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The Nutrition of Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a tall, leafy vegetable that is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It is also known as silverbeet. The leaves of the plant are ribbed and shiny. Its stem has various colors which makes the plant highly visible wherever it appears. The vegetable tastes like spinach but is bitter. It can be used as a raw ingredient in salads or cooked. When cooked, the bitter taste is reduced. The vegetable is rich in nutrients that promote health. A one cup serving of 35 grams provides 7 calories. You get 1 gram of protein and 1.4 grams of dietary fiber from this portion. The vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K. It also provides good amounts of magnesium, potassium and copper. These nutrients bring various benefits to your health.

Vitamin A

Silverbeet is a rich source of beta carotene. A serving of 35 grams provides 44 percent of the recommended daily value. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A which has several functions in the body. Studies have confirmed the vital role of vitamin A in healthy vision. It especially helps to promote night vision. Vitamin A reduces the risk of cataracts. These are formed when protein clumps together and clouds part of the lens of the eye. This impairs vision. Regular consumption of silverbeet can improve your vision and help to prevent certain eye-related problems.

Vitamin C

Silverbeet is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin with potent antioxidant properties. Vitamin C protects cells throughout the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. These radicals are sometimes responsible for causing cancer. They also increase the likelihood of heart disease. Free radicals promote oxidation of cholesterol. They also trigger inflammation in the body and cause mutation of DNA. Vitamin C helps to prevent these activities and boosts the body’s immune system. A serving of 35 grams of Swiss chard provides about 20 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. It is an excellent choice of vegetable that can help you meet your vitamin C requirements.

Vitamin E

This is a fat-soluble vitamin with a high antioxidant capacity. Along with vitamin C, it helps to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals. Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties which help to relive symptoms in cases of asthma and arthritis. It has also been established as a vital nutrient that promotes healthy functioning of the brain. One cup supplies about 4 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin E.

Vitamin K

Swiss chard is one of the few vegetables with very high amounts of vitamin K. A serving of 35 grams provides about 300 micrograms of vitamin K, which has been established as a vital nutrient for healthy bones. Vitamin K reduces cellular activity that disintegrates bone tissue. It also facilitates production of osteocalcin, a special protein that helps build strong bones.

Magnesium and Potassium

You get 7 percent of the recommended daily value for magnesium and 6 percent for potassium from 35 grams of Swiss chard. Magnesium helps to maintain healthy nerve transmissions. It also regulates muscle activity. Magnesium and potassium help to stabilize blood pressure. This promotes a healthier heart.

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