A “super vegetable” if you're looking to pack in the vitamins, Swiss chard’s rainbow and ruby red versions are often confused with rhubarb, which is a fruit. .
Swiss Chard: Popular But Potentially Hazardous
Swiss chard has grown popular—very popular, if the amount of refrigerated space allotted to it in our local organic supermarket is an indicator.I asked the young man restocking the produce case if they had mustard greens, but like the other stores in town, he said they don’t carry them anymore.In my astonishment at the amount of store space devoted just to swiss chard, I commented on it as he piled it up.It has joined the ranks of kale and spinach as top sellers in the fresh greens department.But, a ½ cup of swiss chard has 4 to 7 times that amount – far in excess of what is considered “typical” and “tolerable” on a routine basis.Oxalates have enormous health consequences: If you happen to like nuts and swiss chard, spinach, or beet greens you could be heading for physical pain, poor sleep, or kidney stones.I never connected my weird symptoms of nightly hiccups, belching, restless legs, and poor sleep to my diet.So later, I was shocked when I accidentally cured my sleep problem by eliminating high oxalate foods like swiss chard (including my beloved sweet potatoes).As a last resort, I corrected this dietary mistake and was surprised at the results as we each recovered effortlessly from chronic health conditions.The produce aisle has become a loaded gun, and we are the innocent kids who have no idea about the dangers lurking there.If you want to avoid accidental harm from oxalate, drop the swiss chard, beet greens, and spinach.What mustard greens and romaine lettuce lack in hipness and glamor, they make up for by letting you sleep at night!The values of oxalate content presented here are based on testing performed at the University of Wyoming in Laramie on behalf of the VP Foundation. .
Swiss chard: Possible health benefits, uses, and risks
Along with other leafy greens and descendants of the beet family, Swiss chard contains high levels of nitrates, which been shown to lower blood pressure , reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance.However, consumers should not add salt to Swiss chard, because it already has 103 mg of sodium per raw cup, which is 4.5 percent of the recommended daily allowance.Swiss chard also contains lesser amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium .Many studies have suggested that consuming more plant foods such as Swiss chard decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality and promotes a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.These minerals are thought to reduce blood pressure by releasing sodium out of the body and helping arteries dilate.A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that foods that are high in dietary nitrates, like Swiss chard, have multiple vascular benefits.These include reducing blood pressure, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and preserving or improving endothelial dysfunction.Swiss chard contains chlorophyll, which may be effective at blocking the cancer-causing heterocyclic amines generated when grilling foods at a high temperature.In one study, beetroot juice, also high in dietary nitrates, improved performance by 2.8 percent over 11 seconds in a 4-kilometer (km) bicycle time trial. .
9 Healthy Facts About Swiss Chard
The plant has numerous monikers, including silverbeet, Roman kale, and strawberry spinach.The tall leafy vegetable is a part of the goosefoot family -- aptly named because the leaves resemble a goose’s foot. .
Swiss Chard: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and How to Cook It
Although kale is often deemed the king of greens, Swiss chard is equally impressive for its wide array of nutritional benefits.This article explains everything you need to know about Swiss chard, including its nutrients, health benefits, and potential downsides.Swiss chard is a leafy green belonging to the Chenopodioideae family, which also includes beets and spinach ( 1 ).Grown worldwide, it’s prized for its ability to grow in poor soils and its low need for water and light.There are many types of Swiss chard, some of which have colorful, jewel-toned stalks and veins that make this vegetable particularly pleasing to the eye.What’s more, Swiss chard is a good source of iron, copper, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E. This green is not only loaded with nutrients but also extremely low in calories, so it’s a great option to help you maintain a moderate weight.Summary Swiss chard is low in calories and high in magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.Potential health risks Though Swiss chard can be a nutritious addition to the diet for most healthy adults, some people may need to limit or moderate their intake.To help prevent kidney stones, try to stay hydrated, limit sodium intake, and get enough calcium ( 32 , 33 ).To help prevent kidney stones, try to stay hydrated, limit sodium intake, and get enough calcium ( , ).Summary Swiss chard contains certain nutrients and compounds that some people may need to limit, including vitamin K and dietary oxalates.Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing Swiss chard: Look for bunches that have brightly colored stalks and smooth leaves.Though buying conventional Swiss chard may be more cost-effective, some people may prefer purchasing organic varieties due to concerns about pesticide exposure and long-term effects on health ( 36 ).It has an earthy, somewhat bitter taste when consumed raw and a slightly sweet, milder flavor when cooked.You can wrap Swiss chard in a damp cloth or paper towel and store it in an unsealed bag in the refrigerator.Then, plunge the Swiss chard into ice water to stop the cooking process and drain it thoroughly before placing it in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible, and freezing it.It prefers cool or moderate weather, full to partial sunlight, and loose, well-draining soil.You can start harvesting Swiss chard once the plant is 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) tall by cutting the outer leaves.Be sure to sever at the base of the plant using scissors or a knife and avoid damaging the terminal bud.
Yes, You Can Compost Poisonous Leaves
As you harvest your rhubarb stalks this spring, you’ll find several websites warning you against putting the leaves in the compost.Not putting rhubarb leaves in the compost is just yet one more of the oh-so numerous gardening myths that simply refuse to die.If you simply leave rhubarb leaf blades on the ground, they quickly decompose and disappear.Being safe to microbes is one thing, but won’t the compost derived from rhubarb leaves remain poisonous to other plants?In fact, if ever it didn’t break down for whatever reason, plants simply couldn’t absorb it: it’s too big a molecule for roots to handle.So be reassured: there is no risk that plants exposed to compost made from rhubarb leaves will become toxic in their turn.The same goes for other poisonous plants in found in our homes and gardens: monkshood, dieffenbachias, foxglove, jack-in-the-pulpit, brugmansia, nicotiana, etc.They all contain products that are toxic to humans and some animals, a vast range of different poisons in fact… but there isn’t one microbes can’t handle.And think about it: potato leaves and stems are toxic to humans and yet generations of gardeners have been safely composting them.), giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)?Authorities warn against composting giant hogweed and wild parsnip, but that is mainly a question of safety when handling them and of accidentally moving an invasive plant to a new site.The two plants, in fact, break down quickly in compost and that includes the furanocoumarins that cause reactions in humans.Urushiol, the oily toxic product present on the leaves, stems and fruit of poison ivy, is a very different substance.If you cut back poison ivy, the best thing to do is to bury it where it falls and not disturb that area for a full year. .