The most important thing to know about Swiss Chard is that it’s an incredibly nutritious and healthy vegetable. Since deeply colored green leafy vegetables are known for their source of antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients, Swiss Chard is no less.
It contains the kind of nutrients that benefit weight loss, reduce inflammation, fight free radical damage, promote healthy bones, and do much more. They also offer anticancer and antidiabetic properties. They regulate natural cell metabolism, blood pressure, and glucose levels to prevent renal and heart diseases. They’re good sources of vitamin K, iron, potassium, and other nutrients. There are many science-backed reasons to love and eat more Swiss Chard.
1. Vitamin K Present in Swiss Chard Prevent Bone Weakness
Swiss Chard can help strengthen weak and fragile bones.
This is because it contains high amounts of vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for supporting bone health. It treats age-related bone weakness and also affects blood clotting to reduce proliferation of osteoporosis.
Bone health is important because it affects how you function from childhood to old age. Bones that break or fracture easily almost always leads to arthritic conditions as you get older. Lack of physical activity, calcium deficiency, genetic factors, hormone levels, etc. affect bone health dramatically. Hence, to fight damaged and old bones, an increase in vitamin K diet is necessary. (1,2)
Vitamin K is concentrated in Swiss Chard as a therapeutic nutrient for preventing bone-related diseases and infections. It has long-term health effects on reducing fracture risk osteoporosis risk in adults. According to the recent study, vitamin K deficiency is associated with lower levels of bone mineral density and higher risk of osteoporosis.
Key Takeaway: In the bone, an increase in bone mineral density with the help of vitamin K reduces fracture risk and osteoporosis risk. After you consume Swiss Chard, the vitamin K is absorbed in the bloodstream which impacts bones, joints, and ligaments to prevent damage and breaks.
2. Swiss Chard is a Good Source of Antioxidants to Prevent Liver Diseases
Did you know that Swiss Chard is loaded with antioxidants that are beneficial for reducing chronic diseases such as liver disease?
Swiss Chard contains PQQ, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps reduce liver disease induced by inflammation, oxidative stress, obesity, and many other factors. It also prevents cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer; all of which are common markers of liver disease in adults. (3)
In another study on Swiss Chard, the antioxidant and phenolic compound capacity of this veggie showed positive results in destroying free radical damage in the body. This indicates that other disease proliferating due to excessive oxidative stress in the body may be controlled and prevented with the help of antioxidants present in Swiss Chard. (4)
Swiss Chard also contains vitamin C and E which are natural antioxidants to help prevent diseases. They boost metabolism to neutralize free radical in the bloodstream. (5)
Key Takeaway: Swiss Chard contains many powerful phenolic antioxidants that prevent the development of chronic diseases such as liver diseases induced by free radical damage in the body. They help neutralize free radical in the blood which is proven to be helpful for cell metabolism.
3. Eating Swiss Chard has a Positive Effect on Lowering High Blood Pressure
Several studies show that Swiss Chard can reduce high blood pressure or hypertension in healthy individuals. It also reduces artery blockage or stiffness, inflammation, and reduce platelet aggregation for stimulating proper blood pressure levels in the human body. (6)
Swiss Chard is used in modern sciences for its antihypertensive and hypoglycaemic properties. It contains vitexin, apigenin flavonoids, and many powerful antioxidants that prevent hypertension. (7)
Hypertension or high blood pressure comes with no symptoms, but can be detected with a simple test. Foods with less salt and fats help lower blood pressure, coupled with less stressful environments and exercise.
Swiss Chard contains the proper nutrients that prevent endothelial dysfunction. They also dramatically reduce platelet aggregation for lowering blood pressure induced by inflammation or oxidative stress.
This prevents cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The minerals present in Swiss Chard alleviate circulation resistance to promote blood vessel health and proper heartbeat. This brings blood pressure levels to normal under natural circumstances.
Key Takeaway: The amount of antioxidants found in Swiss Chard dramatically affect blood pressure levels in healthy individuals. Swiss Chard is an antihypertensive food containing minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants for proper blood regulation. It also restricts arteries buildup, blood flow blockage, and vessel constriction.
