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Silverbeet (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)

Silverbeet - Vegetable

  • Space plants: 15 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 7-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, brassica sp. (cabbage, cauliflower, etc), tomato, allium sp. (onion, garlic, chives), lavender, parsnip
  • Avoid growing close to: Corn, melon, cucurbit (cucumbers, squash, melons, gourds), most herbs, potato.
  • Edible dark green glossy leaves with wide white or cream stalks produced over a long period. Some varieties have red, yellow or orange stalks. They are all edible. Both leaves and stalks are eaten. This is a cut and come again plant, providing leaves for some months before going to flower. Can re-sprout from around the base if cut off when it starts to flower.
  • Reasonably frost and heat tolerant. Grows well in most soils. For prolific growth apply compost, or well-rotted manure. Resistant to most plant diseases. The multi-coloured ones look good in a flower border.

Health and medicinal benefits

Grown worldwide, Silverbeet is prized for its ability to grow in poor soils and its low need for water and light.Just 1 cup (175 grams) of cooked Silverbeet packs:

  • Calories: 35
  • Protein: 3.3 grams
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Vitamin A: 214% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 53% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 17% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 716% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 10% of the RDI
  • Copper: 14% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 38% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 29% of the RDI
  • Iron: 22% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 27% of the RDI

As you can see, a small serving of cooked Silverbeet covers your daily need for vitamins A and K and nearly fulfills the RDI for vitamin C. What’s more, Silverbeet is a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, phosphorus and vitamin E.

Packed With Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

Silverbeet is also high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body that may lead to certain diseases. Silverbeet contains several flavonoid antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol, rutin and vitexin. Kaempferol is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that may also have anticancer properties

Excellent Source of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble compounds including vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone).K1, which is mostly found in plant sources, is abundant in Silverbeet.Just 1 cup (175 grams) of cooked Silverbeets offers 716% of the RDI for this important nutrient (17).Vitamin K is involved in many important processes in your body.For example, it’s required for blood clotting and various cellular functions. It’s also essential for bone health. Your body needs it to form osteocalcin — a protein involved in bone formation and maintenance. Low intake of vitamin K is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. On the other hand, people who consume diets high in vitamin-K-rich foods have greater bone mineral density and lower rates of osteoporosis. Silverbeet is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure. The fiber found in Silverbeet may lower cholesterol levels by reducing your liver’s cholesterol production and helping your body excrete extra before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Many large studies indicate that people with a higher intake of green leafy vegetables like Silverbeet have a decreased risk of heart disease.The fiber found in Silverbeet may lower cholesterol levels by reducing your liver’s cholesterol production and helping your body excrete extra before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Many large studies indicate that people with a higher intake of green leafy vegetables like Silverbeet have a decreased risk of heart disease.One study in over 173,000 people linked every one-serving increment of leafy green vegetables per day to an 11% reduction in heart disease risk.What’s more, those with the highest intake — 1.5 servings per day — of leafy greens like Silverbeet were 17% less likely to develop heart disease compared to those with the lowest intake.

If you are going to use Silverbeet to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first.