Health Watch - Halloween: Pumpkins

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Halloween will soon be here, so this week on Health Watch we’ll review some health and safety tips for enjoying this holiday. Pumpkins are a traditional element of Halloween decor, whether carved into jack-o’-lanterns or as part of a seasonal display. When you’re buying pumpkins, get an extra one to eat.

Pumpkins are an excellent source of nutrition. Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says pumpkin flesh is low in fat and calories and high in many essential nutrients, including vitamins A and C and potassium. Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber and vitamin B12. When choosing a pumpkin for eating, look for a smaller one that’s blemish-free. Smaller pumpkins have softer and tastier meat. Don’t throw out the seeds, whether you’re cooking the pumpkin or making a jack-o’-lantern. Oven-roasted pumpkin seeds make a good snack or salad topping.

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October 2010


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