The chard , scientific name Beta vulgaris var. cycla, is a plant that originated in Europe, more precisely in the region where Switzerland is located. There are also reports on the use of chard since the fourth century BC in the Mediterranean region, being a component widely used by peasants in general. After being taken to other European countries, it ended up spreading around the world.
In Brazil, it is also called white beet and is cultivated in the southern region of the country. Chard belongs to the same family as beetroot and spinach, having a wide variety, the most common in Brazil being curly chard, Japanese chard and thistle chard. The time when it has the best nutritional value is during the winter, but it can be found all year round.
The benefits of white chard and green leafy chard are similar, and a 100 gram serving of this vegetable has only 20 calories. For this reason, it would be impossible to say that the chard is fattening, as this vegetable is considered an ally of weight loss.
This plant has a tuberous root, large pale green leaves and white, yellow or red stems, depending on which variety it belongs to. It can be eaten raw in the form of a salad, steamed, as boiled chard or braised chard and is a widely used food in Japanese cuisine.
The leaves are an excellent choice to accompany the white sauce or to be part of a soup, together with a variety of vegetables. They are also used in folk medicine to prepare infusions for the treatment of circulatory diseases, scars and mycoses, in addition to being effective against gallstones.
Knowing how to repair chard is very simple. In addition to combining with several other types of vegetables, it can be used completely, without wasting any part. In addition to the leaves, the stalk can also be used in the preparation of soups, or fried and boiled.
As it is a food with a high content of the oxalate substance, it should not be consumed excessively, as this can end up harming the absorption of calcium by the body.
To buy chard, it is recommended to opt for those that have new and shiny leaves, without the presence of stains. When kept in the refrigerator, it is ideal to use it within a week.
Chard’s properties are many, as it is one of the most complete foods in terms of nutrients. It has a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are very important for health, being rich in vitamins A, C, E and K. It also has iron, potassium, fiber, zinc, magnesium, copper, syringic acid, in addition to having action antioxidant due to the presence of flavonoids and carotenoids
Due to all the nutrients present in chard, it is an important food for eye health, in addition to reducing the risk of neurological problems, lowering blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels, among countless other benefits. See what are the main advantages of consuming chard.
- It has antioxidant action: Chard is a vegetable rich in antioxidants, being found in it 13 different types of polyphenol antioxidants and 9 types of betaxanthin antioxidants, in addition to flavonoids, such as syringic, which helps control blood sugar levels. The presence of these antioxidants is also essential to prevent the body against the action of free radicals, substances responsible for countless damages to health. Free radicals can cause various types of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative problems, to appear.
- Helps control diabetes: Chard is a recommended food for people with diabetes, as it contains alphapoic acid, a type of antioxidant that helps to reduce glucose levels. The consumption of this vegetable also helps to prevent changes caused by oxidative stress in people with diabetes. It also has syringic acid, which is also important for lowering sugar levels.
- Improves blood circulation: The consumption of chard provides iron and copper for the body, two components that are essential for the production of red blood cells, benefiting oxygenation and blood circulation. Not to mention that iron helps prevent anemia, which causes stomach upset, weakness and concentration problems. There is also vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, preventing bleeding and bruises.
- Makes bones stronger: Chard, being a source of calcium and vitamin K, also promotes bone health. That’s because these nutrients are essential for the skeleton to strengthen. Calcium makes bones more dense, making them stronger and less prone to fracture. Vitamin K, on the other hand, has an important action on bone formation, as it activates osteocalcin, an essential protein for this function.
- Reduces blood pressure: Chard contains a lot of magnesium, potassium and calcium, nutrients that are essential for controlling blood pressure. This is because these nutrients act to release the sodium present in our body, which helps to dilate the arteries and regulate blood pressure. Eating chard and other natural foods provides better absorption of these minerals and has more health benefits than taking supplements.
- Improves digestion: Another benefit related to eating chard is the presence of betalains, components that act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, taking care of intestinal health. In addition, it helps regulate bowel movements, which helps to remove toxins from the body. Another beneficial factor for digestive health is the amount of fiber found in chard, which regulates blood glucose levels. This helps keep you feeling full for longer and also protects against constipation and diarrhea.
- Protects brain health: According to research, regular consumption of chard helps protect against neurodegenerative diseases. This is due to the presence of antioxidants in this vegetable, which protect cells against DNA damage. Another important component in taking care of the proper functioning of the brain is vitamin K, which produces a protective layer for the nervous system, which is known as the myelin sheath
- Take care of heart health: By including Swiss chard in your diet, it helps to deactivate the inflammatory actions in your body. This helps to lower cholesterol levels and decreases the chances of a heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related illnesses. It also contains minerals that improve circulation, making blood vessels healthier and improving heart rate control.
- Prevents osteoporosis: Ingesting chard in its raw form provides more than 300% of the daily requirement of vitamin K for our body. Consuming vitamin K properly acts as a protein modifier in bone constitution, improving calcium absorption. This reduces urinary calcium excretion, which decreases the chances of osteoporosis occurring.
- Improves hair health: Chard contains a relevant amount of biotin, which is a vitamin that works by providing strength and hair growth. In addition, it has a large amount of vitamin A and C, which help in the production of sebum by the hair follicles, which provides more shine and improves the texture of the hair.
- Take care of eye health: The consumption of chard provides an important amount of carotenoids to the body, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which act to protect the retina and cornea. These substances also help protect the eyes from age-related illnesses such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and night blindness.
Learn how to prepare a chard juice and salad to enjoy all the important nutrients found in this plant.
Chard juice thins and is even recommended for treating gallstones. See how to prepare.
- 1 cup of chard (tea)
- 1 cup of watercress
- 1 cup (tea) of water
- 4 mint leaves
Chop the chard and watercress and place in a blender with the water and mint leaves. Drink next.
This chard salad is perfect to enjoy on weekends, even to accompany a barbecue.
- 1/4 chard
- 1/2 carrot
- 1 green pepper
- 1/2 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- juice of a lemon
- 4 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 tablespoon of sesame
- White pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- Wash the chard leaves well, dry and cut into thin strips. Do the same with the onion and pepper. Use a coarse grate to grate the carrots and combine these ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add lemon, salt, pepper and mix well.
- Heat the oil and crushed garlic in a small skillet over low heat. When it gets warm, add the sesame and fry a little, stirring constantly and taking care not to burn.
- Finally, put this hot oil on the salad and mix well.
Benefits and Properties of Cabbage
Benefits and Properties of Beetroot
Benefits and Properties of Nabo
Benefits and Properties of Artichoke
Benefits and Properties of Leek
Benefits and Properties of Cauliflower