What is Swiss-Chard?
A vegetable known by many names, including silverbeet, spinach beet, perpetual spinach, bright lights, crab beet, and seakale beets. Swiss chard is not only a superstar in Mediterranean cooking, but is also one of the most nutritious vegetables around today. It has distinctly large, dark green leaves, which are harvested at various stages of maturity. The whole plant with tender, young leaves can be used for salads, while the individual large-sized, mature leaves can be harvested for sautéing and cooking dishes.
Health Benefits of Swiss-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 bacteria in our intestines convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. All of these vitamin K-related mechanisms point to the importance of vitamin K-rich foods for bone health.
- Lower blood pressure
- Formation of red blood cells
- Cellular oxidation
Potassium is considered the “good salt” and has made headlines for its role in helping lower blood pressure, while iron is required for cellular oxidation and the formation of red blood cells.
Uses of Swiss-Chard
Swiss chard comes in various types depending on shine, crunchy stalks, and petiole. There’s the green stalk (Lucullus), Red stalk (Charlotte, Rhubarb chard), and multicolor stalks (bright lights). It
makes a colourful and tasty side dish, or a nutritious addition to pasta, soup, quiches, and more.
Nutritional value of Swiss-Chard
Swiss-Chard is a superb source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Swiss chard is also a recommended source of vitamin K, omega-3 fats, vitamin A, and flavonoid antioxidants such as beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It can also be counted on to provide B-vitamins such as folate, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid, which are all essential for cellular metabolism to function optimally.