Swiss chard is a nutritionally potent vegetable, and arguably one of the best foods a diabetic can incorporate into their diet. Although research surrounding it is still fairly new, what has been conducted so far looks incredibly promising. This vegetable has also seen a recent rise in popularity due to an increased interest in the “Mediterranean diet”, which heavily incorporates it in many dishes. In today’s post, we’ll provide a brief overview of Swiss chard, mainly focusing on why it is so beneficial for diabetics.
To start, this unique vegetable is not only an excellent source of antioxidants, but also contains a wide variety of them. As some of our readers may already know, these natural substances are crucial for the body; they prevent cell damage that leads to the development of dangerous disease such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and atherosclerosis. In many cases, the best sources of antioxidants tend to be fruits and vegetables, and Swiss chard is no exception here.
As we mentioned earlier, researchers have only in recent years began to study the nutritional properties of this unusual plant. Preliminary studies conducted on rats suggest that Swiss chard, due to a flavonoid it contains called syringic acid, is extremely effective in regulating blood sugar levels. This is only further enhanced by the vegetable’s rich protein and fiber content which is known to play a role in this aspect as well.
But aside from helping diabetics in this regard, Swiss chard is thought to have two unique properties that make it stand out from other foods. The first is that it has been successful in test with lab animals in helping pancreatic cells regenerate. As some of our readers may already know, these cells are very important for diabetics because they are responsible for the production of insulin. The second unique properly is Swiss chard’s ability to protect the liver from being damaged. Although scientists are not entirely sure which of the vegetable’s properties is responsible for this, research so far suggest that it is effective in this regard as well.
We here at Diabetv highly recommend including Swiss chard as part of your regular diet, especially if you are diabetic. The vegetable is potent in vitamins and highly nutritious, with just one cup of it containing 7 calories, .6 g of fiber, .65 g of protein and .4 g of sugar. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, E and K; and a good source of zinc and calcium. The best way to prepare this savory vegetable is to broil it for 2-3 minutes, and then serve it as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a dish. Drizzling Swiss chard with olive oil and adding a pinch of salt will give the plant some flavor for those who do not enjoy it raw.