[Recipe] Weight Loss Program: Banana Almond Green Smoothie

 

We’re still looking to make strides with our weight loss. Smoothies are a big part of our healthy eating plan, especially since I’m not good at eating greens.

This recipe includes romaine lettuce which gives loads of healthy green nutrients yet has a very mild flavor. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A and Folic Acid which is one of the B-Vitamins. It is also a very good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron and vitamin C.

Vitamins A and K are fat-soluble which means that if you live on a fat-free diet you will be lacking these nutrients. Why do we need these?

Vitamin K regulates normal blood-clotting, assists the transport of calcium through the body which contributes to bone health and may prevent fractures.

While Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction, and also helps with would-healing, the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. A healthy adult can convert about 3% of beta-carotene to Vitamin A in the body, although it is easier for the body to absorb it from foods that are naturally rich in it.

Good dietary sources of vitamin A include dairy products, cantaloupe, mangoes, sweet potatoes, dark-green leafy vegetables, carrots and pumpkin.

Also green tea.

 

Romaine lettuce is a heart-healthy food. The writer at WHFoods tells us that …

[It’s] vitamin C and beta-carotene content make it a heart-healthy green. Vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol becomes oxidized, it becomes sticky and starts to build up in the artery walls forming plaques. If these plaques become too large, they can block off blood flow or break, causing a clot that triggers a heart attack or stroke. The fiber in Romaine lettuce adds another plus in its column of heart-healthy effects. In the colon, fiber binds to bile salts and removes them from the body. This forces the body to make more bile, which is helpful because it must break down cholesterol to do so. This is just one way in which fiber is able to lower high cholesterol levels.

 

Equally beneficial to heart health is Romaine’s folic acid content. This B vitamin is needed by the body to convert a damaging chemical called homocysteine into other, benign substances. If not converted, homocysteine can directly damage blood vessels, thus greatly increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, romaine lettuce is a very good source of potassium, which has been shown in numerous studies to be useful in lowering high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease. With its folic acid, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber content, romaine lettuce can significantly contribute to a heart-healthy diet.

 

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