You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Health Benefits of Vegetables’ category.

The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot. This biennial plant has long tuberous roots which have a cream-colored flesh that is succulent and flavorful and is sweeter than a carrot. Parsnip’s unique flavor comes from the starch being converted into sugar, which happens when they are left to mature in the ground.parsnip

Nutritional Content of Parsnip

Parsnips have a high starch and sugar content. They are also high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. Parsnips are a significant source of zinc, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin K, vitamin C and pantothenic acid.

Health Benefits of Parsnip

1. The fiber in parsnip aids digestion of food, makes bowel movements regular and helps relieve constipation.

2. The soluble fiber contained in parsnip helps lower cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels normal.

3. Parsnips contain many poly-acetylene antioxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol and methyl-falcarindiol which have been touted to have anti-cancer properties. Several studies have shown that these compounds have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-cancer function and offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

4. Eating parsnips regularly can treat a variety of health problems and conditions such as asthma, arthritis, pneumonia, ulcers, hay fever and kidney damage.

5. Potassium found in significant amount in parsnip regulates blood pressure and helps muscles and nerves function properly.

6. Folate is contained in parsnip, which can be particularly beneficial to pregnant women to help prevent babies with birth defects. Folate also combats dementia and osteoporosis.

7. Parsnip can boost immunity and aid healing and recovery owing to its vitamin C and wide variety of antioxidants.

8. Parsnips can help relieve kidney problems such as kidney stones because of its diuretic properties.

9. The niacin and vitamin C content aids the digestive and nervous system.

10. The vitamin K in parsnips helps in blood clotting and protects the liver from diseases.

11. Parsnip has anti-inflammatory compounds that can improve respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma. These properties also prevent the swelling of blood vessels, thus preventing stroke and heart attack.

12. Parsnips are good for oral health as they can fight bacteria that cause gum diseases and tooth decay.

Read How to Grow Parsnips for detailed instructions on growing them. Find Heirloom Parsnip Seeds at our online organic store.

Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a species of plant in the family Polygonaceae that are herbaceous perennials with large somewhat triangular leaves and long fleshy stalks. Rhubarb stalks are tart and are often paired with sweet ingredients and commonly used in pies, sauces and pastries. The roots and leaves are inedible owing to the high content of oxalic acid and possibly another unidentified toxin. Rhubarb varieties are mainly red, but also come in pink and green stalks. The redder the stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb is.rhubarb

Nutritional Content of Rhubarb

Rhubarb is low in calories and fat and high in dietary fiber. Rhubarb stalks are enriched in nutrients, minerals, vitamins and plant phytonutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, B-complex vitamins and manganese. The red color of the stalks is due to presence of antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanin. Rhubarb also contains glycosides- especially rhein, glucorhein, and emodin, which impart cathartic and laxative properties.

Health Benefits of Rhubarb

1. Rhubarb contains polyphenols, compounds that may help destroy cancer cells and whose effectiveness can be harnessed by exposing rhubarb to heat by baking in an oven.

2. Red colored stalks contain more vitamin A than green varieties. In addition, the stalks also contain small amounts of beta-carotene, zea-xanthin and lutein, compounds that convert to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also essential for healthy eye sight and helps prevent the onset of age related macular degeneration.

3. Vitamin K found in rhubarb may reduce the onset and development of insulin resistance in men and thus help in resisting diabetes better. Vitamin K is an essential component that helps with blood clotting, protecting the bones and help fighting off liver and prostate cancer.

4. Rhubarb is a good source of calcium which helps strengthen bones and teeth, prevents the softening of bones and tooth loss.

5. Rhubarb contains several strong anti-oxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanin which promote heart health, eye health and strengthens the body’s immune system.

6. Rhubarb is a good source of potassium which is vital in regulating the amounts of fluids in the body which in turn impacts blood pressure positively.

7. For over 2,000 years, rhubarb has been used as a laxative to treat constipation, owing to certain chemicals that have cathartic and laxative properties. Rhubarb improves digestion, increases appetite and has also been used to treat intestinal parasites. Rhubarb contains dietary fiber which helps counterbalance acidity while providing bulk to stools, helping prevent and relieve the effects of constipation by promoting the movement of the intestines to propel waste elimination.

