LIFE EXTENSION MAGAZINE

Swiss chard that is high in fiber and minerals

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a high-fiber leafy green packed with minerals with multiple health benefits. Include it in your diet as a tasty addition to salads, soups, stews, and more.

Scientifically reviewed by Holli Ryan, RD, LN/D, in January 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

This leafy green goes by many names—white beet, spinach beet, and Roman beet, to name a few.1 But whatever you may call it, Swiss chard is a nutrient-dense superfood.

It is a good source of dietary fiber and contains nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.2

Swiss chard also contains vitamin K1, a nutrient important for heart and bone health.3

One study showed that boosting the consumption of leafy green vegetables rich in vitamin K improved markers of bone health, suggesting an improved function of osteoblasts, cells responsible for the formation of new bone.4

This could explain why several studies have shown that vitamin K can increase bone mineral density in people with osteoporosis while also reducing the rates of fractures.3

Higher intake of vitamin K-rich foods has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.5

In a review paper, the authors presented evidence that intake of leafy green vegetables is associated with cardiovascular health benefits.6

One study showed that each one-serving increment of leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard was linked to an 11% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.7

High-fiber foods like Swiss chard also have the added benefit of stabilizing blood sugar levels and modulating insulin resistance. This could explain why eating fiber-rich food is linked to a reduced risk of type II diabetes.8

Leafy greens like Swiss chard are packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals. You can include more Swiss chard in your diet by adding it to soups and stews, tossing it into a smoothie, sauteing it in olive oil, or adding it to a salad.

Due to its vitamin K content, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about including it in your diet if you take the anti-coagulant drug warfarin. Sudden changes in vitamin K consumption can interfere with this medication.

References

  1. Available at: https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/fact-sheet-swiss-chard.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2022.
  2. Available at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2399/2. Accessed September 28, 2022.
  3. Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-K. Accessed September 28, 2022.
  4. Bone Rep. 2020 Jun;12:100274.
  5. Nutrients. 2019 May 23;11(5).
  6. Nutrients. 2018 May 11;10(5).
  7. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Nov 3;96(21):1577-84.
  8. J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan;7(1):56-69.