What is Swiss chard? And what can you do with it? Here’s how to enjoy these leafy greens, which are full of vitamins and nutrients you need.
Marissa Lippert, R.D. 1 / 6
<p>Dark, leafy greens. Yes, you <em>do</em> need to eat them. And yes, they <em>can</em> be much more exciting than the limp spinach mom used to serve. But even if you learn how to dress them up, what’s in it for you?Let’s take a look:</p>
<li><a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/watercress-benefits">Leafy greens</a>, like Swiss chard and rainbow chard, drive home over a dozen different phytonutrients— types of antioxidants that yield cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits.</li>
<li>Research <em>also</em> finds that the flavonoids in chard may help keep your blood sugar steady, which can impact weight, energy, diabetes risk…and oh yeah, sex drive.</li>
<li>Chard is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc, plus it can promote eye health and memory function—maybe even <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/go-green-ward-ulcers">p... against ulcers</a>. Not too shabby, huh?</li>
<p>A single cup of cooked chard has just 35 calories, so use these easy prep ideas to try some today—and you’ll be on the road to a trimmer, healthier, more <em>virile</em> you in no time.</p>
<h3><font color=”red” font family=“Arial”>Easy Side Dish</font></h3>
Saute about 4 cups of Swiss chard in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper to taste, then add 1-2 pieces of diced bacon or pancetta. The smoky meat adds a lot of flavor <em>without</em> too much fat. Brilliant.
<h3><font color=”red” font family=“Arial”>Quick Pasta Recipe</font></h3>
Toss 2-3 cups of Swiss chard in with whole-wheat pasta and 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce for a satisfying, blood-sugar-steadying meal.
<h3><font color=”red” font family=“Arial”>Healthy Breakfast Recipe</font></h3>
Saute 2 cups of Swiss chard with onion, then toss it into your Sunday morning egg scramble. Sprinkle some fresh-grated parmesan on that bad boy and you’ll be <em>pretty</em> happy for the rest of the day—promise.
<h3><font color=”red” font family=“Arial”>Nutrient-Packed Protein Shake</font></h3>
Make use of the juicer you just bought—or your blender—and sneak a few leaves of Swiss chard into the juice <em>or</em> <a href “http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-drink/muscle-mixers”>shake recipe</a> you’ve been experimenting with. (It might mess with the color, but a few leaves tastes surprisingly mild when mixed with fruit and a bit of agave. Really.)