Swiss Chard Nutrition Information and Health Benefits

Chard, annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Swiss chard and other leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses: They are very low in calories, carbs, sugars, and fat, but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Thanks to these nutrients, chard has many health benefits, and is a valuable addition to your diet. Swiss chard and other chard varieties are easy to cook, versatile, and readily available.

Swiss Chard Nutrition Facts

One cup of raw Swiss chard provides just under 7 calories, 0.7g of protein, 1.4g of carbohydrates, and 0.1g of fat. Swiss chard is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and magnesium. The nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 6.8
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 77mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.4g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Sugars: 0.4g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Vitamin K: 299mcg
  • Iron: 0.6mg


A 1-cup serving of Swiss chard has 1.4 grams of carbohydrates; nearly half of that amount is fiber. As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of chard. However, its estimated glycemic load is very low (about 2). Anything under 10 is considered low.


As a leafy green vegetable, chard has a negligible amount of fat (almost all of it unsaturated).


Chard is also not a good source of protein, so you will need to consume other foods to get enough of this macronutrient in your diet.

Vitamins and Minerals

Leafy greens like Swiss chard are packed with nutrients. Chard is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K (just one large leaf has four times the daily requirement), vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It is a good source of vitamin E, copper, choline, calcium, and riboflavin.


Raw Swiss chard has 6.8 calories per cup. Approximately 63% of calories are from carbs, 29% from protein, and 8% from fat. Swiss chard is considered a low-calorie food.


Swiss chard is a nutrient-packed, high-volume food that is low in calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol. It provides many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E.

Health Benefits

Like kale, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens, chard is highly nutritious and is often considered a superfood. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on "powerhouse" vegetables gave chard a score of 89.27 (out of 100) in nutrient density.

That means it has high amounts, per calorie, of 17 "nutrients of public health importance:" potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. The report says these powerhouse foods could be protective against chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

Repairs Cell Damage

Some of that protection could come from the antioxidants in Swiss chard, which help the body fight inflammation and cell damage. This, in turn, may help prevent or slow the progression of some diseases and infections.

Decreases Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Research shows an association between the consumption of leafy green vegetables and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. People who consumed more of these veggies were more than 15% less likely to have cardiovascular disease.

Slows Cognitive Decline

A study of almost 1,000 older people (ages 58 to 99) found that those who ate more leafy greens, even just one serving per day, had a slower rate of cognitive decline due to aging. People who consumed an average of 1.3 servings a day showed brain health comparable to people 11 years younger.

Low in FODMAPs

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease sometimes find relief from digestive symptoms when they follow a low-FODMAP diet. Swiss chard is one of the vegetables that is allowed on this diet.

Provides Dairy-Free Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral that helps build and protect bones and teeth. For people who can't eat dairy products, chard offers an alternate source of calcium. One cup of raw Swiss chard contains 18.4mg of calcium (about 2% of daily recommended intake).

Is Swiss Chard Healthier Cooked or Raw?

Swiss chard is nutritious no matter how you prepare it, but cooking swiss chard can reduce the water content and concentrate the nutrients.


Although it is unusual, allergies to Swiss chard have been reported. In addition, if you have hay fever caused by mugwort pollen, you may experience oral allergy syndrome (OAS) when consuming chard.

Symptoms include itchiness or swelling around the mouth. These usually subside when you stop eating chard. Rarely, OAS can progress to anaphylaxis. Know the symptoms of anaphylaxis and seek immediate treatment if you experience them.

Adverse Effects

Chard is high in vitamin K, which helps regulate blood clotting. People who take certain blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin), need to consume consistent amounts of vitamin K. If you are taking blood thinners, discuss your diet with your doctor. The right amount of dietary vitamin K varies from person to person.

If you are susceptible to kidney stones, speak to your doctor about consuming chard. It is high in oxalates, which can cause calcium build-up that can lead to kidney stones.


For a long time, the only variety of chard available was Swiss chard. Some newer varieties, such as red chard and rainbow chard, are a little less bitter to taste. They are slightly hardier than spinach, but still can be cooked very quickly on the stove. The stems are also edible, either raw or cooked, and the chopped stems can add color to a dish.

When It's Best

In the U.S., chard is in season in late summer and early fall (although you can usually buy imported chard year-round). Look for fresh, not wilted, dark green leaves and firm stems.

Storage and Food Safety

Store fresh chard in an open (unsealed) plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cooked chard will also keep for several days in a closed container in your refrigerator.

How to Prepare

Eat chard leaves fresh in a salad or smoothie, or add to soups along with or instead of other hearty greens like kale. In addition to recipes that specifically call for chard, it can be used as a substitute for spinach in many dishes. You can also wilt or sauté it with a little olive oil, garlic, and salt for a quick, easy, vitamin-rich side dish.

9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.