8. Rhubarb helps to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting certain enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis, thus boosting heart health.

9. Rhubarb is an excellent source of vitamin C which is responsible for building collagen, a structural compound of body tissue needed for the repair and synthesis of blood vessel tissues and overall immunity.

10. Rhubarb stimulates metabolic rate of the body and so it is great for people who want to lose unwanted pounds.

Read How To Grow Rhubarb for detailed instructions on growing. Find Heirloom Rhubarb Seeds at our online store.

Garden peas are an ancient cultivated vegetable grown for the succulent nutritious pods. The pea (Pisum sativum) is a cool season annual crop that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Peas have a starchy, slightly sweet taste and are often served on the side of meat dishes. peas

Nutritional Content of Peas

As with all legumes, peas are loaded with nutrients while being low in calories. Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and lutein. The dry weight of a pea would consist of one-quarter protein and one-quarter sugar.

Health Benefits of Peas

1. Weight management: Peas are low in fat and calories but pretty much have everything else. This ensures a high metabolism and the high fiber content can keep one satiated for long helping with weight loss.

2. Fights cancer: Green peas contain a polyphenol called coumestrol that can dramatically reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer. A study has determined that to feel this effect all you need is 2mg of coumestrol and a cup of peas has 10mg.

3. Promotes cardiovascular health: A serving of green peas provides the body with adequate vitamin K which promotes carboxylation, a process that stops calcium from depositing inside the soft tissues of the body. In addition, high vitamin K intake is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. The generous amount of B-vitamins helps reduce homocysteine which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

4. Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes: Studies have shown that there is a reduced risk of diabetes with the regular consumption of peas and it is due to many factors. Green peas have a low glycemic index, are a good source of protein and contain a lot of fiber, all of which contribute to this.

5. Promote healthy digestive system: Eating plenty of green peas can be great for the digestive system as the high fiber content helps move bowels regularly and prevents constipation.

6. Improves metabolism: A cup of green peas provides enough of zinc to boost metabolism, which encourages the body to burn calories at a faster rate, also contributing to weight management.

7. Nourished skin and hair: The omega-3-fatty acids in green peas help develop thicker, less brittle hair and nourish the cell membranes of the skin.

8. Maintains bone health: Green peas contain B-vitamins, calcium and vitamin K which contributes to healthy bones and makes one less likely to develop osteoporosis.

9. Blood sugar regulation: High fiber and protein content slow down the absorption of sugar from the intestine into the blood helping to maintain blood sugar levels.

10. Reduces bad cholesterol: Peas contain niacin which helps reduce the production of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol which in turn increases the amount of good cholesterol in the body.

Read How to Grow Peas for detailed instruction and tips. Find Heirloom Peas Seeds at our online store.

The onion (Allium cepa), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is used as a vegetable and is now the second most important horticultural crop after tomatoes. Onions belong to the lily family, the same family as garlic, leeks, chives, scallions and shallots. Onions are often called the “king of vegetables” because of its pungent taste. Also, onions when cut make the eyes water, because of cysteine sulfoxides that are released.onion

Nutritional Content of Onions

Onions are a very rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, biotin, chromium, calcium, sulfur and dietary fiber. They also contain good amounts of folic acid, vitamin B1, potassium, selenium, phosphorus and vitamin K.

Health Benefits of Onions

1. Excellent oral health: Onions are often used in the prevention of tooth decay and oral infections. Chewing raw onions for 2-3 minutes has the potential to rid of germs in the mouth, including the throat, gums and lips.

2. Anti-septic properties: Onions have been used to fight bacteria, including E.coli and salmonella, and are also effective against tuberculosis and infections of the urinary tract, such as cystitis.

3. Reducing cholesterol: Consuming half a medium raw onion a day helps to correct thrombosis, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and prevents heart attacks. In addition, onions boost the beneficial HDL cholesterol.