4. The Phenolic Compounds in Swiss Chard Destroys Cancer Cells
If you want to destroying cancer cells more aggressively, then you should know that Swiss Chard helps you do that.
It contains many antioxidants and phytonutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids, quercetin, etc. that have anticancer properties. These Swiss Chard extracts destroying rapidly growing cancer cells in the body while stabilizing fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are responsible for proper regulation of the connective tissue. (8)
It also contains vitamin A which helps block colon cancer. It helps induce stem cells growth that blocks tumor progression and neutralizes the body’s immune response towards damaged cells. As cancer cells rapidly grow out of proportion, they destroy stem cell health, increasing risk of colon cancer in healthy individuals. (9)
Vitamin C and E, which are present in exceptionally high amounts after vitamin K, also inhibit tumor growth. Increased intake of such vitamins is essential for preventing liver, skin, colon, prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancer. (10)
And thanks to the antioxidant capacity of Swiss Chard, it also have chemo-protective and chemo-preventative properties as an alternative cancer treatment.
Key Takeaway: The phenolic compounds, vitamins, and minerals present in Swiss Chard stimulate proper cellular health and immune response. This helps destroy aggressive cancer cells and tumors in the body.
5. Swiss Chard is Loaded with Powerful Vitamin K that Can Promote Bone Health
Swiss Chard stimulates proper bone and muscle health. This helps in preventing frequent bone breaks and fractures in older adults.
Vitamin K, present in Swiss Chard, is a vital nutrient for optimal bone health. It reduces blood clotting, increases bone mineral density, and fights abnormal bone mineralization. It also regulates bone metabolism.
There are plenty of studies that prove that an increased vitamin K diet can improve bone health by 50%. (11)
Vitamin K contains proteins such as napthoquinones that regulate proper bone function. They reduce proliferation of damaged and old bones by preventing symptoms of osteoporosis and fracture risk.
Calcium is also a key ingredient in protecting bones from age-related diseases and fracture risk. They prevent bone mineral loss in patients with weak bones and osteoporosis. (12)
It’s clear that scientific studies demonstrate a positive effect of vitamin K on bone health. It also states that calcium plays an important role in preventing bone fractures, bone breaks, and other age-related symptoms.
Key Takeaway: Swiss Chard can strengthen bone health by increasing bone mineral density back to normal. It also improves bone mineralization.
6. Swiss Chard May Prevent Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline is a major health problem, affecting millions of people worldwide.
It can occur due to genetic factors, environmental factors, and age. But there are ways to prevent and treat cognitive decline, especially with the help of nutritious fruits and vegetables.
It has already been established that Swiss Chard contains high amounts of beta-carotene.
Beta carotene, as study suggests, may reduce prolonged cognitive damage due to oxidative stress. A new report indicates that men who take beta carotene for more than 15 years, in the form of fruits and vegetables, are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline.
This study focused on two groups of men for over 18 years. They took the participants beta carotene intake as opposed to participants who took placebo.
The results showed that there was a significant improvement in verbal memory and other cognitive factors in those mean who consumed beta carotene everyday. This also helps reduce the risk of dementia in older people. (13)
Other studies have shown that Swiss Chard contains high betalain levels which help reduce stress-related brain disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. It also helps prevent free radical damage in the brain which might lead to Alzheimer’s diseases. (14)
Key Takeaway: Several studies show that Swiss Chard eaters have a lower risk of development cognitive diseases, the kind that’s currently affected millions of people worldwide.
7. Biotin in Swiss Chard Can Dramatically Improve Skin Health
People often eat healthy fruits and vegetables for internal organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, the brain, etc. But what about the largest organ in the body? Your skin always needs the daily nutritious intake to remain healthy and glowing.
Studies suggest the Swiss Chard contains all necessary nutrients for healthy skin.
To begin with, vitamin C plays a role for skin health as a powerful antioxidant. It treats skin conditions induced by radiation and aging. It also prevents skin pigmentation.
The skin is highly reactive to free radical in the body. Reactive oxygen species, if grown out of control, can drastically impact the skin on a cellular level causing DNA damage. To help neutralize the effect of free radicals on the skin, high amounts of vitamin C is required as an antioxidant. (15)
It also protects the skin from harmful UV rays that otherwise cause collagen damage.
