkins or the baby bear pumpkins,” Zerner said.

If that is too much for you to maneuver, no worries. Zerner says the canned pumpkin is just as good, which comes from a particular Dickinson pumpkin.

Of course, we think about pumpkin being used in sweet items, but pumpkin can be great beta carotene, Vitamin A source in savory foods, including:

  • Pumpkin ravioli
  • Pumpkin hummus
  • Pumpkin coffee
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Pumpkin pie spice on sweet potato

Pumpkin also is a great source of fiber. One cup of pumpkin has three grams of fiber. Pumpkin also is a great source of manganese and magnesium.

So, go all out this holiday season.

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