4. Relieves stomach aches: Onions have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can give relief to upset stomachs and other gastro-intestinal problems. This is owed to the saponins contained in onions which are anti-spasmodic chemicals that ensure that stomach disturbances do not continue and that the bowels are clear and smooth functioning.

5. Treatment of anemia: Onions with jaggery and water can improve anemic conditions as they add significant amounts of minerals, iron in particular, which help the body in producing new red blood cells.

6. Anti-inflammatory properties: The many anti-inflammatory agents in onions help reduce conditions such as arthritis and gout.

7. Maintains healthy blood pressure: Onions help to lower blood pressure naturally by thinning the blood, dissolving blood clots and ridding the blood of unhealthy fats.

8. Maintains blood sugar levels: Onions are great for diabetics as they bring down insulin levels and improve glucose intolerance.

9. Promotes digestive health: The fiber content of onions coupled with the various components of onions helps maintain a healthy digestive system, relieving chronic constipation and flatulence.

10. Fight cancer: Onions are rich in active compounds that have been shown to successfully inhibit the development and spread of cancerous cells, quercitin being one of those compounds.

11. Boosts immune system: Onions contain numerous phytochemicals along with vitamin C that boosts the immune system, helping it rid and fight off foreign bodies and toxins.

12. Prevent osteoporosis: Recently, a compound contained in onions has been identified to help in the prevention of osteoporosis by preventing the breaking down of bones.

13. Fights common ailments: Onion helps liquefy mucus and prevents its further formation and is also excellent against cold and coughs and other respiratory problems.

14. Boosts sexual drive: Onions have long been known to be a potent aphrodisiac and are second only to garlic.

15. Treating urinary disorders: Onions can help rid of the burning sensation that is experienced during urination. Water with onion is to be boiled till half the water is evaporated, water is separated and cooled and drunk. The anti-bacterial properties of onion help removing urinary tract infections and diseases.

Read How to Grow Onions for detailed instruction and tips. Find various Heirloom Onion Seeds at our online store.

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), also known as lady’s finger, bhindi or gumbo is a highly nutritious vegetable, usually eaten while the pod is green, tender and immature and is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the mallow family. The appearance of okra is comparable to that of a grooved pepper and food experts believe that okra originated in Africa. History says that Cleopatra of Egypt loved to eat okra and that okra’s popularity has seen that it never disappears from local markets or convenience stores throughout the world, throughout the year.     okra

Nutritional Content of Okra

Okra is a popular health food that is high in fiber, vitamin C and folate. Okra is also a source of many antioxidants and nutrients including calcium, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, vitamin A and magnesium. It also contains starch and some fat which is mainly unsaturated.

Health Benefits of Okra

1. Okra’s fiber is superior and helps stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate of absorption of sugar thus making it an anti-diabetic.

2. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria in the gut and contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.

3. The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods helps in smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and can help relieve constipation.

4. Fresh pods are a good source of folates whose consumption is especially good during pregnancy because it prevents babies being born with birth defects.

5. Okra helps in the treatment of lung inflammation, sore throat and irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Okra contains vitamin K which is necessary in the blood clotting process and plays a vital role in the strengthening of bones in the body.

7. The soluble fibers in okra, called pectin, helps lower blood cholesterol levels by 10%.

8. Asthma can be treated by including okra in one’s meals.

9. Okra is good for the skin and protects the skin from pimples while maintaining smooth and beautiful skin.

10. Regular consumption of raw or cooked okra can help avoid obesity.

11. Okra can help lower the risk of cataracts and is believed to protect against some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer. This is due to the high amounts of vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein.

12. Okra can prevent sun strokes.

13. Okra pods are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps the body’s immunity system in the fight against infectious agents, cold, flu and harmful free radicals.

14. Okra is great in protecting against atherosclerosis owing to its action of supporting the structure of capillaries.

Read How to Grow Okra for detailed instructions. Find organic heirloom Okra seeds and much more at our online store.

