Swiss chard, though named as such, did not originate from Switzerland. In fact, the very first varieties of this attractively hued leafy vegetable were traced in Sicily, an island off the Mediterranean Sea. The name only came about in the nineteenth century after seed catalog publishers used “Swiss” to differentiate from the various spinach varieties that came from France.
A hardy leafy vegetable, Swiss chard is known for its unique delicate flavor and is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. But aside from its characteristic taste, Swiss chard is packed with healthful goodness as well.
Read further and learn more about the benefits of Swiss chard and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends this vegetable.
Swiss Chard’s Benefits:
Just like collards, Swiss chard, too, is a potent source of vitamin K, specifically vitamin K1 or phylloquinone. One cup of cooked Swiss chard can impart more than seven times the recommended daily intake for this nutrient. Aside from vitamin K’s crucial function in blood coagulation, phylloquinone has been found in a study to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes in the elderly. As it turns out, dietary phylloquinone aids in blood glucose management and insulin resistance as well.
Swiss chard appears to have another diabetes-preventive property as well. In a study conducted in Turkey, administration of Swiss chard extract on artificially-induced diabetic rats resulted in the lowering of said subjects’ blood glucose levels. It was found that the extract brought about regeneration of pancreatic cells which are crucial to optimal blood glucose regulation.
This same Turkish study has confirmed Swiss chard’s liver-protective properties as well. Laboratory rats given Swiss chard extract were found to have lower levels of liver degeneration. Yet again, in the same study, Swiss chard’s benefit to the kidneys of diabetic rats was shown. After routine administration of this vegetable’s extract, said subjects had reduced levels of creatinine and serum urea, establishing Swiss chard’s protective effect to the kidneys.
Swiss chard’s attractively colored petioles or leafstalks have been found in a German study to contain chock-full of phytonutrients as well. As you probably already know, phytonutrients provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A cup of cooked Swiss chard provides approximately 3.5 grams of fiber as well. Eating Swiss chard then may prove beneficial overall in preventing the development of illnesses.
Swiss Chard’s Practical Uses:
Swiss chard is among the handful of vegetables containing measurable amounts of oxalic acid. The great thing is that said acid can be removed by simply boiling Swiss chard in a large stainless steel cooking pot with lots of briskly boiling water. Discard the water used for boiling and do not save it for vegetable stock as it contains the leached oxalic acid.
Swiss chard is available throughout the year though it’s nutritionally superior when in-season from June through August. If you’d like to eat the leafstalks, opt for the white Fordhook variety as the yellow, orange, red, and purple Swiss chard stalks tend to be tough even after adequate cooking.
To cook Swiss chard, ensure that the water is a rolling boil first before putting in the stalks that have been cut half-inch thick. Boil for two minutes and put in the leaves that have been chopped one-inch thick and boil for three more minutes. Once cooked, place in a stainless steel colander to drain or simply place in a plate and use a fork to squeeze out and thoroughly remove the excess water.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of kale that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
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