Organic pumpkins aren’t just for pie this time of year. They may, in fact, be one of nutrition’s best-kept secrets.
Pumpkins are packed with a cancer-fighting nutrient called carotenoid, says registered dietitian Stephanie Meyers, a nutritionist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Carotenoids have been linked to the prevention of colon, prostate, breast and lung cancer, she says.
You can eat pumpkin year-round by including it in soups, ravioli stuffing and bread.
Other orange foods rich in carotenoids include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Squash, including acorn and butternut
One important note: Eating foods rich in carotenoids provides a greater protective benefit than taking carotenoid supplements in pill form, Meyers says.