the tummydoc's garden week 2: swiss chard

tummydoc's garden week 2

This week we continue our adventure with that great and much under-utilized green leafy vegetable, swiss chard

Surprisingly easy to grow (and quite bountiful throughout the whole season I might add), swiss chard is a quite versatile addition to your culinary arsenal, and is a great accompaniment to so many dishes.  It's also a very pretty vegetable!

Ever wonder why swiss chard looks a lot like a beet?  Here's some interesting history.  Swiss chard had its beginnings as a beet.  At some point in history, people starting selecting some beets for their colorful and flavorful leaves as opposed to their root.   Over time, the beet-like root qualities were all but gone, but the leaves remained, better than ever.  If you have any inkling to do an experiment, let both a beet and swiss chard bolt.  Check out the seeds, they look the same!

The medical benefits of swiss chard include...

  • Antioxidants galore!  As is the case with many vibrant green, yellow, and red vegetables, swiss chard is loaded with vitamin A, a natural antioxidant.  It turns out that all carotenoids (rich natural sources of vitamin A) are pigments.  This means that the compounds that give a plant its color and the nutrients are one and the same.  Blueberries are another great example of this phenomenon.  

  • Rich in nutrients.  The vegetable is also a great source of vitamin K, protein, and fiber.  If you take a medicine called coumadin, be sure to talk with your health care provider before a meal with swiss chard, as it may counteract the blood-thinning properties of the medicine.

 

As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more, both on this blog and on the tummydoc channel.

-Dustin G. James, MD

Board-Certified Gastroenterologist

the tummydoc

The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, medical diagnosis, or medical treatment.  You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or question.  As with all supplements and functional foods, be sure to discuss these products with your physician before using.