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Swiss chard —plant family Amaranth. It belongs to the subspecies of beet, and resembles spinach. Varieties of this plant are few, and they all differ in color of the stems and the appearance of the leaves. However, in comparison with beets, the root of chard is inedible, but the leaves and stems are edible.
Chard grows in Western Europe, Japan, Latin America, Baltic States, India, Ukraine and Russia.
Chard, called leaf beet and attribute it not to the greens and vegetable. This plant can reach 70 cm in height. The appearance of chard reflects not only its variety, but also is a decoration of the garden because this plant looks quite nice — mostly because of the bright petioles whose color can be yellow, and bright pink, and dark red.
To grow chard can not only for culinary purposes but also for decoration. For these purposes there are several varieties used by gardeners.
For culinary purposes especially revered chard, harvested in early spring, when the rest of green, vitamin-rich, production is still very small.
The stalks and leaves, which are eaten contain a variety of nutrients. So, they contain carbohydrates, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, ascorbic acid and other vitamins and micro and macronutrients.
Chard is low in calories and are absolutely safe for the figure: 100 grams contains only 19 calories.
About the benefits of chard began in ancient times. Then it was thought that the leaf juice has diuretic, tonic and laxative action, and in addition it is quite effective against dandruff.
Vitamins and other nutrients of this plant is preserved when it is added to salads, stews, cold dishes.
When consuming this plant the body gets assistance in dealing with urolithiasis, diabetes, hypotension, and anemia. If you eat this plant regularly, it can improve the cardiovascular system, brain, liver and the lymphatic system. In addition, the properties of chard help to boost the immune system and improve the body's defenses.
The product has been successfully used in the menu for diets, but if it is regularly added to food, it is possible to remove toxins and harmful substances.
Popular in various countries, it is part of many dishes, both as main component, and as simple decoration. The leaves often spread of snacks, salads and other dishes, for example meat. The stalks can be used in canning cucumbers and various other vegetables, or to marinate on their own, like the cucumbers.. they can Also be boiled in lightly salted water and fry in oil together with breadcrumbs. The leaves can be drunk separately or with cabbage.
Use in food should be fresh chard while it's still soft and juicy.
In cosmetics it is also possible to use this plant. It is the effect on hair: makes it shiny, strengthens the roots, improves growth, and as has been said, get rid of dandruff.
The chard is present idiosyncrasy, so the first use should be careful. If you have experienced allergic reactions from chard should be abandoned. Due to the high content of volatile substances in some people, the plant can cause vomiting, drowsiness, nausea and sudden drop in blood pressure.
The juice of this plant is not recommended to use in large amounts, as it may cause different negative effects such as, headache, decrease heart rate and dizziness.