benefits of swiss chard
. Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is scientifically classified as Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla, and it belongs to the family Chenopodiaceae. Swiss chard is actually a common name, but in reality, you can simply call the vegetable
. Chard is a tall leafy green vegetable commonly referred to as Swiss chard and scientifically known as Beta vulgaris. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile with a flavor that is bitter, pungent, and slightly salty. Swiss chard is truly one of the vegetable valedictorians with its exceptionally impressive list of health promoting nutrients. Although Swiss chard is available throughout the year, its
. Swiss chard isn t native to Switzerland. Its actual homeland of chard lies further south, in the Mediterranean region; in fact, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle wrote about chard in the fourth century B.C. This is not surprising given the fact that the ancient Greeks, and later the Romans, honored chard for its medicinal properties. Chard got its common name from another Mediterranean vegetable, cardoon, a celery like plant with thick stalks that
. Although chard has not been studied as extensively as other chenopod vegetables (like beets and spinach), there s no question about the valuable role that chard can play in support of our health, or about its routine inclusion in healthy diets worldwide. The amazing variety of phytonutrients in chard is quickly recognizable in its vibrant colors, including the rich, dark greens in its leaves and the rainbow of reds, purples, and yellows in its st
. Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrient richness of the World s Healthiest vegetables. It is also one of only three vegetables that we recommend boiling to help reduce its concentration of oxalic acid. Slice leaves 1 inch wide and the stems 1/2 inch wide and boil for just 3
Blood Sugar Benefits
. Multiple studies on animals have shown that chard has unique benefits for blood sugar regulation. In addition, chard may provide special benefits in the diets of individuals diagnosed with diabetes. Although large scale human studies have yet to be conducted in this area, lab studies and animal studies show that syringic acid one of chard s premiere flavonoids has the ability to inhibit activity of an enzyme called alpha glucosidase. Alpha glucos
Antioxidant and Anti Inflammatory Benefits
. As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) and the mineral manganese, and a good source of the mineral zinc, Swiss chard offers an outstanding variety of conventional antioxidants. But these conventional antioxidants are only part of chard s fantastic health benefits with respect to prevention of oxidative stress and diseases related to chronic, unwanted oxidative stress. Equally outstanding are chard
Support of Bone Health
. With its very good supply of calcium and its excellent supply of magnesium and vitamin K, chard provides standout bone support. Although many people have already learned about the connection between minerals like calcium and health of bones, the role of vitamin K in support of bone has not received nearly as much media attention. Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. Additionally, friendly b
Tips for Preparing Swiss Chard
. Rinse Swiss chard under cold running water. Do not soak chard as this will result in the loss of water soluble nutrients to the water. Remove any area of the leaves that may be brown, slimy, or have holes. Stack the leaves and slice into 1 inch slices until you reach the stems. Only the white stems of the Fordhook variety of chard are tender enough to eat. Cut stems into 1/2 inch slices discarding the bottom 1 inch portion. We don t recommend coo
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
. Toss penne pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cooked Swiss chard. Add zest to omelets and frittatas by adding some boiled Swiss chard. Use chard in place of or in addition to spinach when preparing vegetarian lasagna. Swiss chard is not indigenous to Switzerland, but is named after the Swiss botanist, Koch, who first gave it its scientific name.
The Healthiest Way of Cooking Swiss Chard
. Swiss chard is only one of three vegetables we recommend boiling to free up acids and allowing them to leach into the boiling water; this brings out a sweeter taste from the chard. Discard the boiling water after cooking; do not drink it or use it for stock because of its acid content. Use a large pot (3 quart) with lots of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add chard to the boiling water. If stems are more than 1 inch wide, cook them for 2 minutes
Swiss Chard and Oxalates
. Swiss chard is among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating Swiss chard. Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may a
. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, choline, vitamin B2, calcium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and protein. Additionally, Swiss chard is a good source of pantothenic acid, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, folate, and selenium.
In Depth Nutritional Profile
. In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in depth nutritional profile for Swiss chard is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
Swiss chard nutrition facts
. Succulent swiss chard, also known as spinach chard or silverbeet, is one of the popular green leafy vegetables of European origin. Botanically, it belongs within the beet family (Chenopodiaceae) of vegetables, which also includes table beets, sugar beets, garden beets, etc.
Very low in calories
. Chard is very low in calories (19 kcal per 100 g fresh, raw leaves) and fats, recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. Also unique among the health benefits from this chenopod vegetable has been its ability to help pancreatic cells regenerate. At this point research on the beta cells of the pancreas has been restricted to animal studies, and instead of food form chard, extracts from this plant have been used to evalua
. Chard leaves are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C. Its fresh leaves provide about 33% of recommended levels per 100 g. As a powerful water soluble antioxidant, vitamin C helps to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) through its reduction potential properties. Research studies suggest that regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C help maintain normal connective tissue, prevent iron deficiency, and also
. Chard 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.