Moreover, eating at least 3 ounces of Swiss Chard on a daily basis has proven health benefits for the skin and the body. People who consumed high levels of such green leafy vegetables showed lower levels of skin wrinkling caused by sun exposure. (16)
Lastly, Swiss Chard contains all those essential nutrients need for glowing and natural-looking skin. They include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. (17)
Key Takeaway: People who eat Swiss Chard everyday have a much lower risk of developing skin diseases caused by sun exposure, chemicals, and oxidative stress.
8. Swiss Chard Contains Many Nutrients That Protect You From Eye Diseases
Eye diseases such as macular degeneration is one of the leading diseases in older adults.
Apart from common medication, you should know that certain nutrients help prevent and treat commonly occurring eye problems and chronic diseases. (18)
Swiss Chard consists of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene that play a significant role in the prevention of eye diseases.
Vitamin C, once absorbed into the bloodstream, improves eye metabolism. Being a powerful antioxidant, it protects the eye from oxidative stress induced by environmental factors such as light, smoke, sun, etc.
Vitamin E reduces oxidation in the retina of the eye by neutralizing inflammation and oxidative stress. It is an antioxidant responsible for inhibiting lipid oxidation, which is one of the leading causes of macular degeneration in most older adults.
Beta carotene, along with vitamin C, A, and E, regulate proper cellular function. It also prevents age-related eye diseases including cataracts. (19)
Such antioxidants have a direct impact on eye health, preventing glaucoma, retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataract. People consuming high amounts of antioxidants have a much lower risk of development eye-related diseases, especially those who consume vitamin A on a daily basis. (20,21)
Key Takeaway: Swiss Chard protects the eyes against age-related diseases and infections. It strengthens the cornea, retina, and macula. Any sort of disturbance in the eye may be correct with a daily intake of all the healthy nutrients present in Swiss Chard.
9. Swiss Chard Contains Potassium Which Supports Heart Health
Swiss Chard is a green leafy vegetable containing potassium.
For those of who don’t know, potassium is a very important nutrient that supports cardiovascular health. It has beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A daily consumption of potassium lowers blood pressure and decreasing risk of heart diseases in individuals. Potassium directly affects the heart, liver, and the digestive system. The body’s digestive and heart system go hand-in-hand to prevent high blood pressure levels, raised cholesterol levels, and improper glucose levels.
By preventing renal disease, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol levels, potassium benefits the heart to a great extent. (22)
As opposed to diets high in salt and fats which have a negative impact on the heart, replacing your daily diet of fatty foods with Swiss Chard will help you live longer. The fact that potassium can battle against so many symptoms of heart diseases including hypertension, glucose levels, cholesterol, kidney health, and inflammation is sufficient for you.
It also reduces the risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias in heart disease patients. (23)
Key Takeaway: Potassium has beneficial effects on the heart. Your blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and overall heart health can be improved with Swiss Chard supplementation.
10. The Iron Present in Swiss Chard Lowers Your Risk of Anemia
Anemia is characterized by lack of hemoglobin production in the body. It is also characterized by low levels of red blood cells in the body. When your red blood cell count is lower than normal, it leads to low hemoglobin levels. This leads to lack of proper organ function.
One of the main causes of anemia is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency takes a serious toll on the body causing fatigue, bone weakness, kidney diseases, etc. It could also lead to hypertension and the development of many heart conditions. (24)
With an increased iron-rich diet, you can prevent the onset of anemia and increasing production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Iron also promotes proper food absorption and transportation in the body.
People with iron deficiency anemia may face other life-threatening conditions such as blood loss, neurocognitive diseases, immune dysfunction, and congestive heart failure. (25)
Swiss Chard’s high level of potassium can prevent such abnormalities that take a toll on your entire digestive, heart, and cognitive system.
Key Takeaway: Swiss Chard appears to have anemia-reducing properties with its high iron nutrient content. It has benefits of reducing risk of kidney and heart failure, increasing hemoglobin production in the blood, and promoting proper food absorption in the body.
