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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Swiss Chard Provides Some Awesome Health Benefits

Swiss chard is not necessarily a popular vegetable. When you say "green, leafy vegetable" Swiss chard may not pop into your mind. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is quite a healthy vegetable. Read all about  Swiss chard:

Jonathunder via WikiCommons
Swiss chard is an often neglected leafy, green vegetable that is full of nutrients. It is a close relative of beets. Anyone looking for variety in their diet will find Swiss Chard an excellent vegetable.
Swiss chard provides an ample supply of vitamin A, C, K, B complex vitamins, magnesium, iron, and potassium. The nutrients found in Swiss chard afford many health benefits. Below is a list of some of the benefits that may be derived from these nutrients.

•    Antioxidants — It is loaded with the antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Antioxidants protect the body from the damage of oxidation done by free radicals. According to WebMD antioxidants help treat or prevent coronary artery disease, some types of cancer, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and some arthritic conditions.  They also act in an anti-inflammatory manner. Swiss chard is full of phytonutrient antioxidants, that act in an anti-inflammatory manner, according to The Worlds Healthiest Foods.

•    Blood Pressure — According to Joy Richey of the University of Illinois Extension, one cup of cooked Swiss chard contains a third of a person’s daily recommended requirement of potassium, which may help with lowering blood pressure.

•    Cardiovascular Health — Vitamin K prevents the calcification of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries. It also aids in normal blood clotting. The magnesium it contains also may help with cardiovascular disease and hypertension, as stated by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

•    Bone Health — Swiss chard is good for bone health, due to high amounts of vitamin K and magnesium. The World’s Healthiest Foods attributes vitamin K to preventing postmenopausal bone loss and protecting bones from fractures.

•    Skin — Skin also receives a boost from Swiss chard. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, while vitamin A plays a part in healthy skin and preventing acne.

•    Immune System — Vitamin A and vitamin C are important vitamins for improving and stimulating immune function, as stated on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’website.

•    Eye Health — Information from the CDC states that Swiss chard has 110% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes.

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