How to Select
. Choose chard that is held in a chilled display as this will help to ensure that it has a crunchier texture and sweeter taste. Look for leaves that are vivid green in color and that do not display any browning or yellowing. The leaves should not be wilted nor should they have tiny holes. The stalks should look crisp and be unblemished.
. Do not wash Swiss chard before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the chard, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can blanch the leaves and then freeze them.
It is also rich source of omega 3
. It is also rich source of omega 3 fatty acids; vitamin A, and flavonoids anti oxidants like
It is also rich in B complex
. 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. Chard has a thick, crunchy stalk to which fan like wide green leaves are attached. The leaves may either be smooth or curly, depending upon the variety, and feature lighter colored ribs running throughout. The stalk, which can measure almost two feet in length,
Rich source of minerals
. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is 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.
Swiss chard is available at its best during summer months
. Swiss chard is available at its best during summer months from June until October. Chard can be harvested while its leaves are young and tender or after maturity when the leaves are larger and attained slightly tougher stems. In the store, buy fresh chard leaves featuring crispy, crunchy, brilliant dark green color.
Extremely perishable leafy vegetable
. Chard is an extremely perishable leafy vegetable, and for the same reason it should be used as early as possible once harvested. If at all to store inside the refrigerator, then, set its temperature below 35 degree F and high humidity level to retain vitality for 1 2 days.
Preparation and serving methods
. As in spinach, chard leaves should be washed thoroughly in clean running water and rinsed in saline water for about 30 minutes in order to remove soil, dirt and any insecticide/fungicide residues. Do not wash Swiss chard before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the chard, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where i
Used in salads
. Fresh young chard leaves can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sauted; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.
. Because of its high vitamin K content, patients on anti coagulant therapy such as warfarin are encouraged to avoid this food since it increases the vitamin K concentration in the blood, which is what the drugs are often attempting to lower. This effectively raises the dose of the drug and causes toxicity.
Swiss chard contains oxalic acid
. Swiss chard contains oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid eating chard in people with known oxalate urinary tract stones. Adequate intake of water is therefore advised to maintain normal urine output.
. The health benefits of swiss chard are amazing, and include the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, prevent various types of cancer, improve digestion, boost the immune system, reduce fever and combat inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, increase bone strength and development, detoxify the body, and strengthen the functioning of the brain.
. The many health benefits attributed to chard are due to its impressive list of vitamins, nutrients, and organic compounds, which include vitamins K, C, and A, as well as vitamin E, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. In terms of minerals, Swiss chard has a wealth of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, sodium, and copper. Furthermore, in addition to dietary fiber, Swiss chard has a significant amount of polyphenolic antioxidants, phytonutrients, and en
. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of Swiss chard is its ability to regulate the blood sugar levels in our body. Syringic acid is one of the unique flavonoids found in Swiss chard, and it has a very unusual ability. It inhibits the activity of a specific enzyme named alpha glucosidase. This means that less cards are broken down to simple sugars, which allows the blood sugar levels in the body to remain stable, and prevent the plunges and
. Like many leafy, green vegetables, Swiss chard has anti cancer properties due to the huge amounts of antioxidants found in it. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to become cancerous. Swiss chard contains significant amounts of vitamin E, C, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, kaempferol, beta carotene, and quercetin. Many of these have been connected to preventing a
. Swiss chard has a significant amount of calcium in those leaves, which means that Swiss chard is a major boost for bone health. Calcium, as well as the other minerals found in this vegetable help to stimulate bone growth and development, including magnesium and vitamin K.
. Swiss chard is a valuable source of both potassium and vitamin K, both of which are found in significant amounts in the brain, and are integral parts of boosting cognitive development and abilities. Add some Swiss chard to your diet and expand your mind!
. Iron and copper are both essential elements of red blood cells, and without those two minerals, people can develop anemia, which shows itself as weakness, fatigue, stomach disorders, and lack of concentration. By ensuring a proper amount of red blood cells by eating food like Swiss chard, you can increase circulation of the blood and oxygenation of essential organs within the body.
Blood Pressure and Heart Health
. The anti inflammatory and phytonutrient antioxidants found in Swiss chard, along with potassium, all contribute to reducing blood pressure and stress on the cardiovascular system. Some hypertension is due to pro inflammatory enzymes within the body, which the organic compounds in Swiss chard are able to neutralize. Therefore, Swiss chard protects those who eat it from a variety of conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
. Swiss chard has a huge amount of beta carotene, which has been linked in many ways to optimal eye health and a reduction in macular degeneration, glaucoma, night blindness, and other vision related conditions. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits including absorption of calcium from calcium rich foods plant foods that also contain oxalic aci
. Biotin is an organic compound that has been directly linked to healthy hair, the stimulation of follicles, and as a way to increase luster and texture. Swiss chard also has significant amounts of biotin, among its many other beneficial compounds.