Mustard greens (Brassica juncea), also called Chinese mustard, leaf mustard or Indian mustard is a species of mustard plant whose leaves, seeds and stems are edible. Mustard greens are considered to be a cruciferous vegetable and are a member of the Brassica family. Mustard greens in the American culture are often relegated to a popular soul food ingredient with their pungent, peppery flavor that adds a certain pizzazz to savory dishes. Mustard greens can vary in color from emerald green to burgundy to a deep purple, but is certainly a misnomer as they are never mustard colored.mustard greens varieties

Nutritional Content of Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are low in calories and contain barely any sodium or fat. Among the many nutrients found in mustard greens, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, calcium, manganese, folic acid, carotenes and fiber are found in high quantities. Other nutrients that are contained in smaller amounts are vitamin B1, phosphorus, iron, zinc and others.

Health Benefits of Mustard Greens

1. Fights cancer: Mustard greens contribute to the three critical body functions: antioxidation, detoxification and anti-inflammation that help the prevention of cancer in the body. Studies have shown a link between mustard greens consumption to the lower risk of bladder, colon, breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers. In addition, the presence of glucosinolates, phytonutrients common in cruciferous vegetables with cancer fighting properties make a strong anti-cancer case for mustard greens.

2. Detoxification: Phase 1 and 2 detoxification activities are boosted by the antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients that are contained in mustard greens.

3. Anti-oxidant properties: Mustard greens contain one of the highest concentrations of the 3 powerful antioxidants: vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C, among the leafy vegetables. One cup of mustard greens provides 524% the DV of vitamin K, 177% the DV of vitamin A and 59% the DV of vitamin C.

4. Promotes digestion: Mustard greens are a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health by regulating metabolism and helping bowel movements.

5. Anti-inflammatory properties: Mustard greens contain vitamin K and omega-3-fatty acids which are 2 essential anti-inflammatory agents that help prevent chronic inflammation.

6. Eye health: The high levels of vitamin A present in mustard greens are great for strengthening the eyes and preventing macular degeneration.

7. Weight loss: Mustard greens are highly nutritious, yet low in calorie and fat. Also the high fiber content makes mustard greens excellent choices in weight loss diets.

8. Bone health: Being a good source of both calcium and potassium, mustard greens promote good bone health and help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

9. Healthy cardiovascular system: Mustard greens help reduce cholesterol levels, support the detox and inflammation systems in the body, directly benefitting the cardiovascular system. Folate, a critical B-vitamin helps in the process of methylation which converts the dangerous homocysteine into a benign molecule. Homocysteine buildup is a contributing factor in heart disease.

Learn to grow mustard greens: How to Grow Mustard Greens. Find various heirloom Mustard Greens Seeds at our online store.

Peppers don’t have that spicy image for nothing! Peppers are an excellent way to spice up otherwise bland dishes. Peppers are fruits of small perennial shrubs in the nightshade (solanaceae) family and belong to the genus, capsicum. The bell pepper or sweet pepper is the most popular type of pepper. The small spicy varieties are commonly called chili peppers. In the United States, bell peppers add sweet flavor to hundreds of popular dishes, from crisp salads to savory pizza and vegetable-laden stir-fries.  peppers

Nutritional Content of Peppers

All peppers are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, but the red varieties are simply bursting with them. Peppers are low in calories and fats, while being nutrient dense, containing fiber and providing numerous vital components. Peppers also contain capsaicin, a plant alkaloid that has numerous health benefits.

Health Benefits of Peppers

1. Promotes weight loss: Both hot and sweet peppers may enhance weight loss efforts owing to capsaicin which boosts and speeds up metabolism. In addition, the fiber content and its low calorific value make them useful in weight loss diets.

2. Reduce risk of cancer: Consumption of green, yellow and red peppers regularly provides the body with vitamin A and vitamin C that fights free radicals and other sources of cell damage. Peppers also contain lycopene, a nutrient known to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer. Also, capsaicin has been shown to have some anti-carcinogenic properties.

3. Prevents cardiovascular diseases: Peppers help protect against cardiovascular diseases if they are regularly consumed owing to the beneficial action of capsaicin and other important phytonutrients and antioxidants found in peppers.

