Is it just me or are food product advertisements taking over the world!? Well those and pharmaceutical ads…but that is a story for another day. Everywhere I look I see an ad for some colorfully packaged provision boasting an above average nutrition content, claiming weight loss benefits, or making promises about various other health topics. But does food really need advertising? Food is kind of a basic need, we can’t get very far without it—and Mother Nature has done a pretty good job of providing us with a myriad of foods that fulfill our nutritional needs. Ever since man started roaming the earth, he knew he needed fuel and he knew the earth provided the fuel that he needed. Humans didn’t always have to be told to purchase a meal bar in a flashy package because it contained a boatload of nutrients and wouldn’t pack on the pounds. But it seems that in our industrialized food nation, we’ve become out-of-tune with the basic instincts of our needs. We’re used to being told what’s good for us, how to prepare it, and how much of it we should consume. This is where I divert back to that rule I mentioned here in earlier posts of eat foods that your great, great, great, great grandmother would recognize. Go back to a time before the food product advertisements. Mother Nature provides us with foods that could make all the health claims, but she doesn’t need to make a profit and thereby doesn’t have an advertising budget.
Did you know that it was common for our ancient ancestors to eat up to six pounds of leaves per day? Six pounds!! That’s a lot of leaves. Today few of us even eat the minimum USDA recommendations of three cups of dark green vegetables per week. Calorie for calorie, dark green leafy vegetables are some of the most concentrated sources of nutrition of any food. So if you’re looking for foods that pack a nutritional punch, look away from the ads and try going GREEN!
For today let’s talk about Swiss chard. Mother Nature doesn’t like to brag, so I’ll do it for her and tell you about all the amazing benefits of this superfood.
Antioxidents—colorful vegetables like Swiss chard contain a plethora of disease fighting antioxidents, such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, kaempferol, and more.
Blood sugar regulation—Swiss chard and other green leafies contain syringic acid and fiber which help regulate blood sugar levels.
Bone health–One cup of Swiss chard provides about 101 mg of calcium. It also contains vitamin K and magnesium, both of which are also important for strong bones.
Cancer prevention—Thanks to the fiber content, chlorophyll, phytochemicals, and other plant pigments, Swiss chard is a superfood known for its cancer preventative properties. Studies have found that leafy green vegetables are particularly beneficial against colon cancer.
Oh I could just go on and on. The nutrient content of Swiss chard is also beneficial for brain health, blood health, eye health, healthy hair, and more…
SWISS CHARD AND POTATO CURRY
3 or 4 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste (the more you use the spicier the dish will be)
3 cups chopped Swiss chard (I buy a bunch of chard, remove the leaves from the central vein, and chop the leaves)
1 (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
Place potatoes in a large pan, cover with water. Bring to boil. Boil 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, simmer 4-6 minutes.