. The earthy tasting Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrition. And with its rainbow assortment of stem colors, it s as pleasing on the plate as it is to the palate. Want to learn more? Here are nine facts that not everyone knows about Swiss chard, plus a Swiss chard low fat frittata recipe that takes leafy greens to a whole new dimension.
Origins of Swiss chard
. This leafy green was identified by a Swiss botanist and is a variety of Beta vulgaris. Today, Swiss chard is most popular in Mediterranean countries. Chard features distinctly large dark green leaves with prominent petiole well developed edible stalk. Generally, its leaves are harvested at various stages of maturity. While the whole plant with its tender young leaves can be harvested for salad preparation, individual large size, mature leaves wit
Alternative names for Swiss chard
. The plant has numerous monikers, including silverbeet, Roman kale, and strawberry spinach. Chard leaves are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C. Its fresh leaves provide about 33% of recommended levels per 100 g. As a powerful water soluble antioxidant, vitamin C helps to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) through its reduction potential properties.
The goosefoot family
. The tall leafy vegetable is a part of the goosefoot family aptly named because the leaves resemble a gooses foot. Other members are beets and spinach. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is 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 fact
Swiss chard rainbow
. The thick stalks are red, white, yellow, or green. All have a mildly bitter taste. Chard is an extremely perishable leafy vegetable, and for the same reason it should be used as early as possible once harvested. If at all to store inside the refrigerator, then, set its temperature below 35 degree F and high humidity level to retain vitality for 1 2 days.
Swiss chard growth
. Swiss chard plants can grow to 28 inches high. Fresh young chard leaves can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sauted; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.
Cooking Swiss chard
. Prepare Swiss chard by rinsing the crisp leaves several times in warm water. Leaves and stalks can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. The health benefits of swiss chard are amazing, and include the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, prevent various types of cancer, improve digestion, boost the immune system, reduce fever and combat inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, increase bone strength and development, detoxify the bo
Still more health benefits of Swiss chard
. One cup of chopped Swiss chard has just 35 calories and provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K. But skip this veggie if youre prone to kidney stones; it contains oxalates, which decrease the bodys absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney stones.
Why It s Healthy
. A half cup of cooked Swiss chard provides a huge amount of both lutein and zeaxanthin, supplying 10 mg each. These plant chemicals, known as carotenoids, protect your retinas from the damage of aging, according to Harvard researchers. That s because both nutrients, which are actually pigments, appear to accumulate in your retinas, where they absorb the type of shortwave light rays that can damage your eyes. So the more lutein and zeaxanthin you e
How to Eat It
. Chard goes great with grilled steaks and chicken, and it also works well as a bed for pan seared fish. Wash and dry a bunch of Swiss chard, and then chop the leaves and stems into 1 inch pieces. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saut pan or wok, and add two garlic cloves that you ve peeled and lightly crushed. When the oil smokes lightly, add the chard. Saut for 5 to 7 minutes, until the leaves wilt and the stems are tender. Remove the ga
Swiss chard is a member of the beet family
. Swiss chard is a member of the beet family, but it doesn t produce an edible bulbous root. The dark green leaves and the juicy leaf stalks (petioles), however, are completely edible and have high nutritional value. Thanks to its broad range of nutrients, Swiss chard is a real superfood with a whole range of health benefits.
Swiss chard varieties
. There are a number of Swiss chard varieties, some of which have white, yellow, or orange stalks while others have red, pink, or purple stalks. Some of the most common varieties with white stems include Perpetual Spinach (also known as Leaf Beet), Witerbi Mangold, Fordhook Giant, Lucullus, Orea, and White King. If you re planning to grow your own chard and would like to add some color to your garden, you may want to try some of the more colorful v
Swiss Chard Contains Almost As Much Vitamin K as Collard Greens
. The gorgeous green leaves and the juicy stems of the Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla) are packed full of vitamin K. In fact, eating a handful of fresh Swiss chard provides your body with almost as much vitamin K as eating a handful of collard greens. As you may already know, collard greens are considered a superfood par excellence, and they are particularly famous for their extremely high vitamin K content.
