Chard is a vegetable belonging to the same family as beet. In addition, it has a high fiber content, promoting good bowel function .
100 grams of this vegetable meets an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement. This same amount also has a reasonable vitamin C content. ( 1 )
All this without counting the calcium found in different types of vegetables. This mineral is important in several functions of the body, mainly in the development and strengthening of bones .
In addition to so many properties and benefits, this vegetable still stands out for its versatility of recipes. Thus, it can be consumed raw in salads , sautéed, marinated or even as a pie filling.
According to nutritionist Aline Quissak, chard is “a leafy rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants”. It is an important vegetable for everyone, especially for children.
Detoxifies the body
Chard carries out a cleaning process in the body, as Quissak explains. “She is a representative of the brassicas family rich in isothiocyanates, which are powerful detoxifying phytochemicals and act as ‘brooms’ for cleaning toxins stuck in body fat.”
Favors weight loss
Another important benefit of this vegetable is that it regulates estrogen and testosterone during weight loss, favoring this process. According to the nutritionist, it is common to have a hormonal imbalance during diets, which can compromise their results.
“Chard is not a miracle food for weight loss. But it will help with satiety and appetite hormones due to the high fiber content , as well as regulate the intestine, facilitating the elimination of fats resulting from dietary re-education and exercise”, explains the professional.
Also according to Quissak, all foods from nature, called “real food”, can be included in a diet for weight loss. However, it is necessary to have the supervision of a nutrition specialist to get effective results.
Helps in child growth
For the nutritionist, this vegetable helps in child growth and development as it is rich in antioxidants , lutein and vitamins A, C and K. All these components are essential for a healthy and immunologically strong organism .
In addition, it is a perfect food “for children to be educated to have a diverse, complete taste and without negativity in the bitter or sour taste, it is an accessible and nutritious way to work the child’s palate”, completes the specialist in nutrition.
Strengthens the immune system
As already mentioned, chard is rich in vitamin C. This nutrient is necessary for health because it increases the body’s resistance against infections, especially those that affect the functioning of the respiratory system, such as flu and colds . In addition to fighting viruses, the vitamin in question also favors wound healing and prevents mouth diseases. ( 2 , 3 )
Contributes to the gastrointestinal tract
This vegetable is a source of fiber , for this reason it influences the entire gastrointestinal system, from ingestion to excretion. For example, foods rich in this substance increase chewing by facilitating the flow of gastric juice, increasing saliva secretion and increasing volume. All of this ends up increasing satiety, but it also contributes to the formation of fecal bolus, improving intestinal transit . ( 4 )
strengthens the bones
100 grams of raw chard has 43 milligrams of calcium. (5) This mineral is one of the main constituents of bones, facilitating bone mass gain in the skeletal system. ( 6 )
When the body does not have sufficient amounts of calcium, there is an increased risk of hip and spine fractures, especially in older women. Therefore, it is necessary the adequate supply of this mineral throughout life, being even more important through food.
But in addition to the positive effect on bones, calcium also has a beneficial relationship with neuromuscular functions, coagulation, blood pressure regulation and treatment against obesity. ( 6 )
What is it and what types of Swiss chard?
According to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), chard is a vegetable originally from Asia Minor and the Mediterranean and belongs to the same family as true spinach . ( 1 ) For nutritionist Aline Quissak, the most common types in Brazil are Japanese chard, curly chard and thistle chard . But, they all have similar benefits and properties.
5 recipes with chard
According to the nutritionist, in addition to salads, chard can be used in braised or even as a filling for savory pies. However, Embrapa recommends massive chewing when consuming raw vegetables , to avoid the formation of intestinal gas.
“When braised , it can be used as a substitute for spinach, kale and garlic in various dishes. To preserve the nutritional quality of cooked chard, prepare it by steaming or with a minimal amount of water. Seasonings that combine: lemon , vinegar, salt, green smell, pepper, onion , garlic ”, explains Embrapa. ( 1 )
This recipe is recommended by nutritionist Aline Quissak and is super easy to make. Follow up!
Cut the chard very fine and mix with the other ingredients. Serve the salad raw and fresh.
To make a marinated chard, chef Rita Lobo uses the bleaching technique. And the ingredient list is very short. Check out!
- 1 bunch of chard
- ¼ cup (of tea) of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- sesame oil to taste
- Sesame to taste.
3. Braised Chard
Also recommended by Aline Quissak, this dish is a great accompaniment for light lunches. Look!
- 1 bunch of chard
- 2 grated carrots
- 1 clove of garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste.
Chop the garlic and sauté in oil over low heat. Once the garlic is browned, add the grated carrot and chard cut into thin strips. Stir well and serve right away.
4. oriental salad
This vegetable goes very well with oriental dishes, that’s why the Recunto Vegetariano channel brings a super tip of salad with a variety of vegetables. Learn it!
- 1 small chard cut into strips
- 1 medium cucumber cut into sticks
- 1 medium carrot cut into sticks
- 1 medium onion cut into strips
- 1 cup (of tea) of red and/or yellow peppers cut into strips
- 1/3 cup (of tea) of soy sauce (or more if you prefer)
- 1 lemon juice
- Black pepper ground to taste
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (sunflower, corn, coconut, or olive oil)
- 4 cloves of garlic cut into thin slices
- 1 tablespoon of white sesame
- Olive oil to taste.
The Rubia Rubita channel brings a mouth-watering pie and has chard as its protagonist. See how to enjoy this vegetable!
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of chopped chard
- 1 cup (of tea) of hot milk
- 2 cups (of tea) of cottage cheese or ricotta
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup (of tea) of whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of powdered yeast.
Are there contraindications?
Despite being a natural food, chard has some contraindications. “For those who have hypothyroidism, it is not interesting to consume them for a long time and in large amounts due to goitrogenic compounds”, warns Aline Quissak.
For those who don’t know, these compounds make it difficult for the body to absorb iodine. For this reason, they are associated with problems such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
“It is also not recommended to consume together with anti-inflammatory drugs. And, due to the high content of vitamin K, it is not recommended to consume it with the use of anticoagulant medications ”, concludes the nutritionist.
*Article written in collaboration with nutritionist Aline Quissak (CRN 8 10607), graduated in Nutrition from the Federal University of Alfenas (Minas Gerais); Sandwich Degree in Applied Humman Nutrition at the University of Guelph, Canada; Specialization in Metabolic Syndrome, Specialization in Nutrition in Bariatric Surgery, Specialization in Oncology, Specialization in Nutrition and Critical Patients, Specialization in Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy from the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto, also in Canada; Specialization in Sports Nutrition and CrossFit and Specialization in Nutrition Psychology from the Institute of Psychology of Eating in the United States. She is a researcher in Functional Nutrition and Recipe Development with a focus on Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics.