Swiss chard belongs to the same family as beets, spinach and quinoa. It’s a highly nutrient-dense vegetable that’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Just one cup of cooked Swiss chard contains 572 mg of Vitamin K, 206 mg of Vitamin A, 150 mg of magnesium and 961 mg of potassium, among other nutrients. Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to fight inflammation, protect the heart, improve digestion and much more.
Swiss Chard Health Benefits
1. Provide the Body With Antioxidants
Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to provide the body with disease-fighting antioxidants. It contains up to 13 different types of polyphenol antioxidants that help reduce free radical damage and slow aging. Research has shown that the anti-aging antioxidants in Swiss chard can also help prevent cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders. (1)
2. Protects Heart Health
Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to protect heart health. As an anti-hypertensive vegetable, Swiss chard can help improve circulation, blood vessel health and heart beat regulation. Magnesium, potassium, copper, iron and calcium all play a role in blood cell formation, blood vessel constriction, nerve signaling and blood pressure levels. Adding Swiss chard to your diet can help prevent high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Fights Cancer
Cancer-fighting foods like Swiss chard have the ability to inhibit the proliferation of human cancer cells. The powerful antioxidants in Swiss chard work to fight cancer by strengthening the immune system and preventing free radical damage. Research has shown that the nutrients in Swiss chard can help stop the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, lung and endometrial tumors. (2)
4. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to prevent diabetes by naturally regulating blood sugar levels. The flavonoids in Swiss chard help inhibit the activity of an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars. This leads to steadier blood sugar levels. Swiss chard also contains fiber, which works to prevent dips and spike in blood sugar. Studies suggest that adding Swiss chard to your diet can help prevent or even reverse diabetes.
5. Maintains Bone Health
Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to maintain healthy bones. It contains Vitamin A and calcium, which work to maintain bone strength and mineral density. The nutrients in Swiss chard can help prevent fractures and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
6. Improves Digestion
Swiss chard health benefits include the ability to improve digestion. The vegetable contains phytonutrient betalains that help support detoxification by reducing inflammation in the gut. The fiber in Swiss chard also aids in digestion. High-fiber foods can help prevent digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea.
7. Helps Maintain Healthy Brain Function
Swiss chard health benefits include healthy brain function. Studies have shown that a diet high in vegetables that contain betalain (like Swiss chard) can help protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Betalains and other antioxidants work to reduce free radicals and protect DNA from damage.
8. Protects Eye Health
Swiss chard benefits include the ability to protect eye health. Swiss chard is rich in carotenoids like lutein and zeazanthin which help maintain healthy vision and prevent eye disorders. Carotenoids help defend the eyes from age-related disorders like macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
9. Benefits Nerve and Muscle Function
Swiss chard health benefits include improved nerve and muscle function. The vegetable provides the body with magnesium, potassium and calcium, which play an important role in muscle health and nervous system health. Adding Swiss chard to your diet can help prevent a magnesium deficiency, along with nervous system symptoms that are related to stress, like mood swings, insomnia, high blood pressure and headaches. (3)