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As you read through many of these smoothie recipes, you may notice that they are a tad higher in calories. Many of these smoothies are created as a meal replacement that is why. My goal here is to make sure I am getting in enough good quality calories, fats, fibers and protein. If you feel that any of these recipes may be a bit to heavy for you at the time that you want to make them, just decrease some of the quantities or omit an item. Don’t be afraid to play around. I added a bit more water and ice to this smoothie than normal and it kept growing in size therefore I couldn’t finish it. So now I have a beautiful full jar waiting for me tomorrow in the fridge. I often don’t put down as to how much the receipt yields in volume, the reason being is that sometimes I add more water or ice, depending on the consistency I desire at the time being. The nutritional value listed below is based on the ingredients, not the volume of the smoothie.
Today’s Super-Duper Whole Food Star….Swiss Chard
Here are some of the ways in which the nutrients in Swiss chard provide health benefits.
Vitamin K- The exceptionally high amount of vit. K in Swiss chard promotes healthy bones by limiting the activity of osteoclasts, cells that break down bone tissue, while at the same time activating osteocalcin, a bone-building protein.
Vitamin A- Swiss chard is an excellent source of beta carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A, known to be beneficial to the eyes. Studies have shown including high amounts of vitamin A in the diet lowers the risk of developing cataracts. Beta carotene is also linked to a decreased risk of skin cancer, and high amounts of vitamin A may help to protect the lungs from emphysema.
Vitamin C- The antioxidant properties of vitamin C protect the body from damage by free radicals, which cause many harmful effects including inflammation, mutations in DNA, and oxidation of cholesterol, which allows it to stick to the walls of arteries, leading to stroke or heart attack. Vitamin C is also important for a healthy immune system.
Vitamin E- A fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E prevents free radical damage and protects the cardiovascular system, and its anti-inflammatory activity helps to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and asthma. Vitamin E has also been shown to slow the rate of decline of cognitive function in older adults.
Vitamins B2 and B6- These vitamins act together to convert homocysteine, a harmful molecule that can damage blood vessels, into methionine, an important amino acid. In addition, vitamin B2 is involved in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant.
Potassium and Magnesium- Swiss chard is rich in the minerals potassium and magnesium, both of which are involved in regulating blood pressure and helping to maintain heart health.
Iron- Well-known for its role as a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, iron is essential for energy and protection against anemia.
Dietary Fiber- Including ample amounts of fiber in the diet helps to reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and protect against cancer.