It may not be as extensively studied as beets and spinach, but Swiss chard is starting to be recognized for the valuable contributions this dark leafy green can make to our health. Its rich greens and vibrantly colored stalks are more than just beautiful, they’re an indication of a large variety of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Like beets, chard contains the phytonutrients called betalains responsible for these properties as well as detoxification support. The reddish stems contain at least 9 betalain pigments and the yellow stems contain at least 19! But the latest on Swiss chard is all about its phytonutrients’ ability to help the body regulate blood sugar.
Chard leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including kaempferol, the cardioprotective flavonoid is well known to be in broccoli, kale, and strawberries. Chard also has a flavonoid called syringic acid. Maybe this doesn’t sound too good to you; it does conjure up mental images of unpleasant syringes, doesn’t it? Well, think again! Syringic acid has been the subject of recent research that looks deeper into its blood-sugar regulating properties. It works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. This is the enzyme responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars. This way, your blood sugar levels won’t suffer from spikes.
How can you be sure you’re getting the maximum amount of health benefits from eating chard? The answer might surprise you: boiling. This helps reduce its concentration of oxalic acid. Cut leaves an inch wide and stems half an inch, boil for just three minutes and enjoy! Adding Swiss chard is a tasty and nutritious way to improve every diet. Chard is one of the most popular vegetables in the Mediterranean, so channel those sunny white beaches and azure water and get cooking up some chard!
Read the entire article here: What’s New and Beneficial About Swiss Chard