Have you made a resolution to eat better and lose weight? Follow our month-long program of daily nutrition tips, created by dietitian Leslie Beck to change your lifestyle for January - and beyond. And to get your fitness on track, try our personal trainer-designed Boot Camp 2012 program .
DAY 14: Eat an orange vegetable
Carrots, sweet potato and winter squash are loaded with beta carotene, an antioxidant linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Some of the beta carotene you eat is also converted to vitamin A in the body, a nutrient that helps maintain a healthy immune system.
There’s no official recommended intake for beta carotene, but experts maintain that a daily intake of 3 to 6 milligrams is needed to help prevent chronic diseases. Guess what? A medium sweet potato packs 16.8 milligrams of beta carotene, half a cup of carrot juice has 11 mg, half a cup of cooked carrots has 6.5 mg (half a cup of raw carrots has 4.6 mg) and half a cup of winter squash has 3 mg. So it's not hard to get your fill.
Try one of these suggestions:
- Add a shredded carrot to an omelette, soup, green salad or pasta sauce.
- Add baby carrots or sliced carrots to a curry or stir-fry recipe.
- Add diced sweet potato to any soup (homemade or store-bought).
- Serve roasted sweet potato wedges instead of roasted white potatoes.
- Top cooked spaghetti squash, instead of noodles, with your favourite pasta sauce.
- Enjoy puréed squash as a side dish at dinner. Top with maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.
Want more information related to today's tip? Read on:
To live longer, pick your vegetables - and their colour - carefully
Go ahead, nuke those carrots
Missed earlier days? It's easy to get caught up.
DAY 13: Add ground flaxseed to your diet
DAY 12: Eat one vegetarian meal
DAY 11: Pass on the salt
DAY 9: Eat a leafy green vegetable
DAY 8: Drink a cup of green tea
DAY 7: Snack on fruit
DAY 6: Use a smaller plate
DAY 5: Eat more veggies
DAY 4: Practise eating slowly
DAY 3: Boost fibre at breakfast