6 Creative Swiss Chard Recipes
The health benefits of Swiss Chard are aplenty, and you know that now, don’t you? So here comes the delicious part of the article. There are several creative ways to use this vegetable to cook up starters, light meals, as well as main course.
Swiss Chard has large, crinkled, flat green leaves resting on fleshy, thick ribs and stalks. They have a complex yet rich taste, and are popular in French and Italian cooking.
You should also know that spinach beet, white beet, seakale beet, leaf beet, and chard are the other names of Swiss Chard. They come in different varieties of yellow, white, pink, and red stalks. So let’s find out how we can use them in our cooking to make the most of this body and life enhancing vegetable.
1. Chicory Gratin
A simple-to-prepare Belgian dish to take your main course meal to a whole new level.
6 pcs of white peppercorns
2 pinches of sea salt
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
4 heads of yellow chicory
10g of unsalted butter
2 small stalks of Swiss Chard, chopped (both leaves and stalks)
For cheese sauce:
Some white pepper, freshly ground
A pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
100g of finely grated Comte or British cheese
450ml of whole milk
35g of plain flour
35g of unsalted butter
50g of finely grated Comte or British cheese
4 slices of cooked ham
To prepare the chicory, add the sugar, peppercorns, some water, salt, and lemon juice into a saucepan. Medium heat the saucepan and cover it with a layer of baking paper along with a small lid. Once it starts to boil, simmer for not more than 45-50 minutes.
Then wait for the chicory to drain as well as cool. Following which, you can use a tea towel to absorb some of the extra moisture.
Now for the chard, preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Place the butter and 100ml of oz water into another saucepan and set it on high heat. Let the stalks cook for at least 20 minutes while adding some more water when needed. Once they become tender, lift and cook them for 2-3 minutes. Strain and mix up the leaves and stalks before arranging them into a gratin dish.
Now it’s time to cook up that cheese sauce. Melt the unsalted butter on a small-sized saucepan before adding flour into it. Whisk the blend until it becomes smooth. Then cook the ingredients until they turn nutty blonde. Turn off the heat for just a second to whisk the milk into it and cook the paste until it thickens.
Then add mustard and cheese into the saucepan and wait for the cheese to melt completely.
To put together the gratin, you have to fold the 4 slices of ham in half. And place the 4 chicory heads on all the slices. Pour the cheese over it, and feel free to sprinkle some extra cheese on top. Bake the whole thing for not more than 25 minutes until it turns golden-brown.
2. Buckwheat Pasta Adorned with Swiss Chard and Potatoes
You’ll be grateful to Northern Italy for coming up with this delicious cheesy buckwheat pasta paired with Swiss Chard and potatoes.
300g of pizzoccheri pasta
200g of Swiss Chard (only the leaves)
80g of unsalted butter
100g of Parmesan, freshly grated
200g of peeled and chopped waxy potatoes
Black pepper, freshly ground
3 sliced garlic cloves
300g of cut up toma or bitto cheese
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celsius.
Put the pasta, Swiss Chard, and potatoes into a large-sized saucepan. Cover the ingredients with boiling water and some salt. Cook until it turns soft, which should not take more than 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, take a small-sized frying pan to melt the unsalted butter. Fry the 3 garlic cloves in it until cooked.
Drain the pasta, chard, and potatoes and place it in an ovenproof dish. You can bring in the cut up cheese. Pour all of this over the garlic and butter paste. Sprinkle the parmesan over this. Add the seasoning on top and mix it all together.
Bake the dish for not more than 20 minutes and serve it hot!
3. Apricot Vinaigrette Chard Salad
There’s nothing more tangy and fruity than this composed yet delicious chopped Swiss Chard salad.
1/2 ounce of crumbled goat cheese
1 tsp of black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp of green onions, chopped
2 tbsp of toasted walnuts
15 ounces of canned chickpeas, washed and drained
6 cups of Swiss Chard, chopped
1 tsp of Dijon mustard, whole-grain
1 1/2 tbsp of apricot preserves
2 tbsps of vinegar, white wine
2 tbsp of olive oil, extra virgin
1/4 cup of shallots, thinly sliced
Combine the last 5 ingredients into a bowl and stir them using a whisk. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Keep aside half the amount of shallot mixture.
