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Eating the Rainbow: ORANGE Foods

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Orange colored vegetables and fruits often contain high amounts of a phytonutrient called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is what gives orange fruits and vegetables their vibrant orange color.

Examples of orange foods include mango, cantaloupe, orange bell peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, oranges, carrots, persimmons and apricots.

Nutritional Uses:

  • Orange foods are a rich source of antioxidants that can help with repair and recovery.
  • Papayas are rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin C and enzymes that help us break down foods better.
  • Orange colored foods may even help in the context of fertility since we know those with higher antioxidant intake, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene is positively associated with fertility (2).
  • Carrots contain alpha and beta-carotene and including some regularly may lower risk of breast and prostrate cancers (1, 3).

Plant Compounds in Orange Foods: Beta-carotene, Alpha-carotene, Carotenoids, Curcuminoids, Bioflavonoids, beta-cryptoxanthin

Try it Out: The Orange Smoothie

Try blending your favorite orange foods- I personally like to mix pineapple, mango and carrots!

Did you know you can also throw in a few frozen butternut squash cubes or even frozen cauliflower (yes cauliflower) and you can’t even really tell? I know it sounds crazy – but it can be a great way to add in more color and variety. Blending them in also decreases the chance you’ll have symptoms too.

Start small though- to keep the main flavor profile – don’t add a lot.

If you make this smoothie and you are on instagram- tag us in your photo! @crohns_and_colitis_dietitian


1. Chen H, Shao F, Zhang F, Miao Q. Association between dietary carrot intake and breast
cancer: A meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Sep; 97(37):e12164. doi: 10.1097

2. Ruder, E. H., Hartman, T. J., Reindollar, R. H., & Goldman, M. B. (2014, March). Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility. Fertility and sterility.

3. Xu X, Cheng Y, Li S, Zhu Y, Xu X, Zheng X, (et al). Dietary carrot consumption and the risk
of prostate cancer. Eur J Nutr. 2014 Dec; 53(8):1615-23. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0667-2.
Epub 2014 Feb 12.