By Beth Aldrich
What’s tall, white, red or yellow and has a thick fanlike leaves and a crunchy stalk? I’ll give you a hint the leaves and stalk of this nutritious powerhouse are edible. Give up? It’s Swiss chard! This under-rated soaring beauty is one to consider when you want to power-pack any meal.
This beautiful leafy vegetable, often lacking in the American diet, boasts more nutrients per cup than most other vegetables and has only 35 calories. With oodles of vitamin K, A and C, Swiss chard can’t be beat; and it’s a wonderful source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber. This long-legged beauty even offers good levels of calcium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B1,B2, and B6.
What is interesting about Swiss chard is its disease prevention characteristics. The unique, powerful combination of phytochemicals strengthen the immune system and helps fight diseases ranging from various cancers and type-2 diabetes.
Some of the benefits from consuming Swiss chard on a regular basis are a healthy digestive tract, thanks to the high fiber content and strong bones can be yours when you enjoy this leafy superstar, much in part to the combination of Vitamin K, calcium and vitamin D. Reduce inflammation, connected to heart disease and cancer, when you eat Swiss chard, because of the vitamin C and E present and keep your blood pressure stable with the magnesium and potassium in every bite.
Some simple ways to prepare Swiss chard are to simply chop in ribbons and toss in a salad or with pasta and olive oil or try stir-frying it up with other veggies and chopped chicken or tofu. Whether cooked or raw, this colorful veggie really stacks up.