Sunday, January 9, 2011

A smoothie for breakfast

A few weeks months back I changed my eating routine. I replaced one of my meals with a fruit and veggie smoothie. I usually drink it for breakfast because I can take it to go. The ingredients vary according to what's on hand and my mood. But, these are the core ingredients:
  • banana, super ripe, frozen or fresh
  • strawberries, frozen, unsweetened
  • blueberries, frozen, unsweetened
  • cinnamon, ground
  • spinach, raw and preferably organic
  • carrots, raw and preferably organic
  • Almond Breeze almond milk, original or reduced fat original
  • Almond Breeze almond milk, vanilla
Then I add this or that, depending upon availability:

I make between 32 - 48 ounces to replace a meal. I also eat raw almonds or roasted mixed nuts with the drink to balance out the glycemic load. The smoothie has a high glycemic load because of all of the fruit. However, the drink is a nutritional dynamo. My typical drink (without the antioxidant and probiotic mixes) is about 425 calories and contains the following percentages of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
  • 481% vitamin A
  • 251% vitamin K
  • 146% vitamin E
  • 100% vitamin D
  • 89% vitamin C
  • 81% manganese
  • 69% calcium
  • 46% vitamin B
  • 41% copper
  • 31% folate
  • 30% riboflavin
  • 29% magnesium
  • 27% potassium
  • 20% iron
and under 20% of the following nutrients
  • phosphorus
  • pantothenic acid
  • zinc
  • niacin
  • thiamin
  • sodium
  • selenium
and more. Now, compare this smoothie to a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of orange juice:

4 1/2" plain bagel, 283 calories
  • 44% thiamin
  • 40% folate
  • 37% iron
  • 36% selenium
  • 28% manganese
  • 22% niacin
and 0 to less than 20% for the remaining nutrients. Note that most of the nutrients in the bagel were added to the flour after it was stripped out during the milling process.

1 ounce of low fat cream cheese, 56 calories and 0 to 9% of any of the nutrients except saturated fat which is 13%.

1 cup of orange juice, 110 calories, 137% vitamin C, and 0 to less than 20% for any of the remaining nutrients.

So, what's the better choice?

If you want to see how your typical breakfast measures up, go to Self Nutrition Data to determine how your favorites rate. It's definitely an eye opener.

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