Health benefits of pumpkin

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- This year before you toss out the insides of your jack-o-lantern you might consider eating them. All that slimy stuff is packed full of nutrients and as Kristen Shanahan reports you might be surprised how many health benefits are inside that pumpkin.

The Stubblefilds picked out several pumpkins Monday afternoon for decoration, but Torrey and Teagan say they do not let the insides go to waste.

"I take the seeds out and bake them and put salt on them," Torrey said.

"They taste like sunflower seeds, but they're bigger and they look different," Teagan said.

The pumpkins the Stubblefilds filled their wagon with are exactly the kind farmer Marshall Cathey says are the best to eat.

"Your pie pumpkins, your luminas which are the white ones fairy tales, a lot of the decorative pumpkins those are the ones that are great to cook with. The taste is better. The texture is better," Cathey, with Elves Pumpkin Patch, said.

Organic farmer Forest Fogarty says the pumpkin is a squash that is full of more than just vitamin A, which helps with vision. It is also filled with...

"Zinc, phosphorous, calcium, everything that the human body needs to function is in there. You just have to make it delicious so you'll enjoy it," Fogarty said.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the ingredient -- beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A -- may play a role in preventing cancer.

"The pumpkins recognized mainly for body cavity cancers like colon cancer and things like that that it helps prevent," Fogarty said.

Also, pumpkins may be big in size, but they are actually low in calories.

"Pure pumpkin, raw pumpkin is really low in calories," Cathey said.

Nutritional facts show one cup pumpkin is only 49 calories and a source of fiber, which means the vegetable can keep you full longer causing you to not over eat.

All these health benefits are reasons Twana Stubblefild says she will try to keep this food on her family's plate all year round.


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