Paleo Foods: Swiss Chard

Get our “getting started” mini-course:

 

Swiss chard highlights

When eating Paleo, we’re often told: “eat your green, leafy vegetables”; and we think of the ever-popular kale and spinach greens. However, Swiss chard includes an impressive array of minerals: potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, and manganese. It’s also rich in Vitamin A (in the beta-carotene form) and iron (non-heme form). While this form of Vitamin A and iron are not necessarily ideal for absorption, Swiss chard is still a nutrient-dense vegetable.

Because the leaves and stalks are quite tough, it’s recommended to chop the stems and leaves, then saute or boil before eating.

If you have kidney stones or other kidney issues, you may have heard about restricting oxalates. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, beet greens and Swiss chard are high in oxalate content. While the actual evidence for restricting oxalates is conflicting, many doctors advise kidney stone patients to avoid oxalates.

Nutrition Details

Nutrient1 cup cooked Swiss chard, absolute amount1 cup cooked Swiss chard, %DV
Vitamin A10,717 IU214%
Vitamin C31.5 mg53%
Vitamin K573 mcg716%
Vitamin B60.1 mg7%
Calcium101 mg10%
Iron4.0 mg22%
Magnesium150 mg38%
Potassium961 mg27%
Copper0.3 mg14%
Manganese0.6 mg29%
Fiber3.7 grams15%

 

Macronutrients Macros in Context

Here’s how 1 cup of cooked Swiss chard stacks up in the context of a typical Paleo meal:

Blue bars show the typical range in grams for a Paleo meal. For example, a Paleo meal usually includes 30-60 grams of fat, but where you personally fall in that range will depend on your preference.

Orange dots show how 1 cup of cooked Swiss chard fits into the typical nutrient profile of a Paleo meal.

Macros in Context - Swiss chard

Buying it Buy It

  • ORIGIN: Although the name suggests otherwise, Swiss chard isn’t native to Switzerland — it originates in the Mediterranean region.
  • SELECT: Choose chard that is kept in a chilled display. Look for leaves that are vivid green in color.
  • COLORS: The stalks are a variety of colors including white, red, yellow and orange. Swiss chard is sometimes labeled “rainbow chard” with mixed colors.

 

Cooking with it Cook It

BREAKFAST

Boil down Swiss chard and serve under a poached egg breakfast.

SAUTE

Saute Swiss chard in olive oil with minced garlic and a squeeze of lemon.

SIDE DISH

Lightly toss and cook Swiss chard until tender. Serve under cod or salmon.

FRITTATA

Add boiled Swiss chard into an omelet or frittata.

P.S. Have a look at Paleo Restart, our 30-day program. It lets you jump into Paleo, lose weight and start feeling great.

+ Paleo Leap Tribe is now also available. It's a set of tools that we've built to make Paleo work for you. It has a meal plan generator, a weight loss tracker & tons of visual cheat sheets.

Get a PDF with our top 35 recipes