Swiss Chard may be a less popular vegetable in the United States than within Europe, but that may change. This cousin of spinach is known to be one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. In fact, some nutritional analysis comparisons show that Swiss chard is second only to spinach in the World’s Healthiest Vegetables list.
So what exactly is it, and what makes it so good for you?
Swiss chard is a vegetable that is part of the chenopod family. This group includes beets, spinach, chards, and quinoa. First, Swiss Chard has over 700% of your RDA for vitamin K! It also has over 100% RDA of beta-carotene (vitamin A) and more than 50% RDA of vitamin C – all in just a one cup serving. It also contains magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, zinc, calcium, copper, fiber tryptophan, biotin, and phosphorus – and let’s not leave out protein and selenium. You get all this nutrition for only about 35 calories. Talk about nutrient rich food!
Extensive testing has not been done on Swiss chard (unlike the closely related leafy green, spinach). The research which has been done shows a statistically significant correlation between Swiss Chard and increased blood sugar regulation. This suggests it has potential in treating or assisting diabetics in the future. This is not surprising as Swiss Chard is rich in fiber and protein (both blood sugar stabilizers). More studies are needed to understand the possible benefits of Swiss Chard for diabetes prevention or even reduction of symptoms.
Swiss Chard is an excellent source of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. The bottom line is this leafy green is also a low, high fiber, high protein superfood that you should be enjoying as a regular side dish.