Swiss chard is a is a leafy vegetable, genus Beta, belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. It is related to the beet, and comes in a variety of colors. You can find them in any grocery store for variety of colors, such as pale green, brightly colored yellow and red.
2. Dietary fiber
3. Vitamin A
4. Vitamin B1
5. 6. Vitamin B2
7. Vitamin B3
8. Vitamin B5
9. Vitamin B6
10. Vitamin C
11. Vitamin E
12. Vitamin K
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Radical scavenging capacity
In the investigation of the influence of home cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, pressure-cooking, griddling, frying, and baking) on the antioxidant activity of vegetables has been evaluated in 20 vegetables, found that Swiss chard and pepper lost OH. scavenging capacity in all the processes, according to "Influence of cooking methods on antioxidant activity of vegetables" by Jiménez-Monreal AM, García-Diz L, Martínez-Tomé M, Mariscal M, Murcia MA.(a)
2. Breast cancer
In the evaluation of the molecular components of a phenolic fraction (P2), obtained from liquid chromatography of a Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cycla) extract found that the primary P2 components were: vitexin-2''O-rhamnoside, its demethylated form 2''-xylosylvitexin, isorhamnetin 3-gentiobioside, and rutin. P2 "in toto" and the single components were characterized for antioxidant capacity, antimitotic activity on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and for toxicity to human lymphocytes and macrophages. P2 inhibited MCF-7 cell proliferation (IC(50) value = 9 microg/ml) without inducing apoptosis, showed no toxicity to human lymphocytes and slight toxicity to macrophages. Vitexin-2''O-rhamnoside strongly inhibited DNA synthesis in MCF-7 cells, whereas 2''-xylosylvitexin and isorhamnetin 3-gentiobioside were activators; combinations of activators and inhibitors maintained the over-all inhibitory effect, according to "Characterization and biological activity of the main flavonoids from Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris subspecies cycla)" by Ninfali P, Bacchiocca M, Antonelli A, Biagiotti E, Di Gioacchino AM, Piccoli G, Stocchi V, Brandi G.(b)
In the observation of Chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) and its effect as a hypoglycemic agent by diabetic patients in Turkey found that lipid peroxidation was increased and glutathione levels were decreased in both aorta and heart tissue of the diabetic rats. However, treatment with chard extract reversed the effects of diabetes on blood glucose and tissue lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels, according to "Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) extract on oxidative injury in the aorta and heart of streptozotocin-diabetic rats" by Sener G, Saçan O, Yanardağ R, Ayanoğlu-Dülger G.(c)
d. Skin streptozotocin
in the investigation of the effect of feeding chard on diabetes induced impairments in rat skins found that administration of chard extract inhibited these effects of nonenzymatic glycosylation of skin proteins, lipid peroxidation and blood glucose except the increase in lipid peroxidation. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed no significant differences in any protein bands between any of the groups. The data indicate that the use of chard may be effective in preventing or at least retarding the development of some diabetic complications, according to "The effect of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) on the skin of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats" by Tunali T, Yarat A, Yanardağ R, Ozçelík F, Ozsoy O, Ergenekon G, Emeklí N.(d)
5. Liver protective
In the observation of Chard (Beta vulgaris L. var cicla) and it effects in liver of diabetes rat found that the diabetic group given chard, serum alanine, aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase activities, total lipid level, sialic and uric acid levels, blood glucose levels, and liver LPO and NEG levels decreased, but the other values increased. As a result of all the morphological and biochemical findings obtained, it was concluded that the extract of this plant has a protective effect on the liver in diabetes mellitus, according to "Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var cicla) on the liver of the diabetic rats: a morphological and biochemical study" by Ozsoy-Sacan O, Karabulut-Bulan O, Bolkent S, Yanardag R, Ozgey Y.(e)
B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin K
a. Degenerative diseases of ageing
Long-term vitamin K inadequacy may reduce the function of supporting the carboxylation of at least some of these Gla-protein that can lead the development of degenerative diseases of ageing including osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, according to the study of "Vitamin K, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases of ageing" by Cees Vermeerand Elke Theuwissen(1)
b. Intracranial bleeding
