for complicated eaters

GOOD FOR YOU: SWISS CHARD

 

You might not have eaten a lot of it or even heard of Swiss chard, but it’s time you find out all about this nutritious super food. First, let’s look at its nutritional content:

One leaf, or 48g approx. of raw Swiss chard contains the following:

  • Nine calories 
  • 0.86 g protein
  • 0.10 g fat
  • 1.8 g carbohydrate
  • 0.8 g fiber
  • 0.53 g sugar
  • 24 mg calcium
  • 0.86 mg iron
  • 39 mg magnesium
  • 22mg phosphorus
  • 182 mg potassium
  • 102 g sodium
  • 0.17 mg zinc
  • 14.4 mg vitamin C
  • 0.019 mg thiamin
  • 0.043 mg riboflavin
  • 0.192 mg niacin
  • 0.048 mg vitamin B6
  • 0.91 mg vitamin E

It also contains vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K. I didn’t list them because they appear in different measurements which can be confusing. This doesn’t mean that the amount is useless: it just means that some nutrients are only needed in tiny amounts, so even something as small as a microgram is all you need for the day. As you can see, Swiss chard is highly nutritious, and contains a huge variety of both vitamins and minerals. 

The nutritious content above is for raw Swiss chard. When you cook food, it loses some of its nutritional content. For example, if you boil it in water, lots of vitamins and minerals will leave the Swiss chard and find their way to the water in the pot. This is why people love to make gravy from the juices in a pot. First, gravy is super tasty, and second, you still get to keep all the lovely nutrients in your meal. 

There are a few things you should pay attention to when you’re thinking about including Swiss chard in your diet. First, the sodium in the list above really just means salt, so you should be careful when adding extra salt. The amount of salt in a 48g portion of Swiss chard isn’t huge. It represents about 5% of the amount of salt you should be eating every day.

Let’s not forget: things like salt and fat often scare people away from eating something, but our bodies need these nutrients. As long as you stick to dietary guidelines and don’t go overboard, eating salt and fat is absolutely fine. It’s actually good for you! Fat and salt do have jobs to do you know! If you eliminated them from your diet entirely, you’d actually be less healthy.

Anyway, now that we’ve seen the nutrients you can find in Swiss chard, let’s talk a bit about why you might consider including it in your diet:

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits to eating Swiss chard. Many of the nutrients it contains prevent a range of diseases from cancer to diabetes. It is best known for its incredible amount of Vitamin K. Vitamin K will indirectly help you to avoid bone diseases because it helps the body absorb and retain its calcium levels. From brain function, to eyes, to mobility — this food will boost your body in a million ways!

Leafy Green Vegetables

Have you ever heard people talking about the importance of eating your leafy greens? Leafy green vegetables are some of the most nutritious foods out there, and you really can’t go wrong with them. Well guess what? Swiss chard is a leafy green. Spinach, kale and Swiss chard are all similar, and can be incorporated into your diet in similar ways. 

It’s Mediterranean

Yes, that’s right. Even though it’s called ‘Swiss’, Swiss chard is actually native to the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean diet is admired the world over for its ability to be rich and full of flavor while also being healthy. Have you ever encountered a person from Spain? I used to live with Spanish students and their diet was phenomenal. All of them were slim and had positively glowing skin. They genuinely looked incredibly healthy, and yet the meals they cooked were full of oils and meats and lots of variety. There was nothing in their diet that said ‘hey, I’m on a diet, my food has to be boring’. Their dishes were exciting, and we loved to join them and sample all of the spicy meats and roasted vegetables. Yum yum! Swiss chard comes from a place full of exciting food, so there’s no reason you can’t make it exciting too. Here is a delicious recipe that includes Swiss chard:

(Swiss chard Blitva recipe)

References

Swiss chard: Possible health benefits, uses, and risks

National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy: Basic Report: 11147, Chard, swiss, raw



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