Vegetables of all kinds are a rich source of all kinds of nutrients, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Among them, one of the most valued for its nutritional composition is the red chard, so called because its stem is of this color, although it does vary the appearance of the leaf. In this article, we discuss why we should eat chard and chard benefits. Then, we show you the 6 benefits of eating red chard and some side effects. If you still are not into eating Swiss chard, red chard, or any kind of chard, lifestyle and diet changes may be a challenge but the benefits and the potential naturopathic healing is great. So give it a try and learn about the benefits of incorporating chard, and especially red chard, into your diet.
In this article, we want to make review what it gives us to introduce our diet the red chard, analyze its nutritional composition, and see the advantages and beneficial effects of its consumption, analyzed by the scientific community.
In any case, any health department will always recommend increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, especially because of the low or no fat index they have, the high amount of fiber, and their biologically active components.
Let’s start with a simple explanation about chard benefits, and then we will dive into red chard benefits and more related information.
Chard’s benefits are many and varied, thanks to its high vitamin and mineral content. Without going any further, the calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K they contain are ideal for caring for and preserving the body’s bone health. Therefore, chard promotes bone health.
It helps you to reduce your fatigue levels and promotes the proper functioning of your muscular system.
This is due to the high content of magnesium and potassium that chard can help you incorporate into your diet. The first of these essential minerals help you to level the concentration of sugars in the bloodstream, promotes the functioning of your nervous and muscular systems, helps you regulate blood pressure, and participates in the formation of DNA and bone tissue.
For all these reasons, adequate levels of magnesium allow your body to function properly and feel good and energetic. Potassium is an electrolyte essential for muscle and nerve function. It is also necessary for your heart rate to be maintained at proper levels and for the nutritional and cleansing functions of your body’s cells to take place.
In addition, chard contains antioxidant properties and phytonutrients that regulate blood pressure. Its consumption prevents the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases.
Likewise, chard contains iron and copper, two elements that regulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol and promote coagulation. Due to the advantages of incorporating at least just a little chard in the regular diet, it is even recommended to possibly even improve the contributions to combat copper deficiency.
The low caloric content of chard makes it an ideal food to include in slimming diets. It is also a great source of fiber to facilitate digestion and intestinal transit.
On the other hand, chard contains iodine, beta-carotene, and folic acid, the latter a very important component for pregnant women. Iodine will help the thyroid gland to produce the hormones it needs.
One of the less-known benefits of chard is that it contains biotin. This vitamin helps to stimulate hair follicles and increase the shine and texture of hair. But, in turn, it is also responsible, along with other vitamins in chard, for regulating skin sebum.
Nutritional Characteristics of Red Chard
The red chard is a plant species included within the family Chenopodioideae (Quenopodiaceae), where we also find other vegetables known as beets or spinach
Its cultivation is widespread throughout the world and is part of the diet of many countries and cultures around the world.
There are many types of chard, although mostly, they have a very similar nutritional composition and offer few variations.
Self Nutrition Data assesses the nutritional composition of red chard as follows, for an amount of 175 grams cooked.
- Energy: 35 kcal
- Proteins: 3.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fibre: 3.7 g
- Vitamin A: 214% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
- Vitamin C: 53% of the CoR
- Vitamin E: 17% of the CoR
- Vitamin k: 716% of the CoR
- Calcium: 10% of the CoR
- Copper: 14% of the CoR
- Magnesium: 38% of the CoR
- Manganese: 29% of the CoR
- Iron: 22% of the CoR
- Potassium: 27% of the CoR
As we can analyze, only one serving of red chard satisfies our daily needs for vitamins A and K, and covers a large percentage of the rest of the vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of eating red chard
Le’s see why we should eat red chard. Let’s dive into the red chard benefits.
1. Red Chard Benefits: High concentration of antioxidants
Red chard contains a high concentration of antioxidants. These compounds are interesting to fight against free radicals in your body that can be associated with certain diseases and promote oxidative stress.
Among these antioxidants of red chard, we mention a high variety of flavonoid polyphenols (quercetin, kaempferol, rutin and vitexin), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), vitamin C, vitamin E, and pigments such as carotenoids, including Beta carotene.
A diet rich in antioxidants, such as those present in this vegetable, helps reduce the likelihood of suffering from chronic diseases. A clear example is offered by several clinical trials, where they demonstrate the potential of beta-carotene to prevent serious diseases such as lung cancer.
Among the flavonoid polyphenols, kaempferol has anti-inflammatory properties associated with the prevention of the formation of cancer cells. Laboratory studies found a positive response to kaempferol, attacking pancreatic cancer cells by inducing cell death.
Another flavonoid, vitamin, present in red chard, helps reduce diseases associated with the heart, by acting against hypertension, and inflammation and inhibiting blood clotting. [Cardioprotective effect of vitexin]
2. Benefits of Eating Fiber-Rich Foods
We currently have a significant deficit in virtually every diet in the world of fiber, and this has negative consequences. Fiber is an essential nutrient that covers many important functions in your body.
One of them is to feed beneficial gut bacteria, favoring bowel movement and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Some studies have confirmed that the high-fiber diet slows down digestion and balances the level of sugar in the blood.
