Green chard is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people discover its potential health benefits. Some of the key nutrients found in chard include vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and fiber. With this impressive nutritional profile, many health enthusiasts have started adding chard to their daily juice routines. But is green chard actually good for juicing? Let’s take a closer look.
Nutritional Benefits of Green Chard
Here is an overview of some of the top nutrients found in green chard and their health benefits:
|Important for blood clotting and bone health
|Supports immune system and vision
|Powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity
|Promotes muscle and nerve function
|Regulates fluid balance and blood pressure
|Transports oxygen and supports metabolism
|Aids digestion and heart health
As you can see, chard contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. By juicing chard, you can get a concentrated dose of these nutrients in liquid form. This makes them easy for your body to absorb and utilize quickly.
Chard Has Very High Antioxidant Levels
One of the standout qualities of chard is its antioxidant content. Antioxidants are substances that help counteract oxidative damage from free radicals in your body. This type of damage is linked to chronic inflammation, accelerated aging, and diseases like cancer.
Chard is especially high in carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It also contains quercetin, kaempferol, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which are potent antioxidants as well.
By juicing chard, you can flood your body with these protective compounds. This allows them to start neutralizing harmful free radicals and reducing inflammation.
Chard Contains Anti-Inflammatory Phytonutrients
Along with antioxidants, chard provides anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like syringic acid, coumaric acid, cosmosiin, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid. Chronic inflammation is a major driver of chronic diseases when it gets out of control.
These anti-inflammatory compounds found in chard may help counteract this inflammatory response. Juicing is an efficient way to obtain high amounts of these beneficial phytonutrients.
Chard May Help Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease. Luckily, preliminary research indicates that the phytonutrients in chard may help reduce cholesterol levels.
In one study, giving phytonutrient-rich chard extract to rats with high cholesterol helped lower their blood triglyceride and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.
The soluble fiber in chard may also bind to cholesterol in your gut and eliminate it before it can be absorbed. More research is needed, but juicing chard may support healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range.
Chard Contains Compounds That Support Liver Health
Your liver is responsible for filtering out toxins from your body. Some research suggests that the flavonoid antioxidants in chard may help support liver health.
One study found that giving rats with liver damage an extract high in chard flavonoids helped reduce markers of liver injury. The extract also increased antioxidant activity in the liver.
Including chard juice in your diet may help support your liver function and prevent oxidative damage in this vital organ.
Chard Provides Anti-Cancer Benefits
Some of the phytonutrients in green chard may help protect against certain types of cancer.
In lab studies, the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. Chard also contains carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, which may have cancer-fighting properties as well.
Furthermore, the high antioxidant levels in chard help prevent oxidative damage that can lead to cancerous mutations in your cells. Drinking chard juice gives you an easy way to benefit from these protective plant compounds.
Chard Is Very Low in Calories
One of the things that makes chard a great choice for juicing is that it provides minimal calories. A 1-cup serving of raw chard contains only 7 calories.
This means you can juice heaping amounts of chard without worrying about excess calorie intake. When combined with other low-calorie ingredients like cucumber and celery, chard makes juices that are nutritionally dense yet light in calories.
Chard Has a Mild, Palatable Flavor
Chard has a relatively mild and slightly earthy flavor. While bolder than spinach, it is more palatable and easier to include in green juices than kale or collard greens.
The tender texture and adaptability of chard allow it to blend nicely with fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and pineapples. This makes chard a versatile ingredient for creating flavorful and drinkable green juices.
Easy Way to Reach Daily Recommended Vegetable Intake
Nutrition experts recommend getting several servings of vegetables per day. However, many people struggle to eat the recommended amount.
Juicing with chard provides an easy shortcut for upping your daily vegetable intake. Just one cup of chard can be juiced and concentrated down into a few ounces of fresh juice.
Drinking juices made with chard is an effortless way to flood your body with vital micronutrients from vegetables in just a few gulps.
Chard Has Some Potential Downsides for Juicing
While chard has many nutritional benefits, there are a couple potential downsides to consider when using it for juicing:
Oxalic Acid Content
Chard contains oxalic acid, an antinutrient that can bind to minerals like calcium and iron in your digestive tract, preventing their full absorption. However, juicing chard may help reduce its oxalic acid content.
High Vitamin K Content
Chard is very high in vitamin K. While this is beneficial for most people, those taking blood-thinning medications should keep intake consistent and consult their healthcare provider.
Chard contains nitrates that may convert to nitrites or nitrosamines, which can be harmful in large amounts. Luckily, juicing may help reduce nitrate levels compared to eating chard cooked.
Overall, these concerns are likely minimal for most people eating a balanced diet. However, moderation is key, even with very healthy foods like chard.
Best Practices for Juicing with Chard
Here are some tips to get the most out of juicing with chard:
- Use organic chard when possible to reduce pesticide exposure from conventional produce.
- Wash chard well, especially if not organic, to remove dirt and debris.
- Chop chard into smaller pieces so it blends more smoothly into juice.
- Combine chard with sweeter fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and beets to balance the earthy flavor.
- Drink chard juice right after making it to maximize nutrient retention.
- Pair chard juice with protein, fat, or fiber for balanced nutrition and blood sugar control.
- Start with a small amount of chard and build up over time if adjusting to the earthy flavor.
- Drink in moderation as part of a varied diet to prevent overconsumption of compounds like oxalates and nitrates.
Potential Chard Juice Recipe Combinations
Chard blends deliciously into all types of fresh juices. Here are a few potential recipe ideas to help get you started:
Green Chard Juice
Chard, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, apple
Rainbow Chard Juice
Chard, carrot, beet, pineapple, lemon
Tropical Chard Juice
Chard, mango, banana, coconut water, lime
Berry Chard Juice
Chard, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apple
Sweet Chard Juice
Chard, apple, pear, kiwi, mint
Overall, green chard is an excellent choice for adding to your daily juicing routine. It packs a nutritional punch, delivering a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Chard has a milder flavor than many other green leafy vegetables, making it very palatable and drinkable. It combines nicely with various fruits and veggies to create nutrient-dense juices.
Just be mindful of overdoing intake of compounds like oxalates and nitrates if consuming large amounts. As part of a balanced diet, chard juice provides a convenient way to boost your vegetable intake and harness the many health benefits this leafy green has to offer.