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 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.
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
1. 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. 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
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.
5. May lower blood sugar
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]
Read more: Properties of celery for health
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 that 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.