4. Control cholesterol: A study showed that adding hot chilies to daily meals may protect against the buildup of cholesterol in the blood.

5. Antioxidant nature: The high amount of nutrients and vitamins in peppers including vitamin C boosts the immunity system and lowers the risk of diseases such as arthritis.

6. Anti-inflammatory properties: Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which will lavish one with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

7. The capsaicin in peppers has multiple health benefits. Capsaicin has been studied for its bad cholesterol reduction, ability to control diabetes, bring relief from pain and relieve inflammation.

8. The vitamin B6 in peppers is essential for the good functioning of the nervous system and helps renew cells.

9. Promote eye health: Peppers are excellent sources of lutein and zea-xanthin, nutrients that help ward off the development of eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Peppers are also packed with beta-carotene which is known for its ability to promote good vision and eye health.

10. Prevent Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases: Studies have shown that peppers have a great potential in fighting against neurological diseases.

Learn to grow peppers: How to Grow Peppers. Find organic heirloom Pepper Seeds at our online store.

Radicchio (pronounced ra-dee-kyoh) is a leaf chicory, sometimes called Italian chicory, and is a perennial. Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red or purple leaves and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. Radicchio in general, has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when grilled or roasted. Radicchio has been in existence since ancient times and Pliny the Elder, the ancient Roman philosopher, praised radicchio for its medicinal properties, claiming that it was useful as a blood purifier and an aid for insomniacs. He was definitely on to something because when Italian scientists recently tested radicchio phenol content it scored high!radicchio

Nutritional Content of Radicchio

Radicchio is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also has high amounts of antioxidants and plant phytonutrients. It is low in calories and is free of fats and cholesterol. Radicchio is a good source of selenium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and folate.

Health Benefits of Radicchio

1. The bitter principle in radicchio is lactucopicrin (intybin), a sesquiterpene lactone which is a potent antimalarial agent and has a sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect.

2. Radicchio promotes weight loss by virtue of its high fiber that makes one full and keeps one satiated for longer.

3. Radicchio is high in antioxidants that boost overall health, wellness and energy.

4. Radicchio promotes bile production which in turn improves digestion and reduces cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol is directly beneficial to organ health and vigor.

5. Radicchio is an excellent source of vitamin K which has an important role in bone healthy promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strength) activity. Further, adequate vitamin K levels which can be got by consuming radicchio helps limit neuronal damage in the brain and is thus an established treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Radicchio is an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as zea-xanthin and lutein which are known to offer protection to age related macular disease by filtering harmful ultraviolet rays.

7. Radicchio neutralizes free radicals in humans, helps fight cell damage and fights cell damage to DNA that may lead to coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

8. Radicchio contains a substance called inulin that naturally helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This is linked to a reduction in the risk of strokes and other heart diseases.

9. Radicchio aids digestion and colon cleansing by its high fiber content. Also radicchio has been used to fight intestinal worms and parasites to great effect.

10. Polyphenols found in radicchio help neutralize free radicals and give a mental sharpness, keen eyesight and lower incidence of stomach flu.

Interested in growing radicchio? Find Heirloom Radicchio Seeds at our online store.

The radish (Raphanus sativus) is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family, which was domesticated in Europe, in pre-Roman times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time. Radish can sprout from seed to small plant in as little as 3 days, hence the descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus which means “quickly appearing”. Both the root and leaves are commonly eaten as a vegetable in salads, stir fry, curry, soups and stew.

White radish.

White radish.

Nutritional Content of Radish

Radishes are low in calories and fat and are packed with all sorts of essential nutrients and vitamins. Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper and calcium.

Health Benefits of Radish

1. Weight loss: Radishes are low in digestible carbohydrates, high in roughage and contain a lot of water which make them a filling food and a very good option for those determined to lose weight.

2. Cardiovascular health: Radishes are a great source of anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid, which give the color to radishes and have been positively linked to reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

3. Fight cancer: Researchers at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India found that radishes induce apoptosis which means that they kill cancer cells. Furthermore, isothiocyanate antioxidant compound called sulforaphane found in radishes has a proven role in preventing prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its cancer cell growth inhibition and cyto-toxic effects on cancer cells.