In a study in the 4-year study period, 16/64 (25%) of the infants admitted with intracranial bleeding had late intracranial VKDB, resulting in an overall incidence of 2.1/100,000 live births (95% confidence interval 1.2-3.5) conducted by University Medical Center Utrecht(2) indicated that Intracranial bleeding may be associated with vitamin K deficiency
Vitamin A is not only important in preventing types I diabetes, according to "A close relationship between type 1 diabetes and vitamin A-deficiency and matrix metalloproteinase and hyaluronidase activities in skin tissues" by Takahashi N, Takasu S.(1) but also may be associated with compromised bone health, according to "Vitamins and bone health: beyond calcium and vitamin D" by Ahmadieh H, Arabi A.(2)
3. Vitamin C
In the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction. and it effects on pulmonary dysfunction found that At present, evidence from randomised-controlled trials is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma. Further methodologically strong and large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed in order to address the question of the effectiveness of vitamin C in children with asthma but some outcome data showed effectiveness on lung function, symptom scores, IgE levels and inhaled steroid use. One small study showed a significant difference in % drop in FEV1 post-exercise, according to the study of "Vitamin C supplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(3)
Magnesium not only important for bone health, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M(4) but also play and important role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease, according to the study of "Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease" by Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ.(4)
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(1)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(5)
C. Other health benefits
Vitamin K beside enhances the thickening of under layer of skin and coagulation against blood loss (according to the study of "Vitamin K deficiency bleeding in infants and children" by Sutor AH. posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8588159), it also is an essential vitamin that prevents fracture, according to the study of "Vitamin K supplementation in postmenopausal women with osteopenia (ECKO trial): a randomized controlled trial" by Cheung AM, Tile L, Lee Y, Tomlinson G, Hawker G, Scher J, Hu H, Vieth R, Thompson L, Jamal S, Josse R., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18922041)
2. Immune system
Vitamin C is one of the powerful antioxidant vitamin not only improve the elastic of capillaries wall, it also plays an vital role in promoting the immune function in regulating the replication of DNA and reducing the risk of inflammation caused by oxidation, according to the article of "Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin C" By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor -- Published: October 05, 2009, posted in Insiders Health.
3. Heart diseases and stroke
Dietary fiber beside enhances the function of pancreas in production of insulin by releasing glucose into blood stream slowly, it also prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL) that limits the risk of plaque building up on the arterial walls, causing heart diseases and stroke, according to the study of "Dietary fiber intake is associated with reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease among Japanese men and women" by Eshak ES, Iso H, Date C, Kikuchi S, Watanabe Y, Wada Y, Wakai K, Tamakoshi A; JACC Study Group., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20573945).
Iron, as a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, it is essential for energy and protection against anemia by enhancing the production of red blood cells that carry nutrients and oxygen to nourish the cells in the body, according to the study of "Interaction of iron with other nutrients" by Lynch SR., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9197130)
5. Beta carotene
Well known as an antioxidant that helps to improve immune function in fighting against the forming of free radicals cause of infection and inflammation, it also plays a vital role in reducing the risk of developing cataracts by converting to vitamin A in the body, according to the study of "Beta-carotene is an important vitamin A source for humans" by Grune T, Lietz G, Palou A, Ross AC, Stahl W, Tang G, Thurnham D, Yin SA, Biesalski HK., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20980645).
6. Lymphatic function
Swiss chard is rich in the minerals potassium and magnesium that not only helps to regulate blood pressure and maintain heart health (according to the study of "Combined calcium, magnesium and potassium supplementation for the management of primary hypertension in adults. Beyer FR, Dickinson HO, Nicolson DJ, Ford GA, Mason J., posted in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856060) but also is important in enhancing the lymphatic function in controlling the fluid in the body, thus reducing the risk of water retention.
Oxalates can cause problem for people existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems if accumulated in great amount.
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