Differences Between Spinach And Chard

What are the differences between spinach and chard? Which one loses more? Sources of vitamin C, folates, and minerals, both vegetables have a lot to contribute to our table. We find out how they differ below.

Similar in appearance, culinary uses, and highly nutritious, spinach and chard are two vegetables to take into account. Although their flavor is already a topic of greater debate, there is no doubt that both can be a great contribution to the table. Today, we analyze the differences between them, the properties of each one, and assess whether we should eat more spinach or chard and why.

What is spinach

Spinach is a vegetable rich in vitamin A, folates, and vitamin C. They promote healthy growth and a strong immune system. They belong to the amaranth family, the same as amaranth, a grain highly appreciated for its nutritional profile. Spinach can be enjoyed fresh throughout the fall and winter, and canned and/or frozen throughout the year.

What are chards

Swiss chard are edible leaves similar to spinach. They stand out for their contribution of iron and calcium, minerals that are discreetly absorbed as they come from a plant source. Curiously, chard belongs to the same species as the beet, although the bulb is used from the beet and the leaves are used from the chard. The most common season for its consumption is October and November.

How are spinach and chard different?

Between spinach and chard there are several differences to take into account that range from the first historical records of their consumption to their season, texture, flavor or nutritional value.

Chard has been consumed for a longer time

Spinach and chard are native to Asia. Of the two vegetables, chard has the oldest historical record. It is estimated that they were cultivated in 800 BC in China. On the other hand, the first records of spinach cultivation date back to 700 AD.

Spinach has a longer season

Chard is planted in the summer months and enjoyed from October to April while spinach can be grown in both summer and winter depending on the variety. Summer spinach is planted between May and June and we can enjoy them during the fall. Winter spinach is harvested in April and stands out for being a spinach with more lobed leaves. The appearance of the spinach is also influenced by whether it is smooth-leaf spinach, curly-leaf spinach or baby spinach. Smooth leaf spinach is a variety intended for sale canned or frozen. Baby spinach and curly leaf spinach are sold fresh and as you probably know, they differ in size because the baby variety is more tender.

The toughest chard, the most tender spinach

Let’s now focus on the texture between the spinach and the chard. The latter retains the petiole, which is the firmest part that connects the leaf to the stem. This petiole gives much greater firmness to the chard and leaves the spinach in a much more tender position.

Spinach has a more pronounced flavor

As for the taste, well, it is not its most appreciated quality among the younger generations. Earthiness and ferrosity go hand in hand in chard and spinach, although more pronounced in spinach. Both are tremendous options to fill your next quiche, a very juicy way to get the most out of their nutritional contribution.

Spinach, a more nutritious

Both spinach and chard are low in calories, with a high percentage of water and lots of fiber. This already tells us about two vegetables that are recommended for any healthy diet and especially allies for weight loss, where we seek to ingest the maximum of nutrients with a caloric intake below what we are used to having.

In general terms, if there was no choice but to choose one of the two, we could say that spinach is more nutritious than chard because it has a high content of vitamin A and folates. Although it is true that chard contains more iron and calcium than spinach, neither the difference is so significant nor the % absorbed is so high as to consider this an advantage of chard over spinach.

In any case, thanks to its vitamin A content, spinach promotes strong bones and teeth, good growth thanks to folates, and a strengthened immune system thanks to vitamin C. Spinach also has higher doses of vitamin E, the vitamin antioxidant par excellence capable of reducing free radicals and keeping our skin much younger. In both cases, spinach and chard lose a certain amount of nutrients when cooked, for that reason we leave you this comparative table of their fresh and boiled version to resolve any questions.

Spinach Chard Boiled Spinach Boiled Chard
Energy (kcal) 31 twenty-one 22 29
Carbohydrates (g) 1.2 2.7 1.94 4.37
Fats (g) 0.3 0.2 0.49 0.39
Protein (g) 2.6 2.1 2.39 1.9
Fiber (g) 6.3 1 1.84 0.8
Iron % RDA 22 – 50 12 – 28 11 – 26 14 – 32
Calcium % RDA 7.5 6.6 3.86 6
Folates (B9) % RDA 35 5.5 26.25 2.5
Vitamin A % RDA 77 26.14 110 32
Niacin % RDA 7 2 5.35 2.9
Vitamin C % RDA 33 35 26 fifteen
Vitamin B1 % RDA 8 7 8 5
Vitamin E % RDA 13 0.2 9.6 0.2
Vitamin B6 % RDA 12 6.6 11.33 5.3

*CDR: Recommended daily amount

How are spinach and chard alike?

Spinach and chard are two low-calorie vegetables, rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins and soft to the palate. Although chard stands out for its iron and spinach for vitamin A, C, and folates, both vegetables are foods to include in our daily lives, whether through a chickpea stew with chard or a spinach omelet. Using the recipe book and always having a bag of one or the other frozen are great strategies to increase our daily vegetable consumption, which in Spain is still well below average.

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