4. Eases respiration: Radishes act as a natural decongestant and is particularly useful for chronic bronchial flare-ups, sinus infections and asthma.

5. Naturally cooling: Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body.

6. Promotes digestion: Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time. Radishes have a calming effect on the digestive system and can relieve bloating and indigestion. Also, the detoxifying nature of radishes helps relieve the symptoms of piles quickly.

7. Against jaundice: Radishes are extremely useful in treating jaundice because it removes bilirubin and also keeps its production at a stable level. It also reduces the destruction of red blood cells of those suffering from jaundice by increasing the supply of fresh oxygen to the blood.

8. Treatment of urinary disorders: Radishes are diuretic in nature which means that they increase the production of urine and also cure inflammation and burning sensation during urination. Regular radish consumption cleans out the kidneys and inhibits infections in the kidney and urinary tract, thus helping in the treatment of various urinary conditions that are exacerbated by excess toxins in the system.

9. Reduces blood pressure: Radishes are a very good source of potassium, which contributes to a large list of health benefits. Potassium is associated with reducing blood pressure because it dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow by widening the blood vessels.

10. Immunity booster: Fresh radish is rich in vitamin C and carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants required by the body for protection, energy, vitality and disease prevention.

11. Bone health: When it comes to rich plant sources of calcium, radishes come close to the highest. Calcium is necessary for good bone growth and mineralization of bone and teeth.

12. Skin disorders: Vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc and B-vitamins that are present in radishes are very good for the skin. Furthermore, the high water content of radish helps to maintain healthy moisture levels in the skin. Due to its disinfectant properties, radishes also help clear up skin disorders like dry skin, rashes and cracks.

Radishes are a great filler crop around the empty spaces around other plants because they are so fast growing that they will finish growing before the other plants fill in! Find various Heirloom Radish Seeds at our online store. For help on growing radishes, read our How to Plant Radishes article. Good luck and happy gardening!

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking but is gaining popularity in the United States in salads, quiche, stir fry and numerous other dishes. Swiss chard is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available, and is a valuable addition to a healthy diet. Swiss chard is also known by its many common names such as chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet and mangold. Swiss chard belongs to the beet family and unlike most beets is harvested for the leaves and stalks rather than the roots. Swiss chards feature green to dark-green leaves with stalks varying in color depending on variety from green, red, white, orange, yellow, purple and pink.swiss chard

Nutritional Content of Swiss Chard

Swiss chards are nutritional powerhouses that are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, protein and dietary fiber. It is low in calories and fats. All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid.

Health Benefits of Swiss Chard

1. Bone health: Swiss chard is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K all of which add to the strengthening of bones and teeth.

2. Fights cancer: Swiss chard is a super-food with anti-cancer properties owing to the abundance of fiber, phytonutrients and various antioxidants present in it.

3. Circulatory system health: Swiss chard is an excellent source of iron which is vital for maintaining a healthy circulatory system. Vitamin K is key for healthy blood clotting and preventing excessive bruising and bleeding and is found in Swiss chards in significant amounts.

4. Eye health: Swiss chards contain high amounts of lutein, an antioxidant essential for eye health and may possibly delay or prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

5. Blood sugar regulation: Swiss chards contain fiber and syringic acid, both of which are involved in regulating blood sugar levels by altering the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood from the intestine.

6. Brain health: In addition to strengthening bones, the vitamin K present in Swiss chard is crucial for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system as it is essential for the formation of the protective layer around the nerves, called the myelin sheath.

7. Antioxidant properties: Swiss chards are one of the most antioxidant rich foods on the planet. It contains beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, lutein, zea-xanthin, quercitin, kaempferol and many other disease fighting compounds.

8. Hair health: Swiss chard is rich in biotin, a vitamin that promotes hair growth and strength. The vitamins A and C also assist the hair follicles in the production of sebum, which keeps hair and skin supple.

Learn to grow Swiss chard: How to Grow Swiss Chard. Find organic heirloom Swiss Chard seeds and much more at our online store.