Looking to the future, some scientists have proposed that Swiss chard ( Beta vulgaris var. cicla ) be the first green vegetable to be grown on space stations. Why is this? Partly due to chard’s properties, this Mediterranean plant has a high content of vitamins and minerals.
In the world, two varieties are mainly grown: white and green. And when you think of them, you may only imagine a good salad or a stir fry. However, both varieties of chard have medicinal virtues. So we invite you to discover them in this article.
- Scientific name: Beta vulgaris var. cycle
- Family: Amaranthaceae
- Species: B. Vulgaris
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Caryophyllales
chard nutritional information
Some of the nutritional properties that each 100 grams has are:
- Fiber : 1.6 grams
- Calcium : 51mg
- Iron : 1.80mg
- Magnesium : 81mg
- Phosphorus : 46 mg
- Potassium : 379mg
- Sodium: 213mg
- Zinc : 0.36mg
- Vitamin C : 30mg
- Carotene, beta : 3647 mcg
- Carotene, alpha : 45 mcg
What is chard for? Properties
They may be one of the least popular vegetables among children, so you may have to fight to get them to eat them. However, it must be admitted that its appearance does not do it justice. However, countless nutritional properties are hidden behind that appearance, such as those we will now mention.
- Contains vitamin C and vitamin K.
- It is an important antioxidant.
- It has more iron than spinach.
- It has high levels of potassium.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Helps control cholesterol.
Benefits of chard for health
Among the most outstanding characteristics of chard, its nutritional profile can be pointed out since the vitamins and minerals it possesses are essential for human well-being. Now we will indicate some of its benefits.
Your dietary fiber
First of all, this fiber is necessary for controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood because they stimulate the release of bile acids that expel these lipids out of the body.
Second, it contributes to a healthy gastrointestinal system. It does this by promoting intestinal transit, supporting the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids, and combating constipation, thus reducing the risk of colorectal or stomach cancer.
Improves blood coagulation
Other benefits of chard come from its content of vitamin K. Since the body requires this vitamin to activate some blood coagulation factors, this green vegetable makes an excellent contribution to the body.
Because a cup of chard provides 716% of the daily requirement of vitamin K, it is essential in preventing bleeding and the appearance of bruises in the body.
strengthen your bones
Thanks to the fact that it is rich in vitamin K, a nutrient used by the body to synthesize osteomalacia, essential in the formation and maintenance of bones.
According to health specialists, people with adequate vitamin K intake are less likely to suffer from bone fractures and develop osteoporosis. In addition, being a source of calcium, it contributes to increasing bone mineral density.
For good cardiovascular health
Being a vegetable abundant in potassium, chard helps keep your blood pressure balanced, as it stimulates the relaxation of blood vessels.
On the other hand, the minerals it possesses, such as magnesium and calcium, constitute an excellent contribution to the cardiovascular system by stabilizing blood pressure and keeping the blood vessel tissue in good condition. And since it contains dietary fiber, it regulates LDL cholesterol levels.
How to use chard?
Although chard is a natural wonder, it is best to consult your doctor about its medicinal uses, especially under anticoagulant treatment due to its vitamin K component.
In pharmaceutical establishments, you can get chard in capsule presentations, and it is also usually used in juices. Briefly, we will explain its uses.
- Juices. Using the chard leaves, you can obtain a liquid, which some recommend administering by drops in the nose to relieve dryness in the nostrils and headaches.
- Capsules. They are usually available at the pharmacy in the form of food supplements.
Advantages and disadvantages of Swiss chard
Its minerals and vitamins make Swiss chard an essential vegetable for maintaining healthy skin, good vision, and more muscular-skeletal and immune systems. Now, we invite you to remember its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of eating Swiss chard
- It helps prevent conjunctivitis and glaucoma.
- Promotes digestion of food
- Containing iron and folic acid, it combats anemia.
- It is helpful to avoid constipation.
- Its consumption can help lose weight.
- It helps regulate cholesterol levels.
- Improves blood circulation
Disadvantages of chard
- Chard can produce a lot of vegetable sodium oxalate, and since these are one of those responsible for the development of kidney stones, those who suffer from it should not consume it.
- It should be ingested with great caution in the case of people with anticoagulant treatments.