A Low Calorie Food with Weight Loss Benefits
. Eating Swiss chard may also help you lose excess body fat, when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Swiss chard contains practically no fat, and it is very low in calories: one ounce of cooked and drained Swiss chard providing only 6 calories! In addition, Swiss chard contains a good amount of vitamin C which may indirectly promote weight loss through its ability to stimulate the synthesis of carnitine, a compound that has been linked to improve
Swiss Chard Packs a Carotenoid Punch
. Did you know that Swiss chard is supercharged with pro vitamin A (carotenoids), with one ounce of boiled and drained Swiss chard supplying your body with a staggering 34% of the Daily Value for pro vitamin A (according to USDA s nutrition facts data for Swiss chard). Carotenoids and vitamin A play several important roles in the human body, but their best known health benefits relate to their eye health protecting properties. One case control stud
Buying Swiss Chard or Growing Your Own from Seeds
. Today, the regular chard with white stalks and green, ruffled leaves is available year round in the supermarkets in the US, UK, and Canada. During its peak season, you may also be able to find some of the more exotic varieties of the Swiss chard at farmers markets near you. Use the opportunity, and buy some less common chard varieties, such as red chard (e.g. Ruby Chard or Rhubarb Chard cultivars), or a bunch of rainbow chard which is typically
Potential Side Effects Linked to Chard s High Oxalate Content
. Like spinach, rhubarb, purslane, and some other green leafy superfoods, Swiss chard contains significant amounts of oxalates. In people with kidney problems, foods that contain high levels of oxalates may lead to severe health complications. In addition, people with certain medical conditions, such as Primary Hyperoxaluria and Enteric Hyperoxaluria, may be advised to limit their dietary intake of oxalate rich foods, including Swiss chard and red
. Chard is a seasonal leafy green primarily cultivated between June and October, but is available year round. Its leaves and stalk are both edible, although only the strong can handle it raw (please note: always wash your veggies thoroughly before consuming). It comes in three main varieties: Green (a.k.a. Swiss), Red and Rainbow. If you are new to Chard, I highly recommend braising it for your first culinary experience.
. Chard is a great source of vitamin K, A and C, and is a wonderful cauldron of potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is high in antioxidants, making it another great super food. Oh, and its low in calories. A single serving is merely 35 calories, yet contains more than 300% of your daily vitamin K needs. It is also rich in a multitude of B complex vitamins, including a lot of ones I cannot pronounce.
Cook it Anyway You Want
. Boil, braise, steam or saut you can cook Chard any way you want. Throw it up in the air and turn around once, you can chew on it raw if you like (remember to wash your veggies before you eat them). You can juice with it, chop it up and include it in your favorite stuffing mix or pasta sauces. The general rule with Chard is to cook the leaves like you would spinach and the stalks like asparagus. To properly wash Chard, it is recommended that you w
Swiss Chard Juice Nutrition
. As with many dark greens, Swiss chard is a highly nutrient dense food. A meager 19 calories (three cups) contains 122% of your daily need of vitamin A, 50% of vitamin C, and 10% of iron. Swiss chard is also very high in Vitamin E, K, B6, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber when eaten. Its a good source of zinc, folate and thiamin.
. Brain Health In addition to strengthening the bones, the vitamin K in Swiss chard is crucial for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system because it is essential in the formation of the myelin sheath, the protective layer around nerves.
. Swiss chard is high in iron, which is essential for maintaining the health of the circulatory system and the prevention of anemia. The vitamin K it contains promotes healthy blood clotting and prevents excessive bruising and bleeding. Those with a green thumb may also want to grow their own Swiss chard, red chard, or rainbow chard (seeds can be purchased hassle free through Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk). And, don t worry if you don t have a garden
. Even when its smothered in cheese sauce, topped with blue cheese or baked with lots of eggs, the greens are still plenty healthy (and plenty delicious). You can also bake the stems sprinkled with cheese and bread crumbs. Regardless of which chard variety you choose, your taste buds will be tickled with an intriguing flavor that s a lot like spinach, with a hint of beet. Due to its spinach like flavor and texture, Swiss chard is often used as a su
. Fill tortillas with cooked Swiss chard and scrambled eggs for a superb power breakfast. There are a number of Swiss chard varieties, some of which have white, yellow, or orange stalks while others have red, pink, or purple stalks. Some of the most common varieties with white stems include Perpetual Spinach (also known as Leaf Beet), Witerbi Mangold, Fordhook Giant, Lucullus, Orea, and White King. If you re planning to grow your own chard and woul
Lentil or bean soup
. Give soup an extra nutrient boost by adding the greens during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Swiss chard is a member of the beet family, but it doesn t produce an edible bulbous root. The dark green leaves and the juicy leaf stalks (petioles), however, are completely edible and have high nutritional value. Thanks to its broad range of nutrients, Swiss chard is a real superfood with a whole range of health benefits.
. Crust savory Swiss chard patties with panko and pan fry until crisp. Swiss chard has been around cultural diets for many centuries, probably for as long as beets, which go back thousands of years. However, since the two subspecies are so similar, it is difficult to trace the exact lineage or native region of swiss chard. However, it is grown most commonly and easily in the Norther Hemisphere, and is very popular as an ingredient for Mediterranean