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Swish Chard Nutrition, Benefits

What is Swiss Chard ?

Swiss Chard is one of the superfoods consumed in the U.S. these days. Just like other green leafy vegetables, Swiss Chard is full of nutrients and is also rich in vitamins A and K. However, these nutrients will easily get lost with water and heat, so it is important to cook the vegetable in a short period of time in order to retain its nutritional content, texture, color and taste.

Swiss chard has a colorful stalk and tastes really good. The vegetable makes dishes, soups and salads more appetizing and healthy. Its stalk and leaves can also be steamed, sautéed or eaten raw.

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History of Swiss Chard

Swiss chard, which is native to the Mediterranean, was grown in Greece at around 400 B.C. Even then, the Greeks of the ancient times already recognized the medicinal value of the plant. However, it was a Swiss Botanist who first identified it officially and called it Beta vulgaris var. cicla. It was so named to make a distinction between the vegetable and the French variety of spinach.

It thrives in subtropical and cold climates.  And as it belongs to the same family as beets, it is generally cultivated for its edible roots.  Still, its leaves can be eaten, specifically when they are still young and firm. The vegetable has become a staple in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines.

Health Benefits of Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has nice, vibrant colors which indicate that it is rich in antioxidants. It has excellent amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, kaempferol, zeaxanthin, and quercetin, to name a few.  These all work to get rid of harmful invaders out of the body. The other health benefits of Swiss chard include:

  • Promotes better vision

Lutein is important for a better vision and Swiss chard contains excellent amounts of this antioxidant to keep the eyes healthy and even delay age-related eye problems.

  • Regulates blood sugar

The vegetable has significant levels of fiber and syringic acid which work in regulating the blood sugar at healthy levels.

  • Strengthens bones

Swiss chard is also rich in calcium as well as magnesium and vitamin K which are all important for strong bones.

  • Healthy blood

Iron is important to prevent anemia and maintain a healthy circulatory system. Swiss chard holds huge amounts of iron as well as vitamin K for healthy blood and prevents too much bleeding and bruising.

  • Optimum brain function

The high quantity of vitamin K found in Swiss chard is very important for optimum brain function and formation of the protective layers called myelin sheath around the nerves.

  • Cancer prevention

The presence of anti-cancer agents in the vegetable helps in preventing certain kinds of cancers.

Side Effects of Swiss Chard

Side effects may occur from eating too much Swiss chard. The vegetable has significant levels of oxalates which impede calcium absorption. Health problems might also appear when higher concentrations of oxalates are found in the body. Excessive consumption of Swiss chard will interact with other goitrogenic vegetables, thereby interrupting proper iodine absorption and may result in goiter.

Swiss Chard Nutrition

One cup of Swiss chard provides the following:

  • Calories – 7
  • Total fat – 0.07g
  • Cholesterol – 0mg
  • Sodium – 77mg
  • Potassium – 136mg
  • Total carbohydrate – 1.35g
  • Dietary fiber – 0.6g
  • Protein – 0.65g

Swiss chard pictures

 

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