Although kale is often deemed the king of greens, Swiss chard is equally impressive in its wide array of nutritional benefits.Origin and Nutrition Swiss chard is a leafy green belonging to the Chenopodioideae family, which also includes beets and spinach ( 1 ).Consuming a diet high in the antioxidants found in Swiss chard may decrease your chances of developing certain chronic diseases.Summary Swiss chard is high in many antioxidants including beta-carotene and flavonoids, which may help prevent certain conditions like heart disease and lung cancer.Summary Swiss chard is high in fiber, an important nutrient that can help maintain weight, lower your risk of certain cancers and promote heart health.On the other hand, people who consume diets high in vitamin-K-rich foods have greater bone mineral density and lower rates of osteoporosis ( 20 ).Summary Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient essential for proper blood clotting and skeletal health.Swiss chard is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure ( 21 ).Many large studies indicate that people with a higher intake of green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard have a decreased risk of heart disease.One study in over 173,000 people linked every one-serving increment of leafy green vegetables per day to an 11% reduction in heart disease risk.Summary Swiss chard may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which may prevent heart disease.Consuming more fiber-rich vegetables like Swiss chard can improve symptoms in those with diabetes and insulin resistance and reduce the chances of these diseases occurring in the first place ( 28 ).Plus, Swiss chard is high in antioxidants, such as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve diabetes-related complications, including nerve damage ( 29 ).Summary Swiss chard is high in fiber and antioxidants, which may improve blood sugar control and lower your risk of diabetes.Filling up on high-fiber vegetables like Swiss chard can increase fullness after meals, reducing your risk of snacking and overeating.In a study in 120 overweight adults, those who received twice the amount of vegetables than the control group experienced greater weight loss and hunger satisfaction ( 31 ).A review of 17 studies in over 560,000 participants noted that those with the highest intake of vegetables were 17% less likely to be overweight or obese ( 32 ).Summary Swiss chard is a mild green that can be used in a number of dishes, including salads, pastas and sides. .

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

This leafy green was identified by a Swiss botanist and is a variety of Beta vulgaris.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.Prepare Swiss chard by rinsing the crisp leaves several times in warm water.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 you’re prone to kidney stones; it contains oxalates, which decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney stones.

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Kale Competitors: How Do Other Greens Stack Up?

Regardless, I've decided to compare kale to other dark leafy greens that may not be getting the recognition they deserve, specifically: collard greens, Swiss chard and mustard greens.As you can see in the chart above, kale does exceed the other greens in vitamins A and C, but Swiss chard has 16 percent more iron than kale.The amounts of calcium, vitamin K and magnesium found in these greens could also suggest that they may be beneficial for bone health.She assured me that you could use either kale, mustard greens, collard greens or Swiss chard for this recipe, and the dish would be equally delicious.Garlic, Greens and White Bean Soup (Serves 7).Add the onion, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.Add the greens and garlic, and saute until the greens are wilted.Add the broth, beans, rosemary, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, and the remaining lemon juice and salt.(Recipe adapted with permission from "1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes" by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN.). .

Chard Nutrition Information and Health Benefits

Chard and other leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses: They are very low in calories, carbs, sugars, and fat, but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.As a leafy green vegetable, chard has a negligible amount of fat (almost all of it unsaturated).Chard is also not a good source of protein, so you will need to consume other foods to get enough of this macronutrient in your diet.Like kale, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens, chard is highly nutritious.In fact, a CDC report on "powerhouse" vegetables gave chard a score of 89.27 (out of 100) in nutrient density..That means it has high amounts, per calorie, of 17 "nutrients of public health importance:" potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. The report says these powerhouse foods could be protective against chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease..Some of that protection could come from chard's antioxidants, which help the body fight inflammation and cell damage.Research shows an association between the consumption of leafy green vegetables and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease sometimes find relief from digestive symptoms when they follow a low-FODMAP diet.Calcium is an essential mineral that helps build and protect bones and teeth.For people who can't eat dairy products, chard offers an alternate source of calcium.Store fresh chard in an open (unsealed) plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.Eat chard leaves fresh in a salad or smoothie, or add to soups along with or instead of other hearty greens like kale.You can also wilt or sauté it with a little olive oil, garlic, and salt for a quick, easy, and nutritious side dish. .

Calcium and Strong Bones

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, mustard greens, and other greens are loaded with highly absorbable calcium and a host of other healthful nutrients.The exceptions are spinach and Swiss chard, which contain lots calcium but tends to hold onto it very tenaciously, so that you will absorb less of it.Dairy products do contain calcium, but it is accompanied by animal proteins, lactose sugar, animal growth factors, occasional drugs and contaminants, and a substantial amount of fat and cholesterol in all but the defatted versions.Exercise is important for many reasons, including keeping bones strong. .

Swiss Chard with Fresh Shaved Parmesan

Swiss chard is a fantastic source of vitamin A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber.And, when cooked properly, Swiss chard makes another delicious vegetable option for your meal rotation.The recipe provided here makes 1 serving, so if you are cooking for a family, you’ll need to double or triple the ingredients below.Sauté the spices for ~30 seconds, then stir in the lemon juice and Swiss chard.This Swiss chard with shaved Parmesan is filled with flavor and a great way to incorporate more green leafy vegetables in to your diet.Author: Heather Mangieri, RDN Ingredients 4 cups Raw Swiss Chared, Cleaned and Chopped.1 tbsp Shaved Fresh Parmesan Cheese Instructions Heat oil in a small sauce pan then add the garlic and pepper flakes. .

Kidney Stone Diet Plan and Prevention

Limiting intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones which is the leading type of kidney stone.A diet low in calcium actually increases your chances of developing kidney stones.The recommended calcium intake to prevent calcium stones is 1000-1200 mg per day (you can eat 3 servings of dairy products with meals to meet the recommendation).Sodium and calcium share the same transport in the kidney so if you eat high sodium foods it will increase calcium leakage in the urine.Therefore, a high sodium diet can increase your chances for developing another stone.Decreasing animal-based protein and eating more fruits and vegetables will help decrease urine acidity and this may help reduce the chance for uric acid stone formation. .

Swiss Chard vs. Spinach Nutrition

All of these factors make these versatile vegetables a vital part of a healthy, balanced diet.Examining the individual nutritional offerings of spinach and Swiss chard, which are members of the same vegetable family, shows that the greens have similar benefits.Spinach and chard are also both exceptional sources of vitamin K, both providing over 700 percent of the DV in one cooked cup.Spinach comes out on top in terms of B vitamins, which are important for helping the body metabolize food, produce red blood cells and ward off anemia.It's important to understand that even in areas where spinach is statistically better, Swiss chard is still a very healthy choice and excellent source of nutrients. .

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