Like its close relative the beet, Swiss chard is chock-full of antioxidants, including betalains, which can help shuttle toxins out of your body (one of the reasons you see chard in so many smoothies). It's also rich in vitamins B, C, and K. Just 1 cup of chard (cooked or raw) contains three times your daily needs for bone-strengthening K. You also get magnesium, iron, potassium, and even heart healthy omega-3s.
One cup of cooked Swiss chard offers up double your RDA of all-important vitamin A (raw has just 44 percent; cooking may impact the A content), which helps protect your peepers from infection. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help shield your eyes from age-related damage.
With 4 g fiber, 3 g protein, and only 35 calories per cup, Swiss chard is the ideal mix-in or side dish to help you feel full for fewer calories.
Fresh Signs: look for bright green leaves and sturdy (not porous) stalks.
Wash and Go: Swiss chard lasts for up to four days in the fridge. Place leaves in a plastic bag with a few airholes, and don't wash until you're ready to use.