Its pumpkin season, the fields are orange, the kids are smiling, pumpkin patches are filled, and everyone is carving and painting away, but are these pumpkins being put to their best use?

Pumpkins are super cancer foods and are linked to reduced cancer risk, according to studies and a nutritionist's guidance.

Pumpkins are filled with great nutrients and are rich in antioxidants, which are believed to fight off cancer.

Antioxidants prevent free radical reactions that cause bowel contents to be carcinogenic. They can prevent a cell from becoming carcinogenic by the prevention of faulty metabolism in the cell, they protect the membrane of intestinal cells, and they boost the immune system.

“Winter squashes and pumpkins are packed with antioxidants, which are cancer fighting and beta-carotene which helps with eye sight, prevents oxidation, and helps to fight many cancers in the body,” Dietitian Amy Shapiro, MSRD and founder of Real Nutrition NYC, told Medical Daily.

Beta-Carotene, a colored red-orange pigment abundant in fruits and vegetables, is found in many foods that are orange such as pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, and mangos.

Beta-Carotene fights against cancer by boosting the immune system and releasing the chemical tumor necrosis factor, and can block the growth of potential cancer cells.

“Pumpkins are also great because they are high in fiber, which can prevent colon cancer,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro always recommends a high fiber diet for her clients.

“In addition to preventing colon cancer, it helps weight loss, its helps to keep everybody regular, and it also helps to decrease cholesterol,” she said.

As potential carcinogens move through the intestines and get in contact with the intestinal wall they can heighten the risk of colon cancer. Fiber helps to move potential carcinogens through the intestines and binds them, which reduces their contact between both carcinogens and the intestinal wall. The less exposure the intestinal wall has to carcinogens the less chance of getting colon cancer.

Fiber also prevents the growth of bacteria that is harmful to the body and promotes healthy bacteria in the colon. Fiber can also reduce the risk of breast cancer by estrogen in the bowels, which lowers the production of estrogen. The more the estrogen produced in the body the higher the cancer risk.

“Pumpkins are a great source of nutrition. It’s great for people to eat. It’s healthy, and it’s seasonal now,” said Shapiro.

“The seeds inside the pumpkin are also great in high fiber and low in calories,” she added.

Shapiro said she frequently buys pureed pumpkin in the can and makes it at home.

“This weekend I actually made homemade pumpkin pancakes for my family.”

She said she also takes a scoop or two of the pumpkin puree to put in her yogurt or cottage cheese and mixes it with cinnamon or nutmeg for a healthy, high fiber, high protein meal.

Shapiro also said that the nutrients in canned pumpkins are the same as fresh picked pumpkins, however she advises her clients to look at the can and make sure there is no added sodium.

Shapiro advises eating lots of earthy foods to live a healthy, long, nutritional life.

“Eat a lot of foods from the earth such as fresh fruits, fresh veggies, whole grains, eliminate meats, and extra vegetables,” she said.

“Make sure your plate has a lot of color on it.”