I have a bumper crop of rainbow Swiss chard in my veggie garden. I gathered an armful for lunch. Now I’m on the hunt for what to make with these dark leafy greens. Rather than rely on my go-to-greens recipes from Rebecca Katz, I decided to look around in my cookbooks and my favorite blog sites for inspiration.
During my hunt, I came across this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple. It looks delicious and is definitely nutritious!
Swiss chard offers several health-promoting benefits (Mateljan, 2015 unless otherwise noted):
- Antioxidant protection due to the high content of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, and E, and the minerals manganese and zinc. These micronutrients along with many phytonutrients help squelch the formation and damaging action of reactive oxygen species(e.g., oxidative stress or internal rusting).
- Anti-inflammatory agents (i.e., beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, and kaempferol) lower the risk of chronic unwanted inflammation by altering the activity of certain enzymes or preventing the production of pro-inflammatory messaging molecules.
- Promotes blood sugar regulation due to the 3.5+ grams of fiber and 3+ grams of protein per cup. Fiber and protein help regulate the rate of digestion and assist with motility of food through the digestive tract.
- Support bone health as a result of the calcium and vitamin K1 Swiss chard contains. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down bone. Also, the intestines can convert dietary vitamin K1 into vitamin K2
(Okano et al., 2008) , a nutrient needed to activate osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone (Maresz, 2015).
- Protects the cardiovascular system by helping inhibit arterial calcification and arterial stiffening as well as optimizes calcium use in the body (Maresz, 2015).
What’s your favorite Swiss chard recipe? Please share in the comments.
Maresz, K. (2015). Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 14(1), 34–39.
Mateljan, G. (2015). The world’s healthiest foods: the force for change to optimal with health-promoting foods and nutrient-rich cooking (2nd ed.). Seattle, WA.
Okano, T., Shimomura, Y., Yamane, M., Suhara, Y., Kamao, M., Sugiura, M., & Nakagawa, K. (2008). Conversion of Phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) into Menaquinone-4 (Vitamin K2) in Mice TWO POSSIBLE ROUTES FOR MENAQUINONE-4 ACCUMULATION IN CEREBRA OF MICE. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283(17), 11270–11279. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M702971200