Then add the Swiss Chard to the bowl before laying it out on a platter.
Place the reserved half quantity of the shallot mixture into the bowl. Add chickpeas to it.
Bring together both the chickpea and chard mixture. Then sprinkle the walnuts with the remaining ingredients. And your salad is ready to go!
4. Rustic Chard Tart
The perfect decadent tart stuffed with goat cheese, potatoes, and fresh Swiss Chard.
3/4 tsp of divided kosher salt
1/3 cup of olive oil, extra virgin (with 1 tbsp to spare)
7 ounces of flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 whole bunch of Swiss Chard
1 cup of gold potato, thinly sliced
1 cup of red onion, vertically sliced
1 egg white
2 tsp of fresh thyme, chopped
2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
1/2 tsp of black pepper, freshly ground
Mix the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt using your blender or food processor.
Combine some water with the olive oil into a small-sized bowl. Add this mixture to the blender and process it until the dough becomes crumbly.
Then place the dough on a floured surface and knead it for a minute. Then wrap it in plastic to chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Eliminate the stems from the chard leaves to chop them to fill up a cup. Then chop up the leaves to fill up 4 cups. Add both the stems and leaves to a skillet with oil over high heat. Sauté for 3 minutes before adding potato, thyme, and remaining salt. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Celsius.
Unwrap the dough and roll it into a circle of 14 inches on an evenly floured surface. Shift the dough to baking sheet with a parchment paper lining. Then you can spread the chard mixture over this dough making sure to fold the edges towards the center.
Mix together egg and water in a small-sized bowl while also stirring it using a whisk. Then apply this paste over the edges of the dough before sprinkling some cheese and pepper on top.
Bake the tart for at least 40 minutes or until it turns brown. And don’t forget to let it cool for as long as 5-10 minutes before you serve it fresh.
5. Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard Coriander Recipe
If what you want are more greens in your daily diet, then there’s nothing better than this easy-to-make Swiss Chard.
1/4 tsp of coriander seeds, whole
A pinch of dried red pepper, crushed
A clove of sliced garlic
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 whole bunch of Swiss Chard, fresh
Rinse the leaves of the Swiss Chard thoroughly. Remove the thick stalks and chop them into tiny pieces, preferably 1 inch. Then cut up the leaves too.
Pour the olive oil onto a pan and heat it before you add the red pepper, coriander seeds, and garlic slices. Let it cook for a minute.
Then add the stalks of Swiss Chard to this. Reduce the heat and cook it for 3-4 minutes.
Now it’s time to bring in the chopped leaves and toss them with the rest of the ingredients. Cook this for another 3-4 minutes. And that’s about it!
6. Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
For all the soup lovers, you will enjoy the combination of Swiss Chard with diced tomatoes and lentils. So you get your proteins, fibers, as well as Vitamin K.
Juice of half a lemon
2 whole bunches of Swiss Chard (stalks chopped into pieces and leaves torn up)
14 ounces or 1 can of diced tomato juice
1 cup of lentils, rinsed
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 finely chopped onion
1 tbsp of olive oil (some extra)
Heat the olive oil on a large-sized saucepan. Cook the onions first until they become soft and brown, which should not take more than 5 minutes. Then bring in the thyme, oregano, and tomato paste. Stir well.
Add the lentils, tomato juice, and 5 cups of water. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Mix the chard stalks into it and cook for another 5 minutes. Then the charred leaves with some seasoning. Wait for the chard and lentils to become tender.
Add lemon juice into it before drizzling the dish with some olive oil. The soup’s ready to serve with bread at the side.
Wrapping It Up
You probably didn’t know this about Swiss Chard, but there’s more to this vegetable than its classic low-calorie frittata recipe. It’s healthy, fresh, and delicious to cook food with. You can find your way to healthy snacking with the help of this green vegetable.
The most common way to eat Swiss Chard is in salads. But there are more ways than ever to cook it in soups and other main course dishes. You need to focus on incorporating more of this hearty veggie in your meals because it contains plenty of nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamins, and minerals. It’s low in fats, high in antioxidants, and is the perfect dietary staple to stay fit and healthy with. So what are you waiting for?
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.