Friday, June 18, 2010

Pink Swiss Smoothie

Today's smoothie is sweet on it's own, but would probably appeal to unseasoned green smoothie drinkers more if it had a shot of agave or honey in it.

The calories for the entire recipe comes out to about 350. This recipe makes about 2.5 to 3 servings.

Here is the recipe:

1/4 c. tofu
1/4 c. skim milk
1/4 c. apple juice
1/4 c. water
1 frozen banana
1/3 c. frozen strawberries
1/4 c. frozen pineapple
1 ice cube of swiss chard or a few leaves
handful of ice
shot of vanilla extract

Pros and Cons of Swiss Chard:

Strong flavor and some aftertaste


Swiss chard like spinach is the store house of many phytonutrients that have health promotional and disease prevention properties.

Very low in calories (19 kcal per 100 g fresh, raw leaves) and fats; recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

Chard leaves are an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C. Its fresh leaves provide about 33% of recommended levels per 100 g. As an anti-oxidant, vitamin C helps to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) through its reduction potential properties. Lab studies suggests that regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps maintain normal connective tissue, prevent iron deficiency, and also helps body develop resistance against infectious agents by boosting immunity.

It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

It is also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin-A and flavonoids anti-oxidants like ß carotene, alpha carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.

It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Regular inclusion of swiss chard in the diet is found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.


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