Swiss chard (or just chard) is actually part of the beet family. WIth the bulbous roots being inedible, the edible leafy stalks provide an earthy taste and a crisp texture. Chard comes in many varieties, and is an easy way to color your plate. Whether it’s Rhubarb chard, Magenta Sunset, Bright Yellow, or Rainbow chard (pictured above), they all will give you a whopping dose of nutritional power and health benefits.
- Carotenoids – Swiss chard contains various carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These particular carotenoids have been shown to protect against cataracts and promote general eye health. Beta-carotene is also converted into Vitamin A in the body, adding extra eye health protection!
- Vitamin K – Chard is particularly famous for its high Vitamin K content; one serving provides 115% of your daily nutritional requirement. Vitamin K has been shown to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy.
- Vitamin C – Just one cup of chard can provide you with one third of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. This will give you an extra boost to your immune system.
So if you’re looking to protect your eyes, heart, or boost up your immune system, chard is the trifecta to win them all. Replacing spinach or other leafy greens with chard is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet. Blending chard into a chilled soup is also great for these upcoming summer months!