You Are What You Eat: Swiss ChardPosted on Mar 25th 2008 7:00AM by Jacki Donaldson
I must admit I'd never heard of Swiss chard before this week when I came across a page in a women's magazine cheering on its merits. I'm a pretty standard veggie girl. Give me broccoli, peas, green beans, squash, a good salad and I'm happy. Swiss chard? Never did sit on a plate of mine. Yet I'm intrigued by this item. Here's what I'm learning about it.
I'll warn you first that Swiss chard is packed with sodium -- 313 mg per cup -- but it's loaded with good stuff too, like vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. A mere 35 calories come with one cup of this chopped stuff. Check out the rest of these nutritional facts.
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Calcium: 102 mg
Iron: 4 mg
Magnesium: 151 mg
Phosphorus: 58 mg
Potassium: 960 mg
Sodium: 313 mg
Vitamin C: 32 mg
Folate: 15 mcg
So what exactly is this Super Food?
Swiss chard is a relative of the beet family -- it's also related to spinach -- and is bred to have highly nutritious and flavorful leaves. The root, however, is not edible. Swiss chard can be eaten raw but most people enjoy it when it's cooked -- it can be steamed, roasted, grilled, or sauteed. It can be used on its own, as a dressing for pasta and other grains, and it's a great supplement for vegans and vegetarians. In the Mediterranean, chard is very popular and appears on many a pizza.
Ready for the health benefits of this super vegetable? Here goes.
Swiss chard, with its plentiful nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more helps prevent digestive tract and colon cancers and can also protect the kidneys of those with diabetes. It's good for bone health, lung health, heart health, vision, immune systems, and mental clarity. The list goes on and on. It's time to get cooking then. Check out these recipes for Swiss chard, which incidentally does not come from Switzerland -- a Swiss man did name it, though.
Swiss Chard Recipe
Wilted Swiss Chard with Garlic
75 Chard Recipes
And here are a few quick serving tips:
- Wrap Swiss chard leaves around your favorite vegetable and grain salad and roll into a neat little package. Bake at medium heat.
- Toss penne pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cooked Swiss chard.
- Add zest to omelets by adding some steamed Swiss chard.
- Use chard in place of or in addition to spinach when preparing vegetarian lasagna.