Swiss Chard is a tall leafy green vegetable with a thick stalk that crunches when you eat it. The stalks can be found in a variety of colors, such as white, red or yellow – white stalks are more desirable as they are more tender. The leaves are wide and fan-like, and dark green in color. Chard has a similar taste profile as spinach and beet greens. It’s salty yet slightly bitter. Both the stalk and the leaves are edible. Although it’s more common to eat cooked chard, raw chard is just as delicious and actually much healthier for you. Raw chard can be tossed in a salad, used to make wraps or roll-ups, good in smoothies, and great for juicing!
Swiss Chard is known for its health benefits too. Chard has a combination of phytonutrients plus fiber, and is effective in preventing digestive tract diseases such as cancer. Chard also has an effect on kidneys, by reducing serum urea and creatinine levels, which is helpful for those who suffer with diabetes.
Swiss Chard is also one of the most vitamin and mineral rich greens you can eat. Chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and of course, dietary fiber. “No need for supplementation here! Eat lots of Swiss Chard!” In addition, Chard is also a great source of calcium, copper, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folate, protein, phosphorus, niacin, and zinc.
Because of the “super” rich source of vitamins and minerals, Swiss Chard is a great food to eat to maintain eye and bone health, digestive health, and prevent a variety of cancers, including skin cancer and colon cancer. Chard is rich in antioxidants too since it’s an excellent source of vitamin C. Eating a diet high in Swiss Chard can also prevent strokes, due to the high levels of potassium-rich, and it’s great for the heart!
Swiss Chard is a super energizer, since it’s a great source of protein and iron. Chard is an all around SUPER GREEN FOOD! Be sure to eat lots of it! Swiss Chard is available all year round! However, Swiss Chard doesn’t stay fresh for long, so be sure to eat it right away. Only select Chard leaves that are crisp, and rich in color, have no brown spots, or holes. Organic is always best too! If the leaves are wilting, then don’t bother with it – the Chard is done and isn’t fresh. Don’t wash it until you are ready to prepare and eat it. This will slow down the wilting process, and keep it fresh and alive.
So be sure to try some delicious, nutritious, super green, Swiss Chard! You’ll do the body good!
For a delicious and simple recipe using Swiss Chard, link here.
Raw-Riffic Food, February 21, 2010