Despite its name, Swiss chard is not actually Swiss. In fact, it is native to the Mediterranean region and dates back to at least the fourth century B.C., when it was prized by the ancient Greeks, and later the Romans, for its medicinal properties. A leafy green vegetable, Swiss chard boasts an exceptionally impressive variety and concentration of health-promoting minerals and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A and K, manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber and protein. It is also an excellent source of phytonutrients, including a variety of some three dozen or more carotenoids and flavonoids, evident in the vibrant red, purple and yellow pigments of chard's stalks and veins. On the whole, this "superfood" offers extensive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, supports the nervous system, eye and bone health, helps prevent oxidative stress and helps regulate blood sugar in a variety of ways. Studies of Swiss chard have revealed this vegetable's unique blood-sugar regulating benefit, which comes from one of its premiere flavonoids, syringic acid. This compound inhibits the enzyme alpha-glucosidase from breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars. For tips on how to select and store and cook with Swiss chard, visit World's Healthiest Foods.
Swiss Chard. The World's Healthiest Foods.
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