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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard often referred as ‘greens’ is one of the leafy vegetable with bitter, pungent and slight salty taste. Swiss chard belongs to the same family for spinach and beets and shares similar characteristics and taste profile. It is available in the superstores all around the year but the months from June to August predominates its availability. The whole vegetable along with the leaves and the stalk is edible.

Health and Swiss chard

  1. Swiss chard has an impressive list of vital nutrients.
    It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of copper, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, zinc, phosphorus and protein.
  2. Swiss chard provides 306.3% daily value for vitamin K in 175 g or 1 cup of cooked vegetable that helps in maintaining bone health.
  3. Swiss chard provides very little calories, as low as 35 calories per 175 g but is an excellent source of pro vitamin A. the concentrated beta carotene content gets converted to vitamin A once consumed giving benefits of both the nutrients at once.
  4. Swiss chard helps to promote lung health, the vitamin A present in it helps reduce lung inflammation and risk for lung diseases.
  5. Magnesium in Swiss chard helps to regulate the tone of nerve and muscle by balancing the action of calcium. Along with calcium, magnesium is also important to maintain healthy bones. Swiss chard provides 37.6% daily value of magnesium per 175 g.
  6. The vitamin C in Swiss chard has potent antioxidant properties and is important for immune support. This water soluble antioxidant along with vitamin E in Swiss chard helps to decrease the oxidative stress in the body by scavenging the free radicals. Thus this decreases a persons risk to get diabetes, colon cancer, and atherosclerosis thus promoting a healthy heart. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in proper functioning of the immune system by preventing cold and recurrent ear infections.  
  7. Potassium is an important electrolyte to maintain nerve transmission and contraction of heart muscle. Thus Swiss chard plays an important role in maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Fiber in Swiss chard also helps to maintain normal blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels there by decreasing the risk for atherosclerosis, other heart diseases and colon cancer.
Take care of the oxalates present in Swiss chard, as they come under the small amount of food that contains measurable oxalates. Especially for people suffering from calcium oxalate stones in the body as oxalates when combined with calcium have a tendency to crystallize and cause health problems.
Submitted on January 16, 2014