April 17, 2012

Veggie Fact of the Day

Swiss Chard is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile with a flavor that is bitter, pungent, and slightly salty. 

The leaves are nice and dark green and the stalks and leafy veins vary in color (red, yellow, orange and purple). Chards have been bred to have highly nutritious leaves and some consider Chards to be one of the healthiest vegetables available. 

Swiss Chard are high in Vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E and K and Biotin. Chards are also high in dietary fiber and protein. Minerals include manganese, copper, calcium, potassium and the red stalks are are rich source of Iron. All parts of the chard contain Oxalic acid, which can be toxic when consumed in super high doses (in excess of 600 mg/kg). Chards are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. 

In the red stalks, there are at least 9 different betacyanins, at least 19 betaxanthins in the yellow stalks. All these pigments provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. 

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