One serving of red chard provides a high level of fiber (up to 4 grams), accounting for 15% of the RDA.
Organizations such as American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association strongly recommend the consumption of between 25 and 30 g of fiber per day.
Therefore, a diet high in fiber gives many benefits to our bodies. People with this type of diet have lower rates of stomach cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease. [Fiber intake and cancer]
3. Red Chard Benefits: High concentration of vitamin K
One serving of red chard covers 716% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin K. This vitamin is part of a group of fat-soluble compounds that include vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone).
Phylloquinone it is found mainly in vegetables and is abundant in red chard.
This vitamin group is related to blood clotting and several important cellular functions and plays an important role in bone health. We need vitamin K to form osteocalcin, a protein related to bone formation.
4. Cardiovascular Health
Red Chard Benefits: Consuming vegetables and foods rich in fiber is really healthy for cardiovascular health. It is more than proven that this type of food reduces the risk factors for heart disease, associated with inflammatory processes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Read more: Scientifically Endorsed Benefits of Chai Tea
Rock chard contains a high concentration of potassium and other minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which are linked to regulating the blood pressure index.
In turn, the consumption of this food is associated with reduced cholesterol levels produced in the liver.
A clinical trial, conducted on 173,000 people, associated the increase in the consumption of this type of leafy vegetables with an 11% reduction in heart disease.
Chard Benefits for Iron Deficiency Anemia
Chard provides high amounts of iron to your diet. In fact, the iron content of chard can be higher than that of spinach. Therefore, chard is a very interesting food to combat possible episodes of anemia (caused by a lack of iron).
5. May Lower Blood Sugar
Another Red chard benefit: The red chard is considered a food with a low glycemic index and is associated with lowering blood sugar and glucose levels.
The consumption of foods rich in fiber, like oats, favors the delay of digestion, which entails limiting the speed of absorption of sugar, and the peaks of sugar rise and falls into the bloodstream.
Insulin resistance is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Consuming vegetables such as red chard can improve symptoms associated with diabetes and insulin resistance. [Studies on vegetables and type 2 diabetes]
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6. Promotes Weight Loss
A healthy diet that includes nutrient-rich foods, such as red chard, favors weight loss and reduction of body fat. This is related to the high satiating capacity of fiber and slowing down the digestive process.
In a clinical analysis performed on 120 obese patients, who were fed with a number of vegetables, the control group had a greater weight loss. Another review of 17 studies involving more than 550,000 patients concluded that people who enjoyed a higher intake of vegetables were 17% less likely to be overweight or obese.
Now, let’s see “Chard Benefits and Side Effects”.
Chard Benefits and Side Effects
As we reviewed in the previous paragraphs, chard has many benefits. Overall, the chard benefits are clear. But, what about chard side effects?
Let’s see chard’s benefits and side effects:
Summary Of Chard Benefits
- calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. Great for maintaining and caring for the body’s bone health.
- antioxidants and phytonutrients that help to manage blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Contains iron and copper, both of which help to regulate blood circulation, lower cholesterol, and improve coagulation. Chard increases the contributions to battle copper deficiency.
- Chard’s low-calorie content makes it a good meal for slimming regimens.
- High in fiber, which aids digestion and intestinal transit.
- iodine, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
- Contains biotin which stimulates hair follicles and improves hair luster and texture. It is also responsible for controlling skin sebum, together with other vitamins in chard.
- Promotes food digestion
- Contains iron and folic acid to combat anemia.
- It is useful to avoid constipation
- Its consumption can help to lose weight
- Contributes to regulating cholesterol levels
- Improves blood circulation
Chard Side Effects
Despite what many may think, we can also find side effects in chard. However, to deeply understand chard’s benefits and side effects, I encourage you to continue reading.
It should be noted, first of all, the presence in this vegetable of oxalic acid, a component that is harmful to those people who have problems with kidney stones or gout.
In addition, the high vitamin K content of chard is not beneficial for people taking anticoagulants. Not in vain, what this vitamin K does is coagulate the blood, so the consumption of this vegetable will interfere with the effect that these drugs may have. Eating chard is not beneficial for people taking anticoagulants. It is not a chard side effect, but it is not desirable to consumption of vitamin K in these individuals.
Due to the high vitamin K content of this vegetable, which per 100 g provides your diet with up to 7 times the amount your body needs daily and can be stored in your body for later use.
On the other hand, there is one chard side effect on babies under 1 year, where the consumption of chard may not be recommended. Excessive consumption of chard is also contraindicated in babies under 1 year of age, as it can lead to blue baby syndrome. This disorder occurs especially in infants exposed to high concentrations of nitrates in food. And it is precisely chard that has a high nitrate content.
However, it must be said that chard has many vitamins and minerals and very few calories. One of the perfect vegetables to include in any healthy and balanced diet and has several nutritional properties more than interesting.
Disadvantages of Chard
- Chard is capable of producing a lot of vegetable sodium oxalate, and since it is one of the responsible for the development of kidney stones, those who suffer from it should not consume it.
- It should be eaten with great caution in the case of people with anticoagulant treatments.
- Because it is rich in fiber and water, its excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.
- Its advantages and health benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of chard. We always recommend consulting a doctor when in doubt about its consumption.
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