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The researchers reported that Tunisian wild Swiss chard leaves contained mostly complex carbohydrates, especially dietary fiber. The leaves were also particularly rich in magnesium, iron and calcium but low in sodium.

Chemicalanalyses revealed that the wild Swiss chard leaves are rich in phytochemicals like non-terpene derivatives and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. They also contained active compounds like myricitrin, p-coumaric acid and rosmarinic acid, all three of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Further analysis of the extract obtained from Swiss chard leaves confirmed that the vegetable has antioxidant properties. The extract was also able to inhibit the activities of a-amylase and a-glucosidase, which suggests that wild Tunisian Swiss chard leaves have potential anti-diabetic properties. These findings highlight the potential health benefits of wild Swiss chard, which it owes to its active components.

Cruciferous vegetables have been in the spotlight for quite some time. Together with allium vegetables, they are known for their cancer-fighting abilities, among other beneficial properties. But oftentimes, when researchers study cruciferous vegetables or health articles mention them, they highlight broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and kale. Only a few shine a spotlight on Swiss chard, another cruciferous vegetable that’s considered a nutrient powerhouse and a superfood in its own right. If you’re curious about what this leafy green has to offer, read on and find out.

Swiss chard: Fast facts and history
Swiss chard, or simply chard, is sometimes called silverbeet. It is often used as a substitute for spinach. Although what we usually eat are just the leaves and stems of Swiss chard, every part of this vegetable, including its roots, is edible.

Many gardeners like having Swiss chard in their gardens because of its decorative leaves. It is also one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Some use the names Swiss chard and silverbeet to differentiate between chard varieties, as the vegetable can either have colorful stems and veins or appear plain with only dark-green leaves and white stems. Silverbeet usually refers to the plain ones while Swiss chard refers to the colorful ones.

Despite its name, Swiss chard’s origin can be traced to the Mediterranean island of Sicily. Some say this veggie is only called Swiss chard because it was named by a Swiss botanist, but records suggest that Swiss chard was given this name around the 19th century because producers wanted to market it differently from the French chard.

Swiss chard didn’t start growing in American and European gardens until the 1830s, and the U.S. only increased its production of this vegetable around the late 1860s. Like carrots and beets, Swiss chard is a biennial crop that can do well in cold or hot temperatures.

Swiss chard: Nutritional profile and health benefits
In a recent study, researchers studied the nutrient and phytochemical content of a variety of Swiss chard that grows in Tunisia. They focused specifically on its antioxidant properties as well as its ability to stop the activity two enzymes, namely, a-amylase and a-glucosidase. a-Amylase is responsible for converting starch into sucrose and maltose, which are further broken down by a-glucosidase into simple sugars like glucose in the gut.

The researchers reported that Tunisian wild Swiss chard leaves contained mostly complex carbohydrates, especially dietary fiber. The leaves were also particularly rich in magnesium, iron and calcium but low in sodium. Chemical analyses revealed that the wild Swiss chard leaves are rich in phytochemicals like non-terpene derivatives and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. They also contained active compounds like myricitrin, p-coumaric acid and rosmarinic acid, all three of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Further analysis of the extract obtained from Swiss chard leaves confirmed that the vegetable has antioxidant properties. The extract was also able to inhibit the activities of a-amylase and a-glucosidase, which suggests that wild Tunisian Swiss chard leaves have potential anti-diabetic properties. These findings highlight the potential health benefits of wild Swiss chard, which it owes to its active components.

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