It has over 600 times the recommended daily requirement of vitamin K (helps bones build up calcium and blood to coagulate and heal more quickly). It can also provide up to the full daily recommended intake of vitamin A, (eyesight and immune system).
Recent research has shown that Chard is especially good at moving minerals from the soil up into its leaves. It ranks right up these with Broccoli and Spinach as provides of essential minerals to the body.
Chard is also high or has a good rating in magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, and potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
Chard helps the blood sugar-regulating system within the body by assisting to regulate activity of the enzyme called alpha-glucosidase, aiding in the slow release of glucose (sugar) into the blood stream.
Chard can come in a range of coloured stems. Regardless of the colour there are many health benefits to Chard. There are some slight benefits to pigmented stock such as Red and Rainbow Chard.
With organic versus conventionally grown Chard, research has shown higher levels of essential minerals and very low levels of potentially toxic elements like cadmium in Organically grown produce.
Chard I not a good keeper so cook soon after purchase. The stems are tough, so they can be trimmed and cooked separately because they will take longer to soften.
Cooked Chard will keep in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to 12 months.
Chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked with the raw leaves being a little less bitter than cooked
Here are a few added cooking suggestions:
- Add chopped fresh Swiss chard to other salad greens.
- Toss in a handful of chopped Swiss chard to your next stir fry, soup or omelet.
- Sauté Swiss chard in a little olive oil and garlic. Add a sprinkle of lemon juice and pepper before serving.
- Sauté Swiss chard in a little chili oil. Top with toasted sesame seeds.