Rhubarb boasts of multiple health benefits because of being loaded with nutrients. There are many ways by which you can incorporate it into your diet- from salads and drinks to desserts.
It has fibre for good digestion, vitamin K for healthy growth of bones and brain functioning, natural antioxidants and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties for healthy skin, mucous membranes, vision, and potential cancer protection.
Read on to know more!
Rhubarb is a distinctive looking plant belonging to the family of Polygonaceae. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from short, thick rhizomes having edible stalks, the colour of which vary from green to pinkish red, and even after being a vegetable, it is often treated as a fruit. It closely resembles celery and is used as an ingredient in the preparation of delectable desserts. Its stalks can also be consumed raw as well.
The plant is customarily grown in greenhouses throughout the year also called ‘hothouse rhubarb’. This kind of rhubarb is usually brighter red, more sweeter-tasting and tender when compared to its field grown counterpart.
Rhubarbs are an excellent source of vitamin C and are essential minerals including iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, etc. It is versatile and can be added to a number of dishes thus making it an essential garden patch. It is an excellent food for someone aiming to lose weight along with ensuring a good supply of essential nutrients.
For cooking purposes, rhubarb is often required to be soaked in a sweetener, usually honey. It is advised to keep the sweetener content as low as possible.
The nutrients vary across frozen, sweetened and cooked rhubarb. The calories vary from 26 to 278 grams, sugars from 1 gram to 69 and carbohydrates from 6 to 75 grams but the fibre content changes marginally.
The Chinese have used the rhubarb root for medicinal purposes for a thousand years now.
It should be remembered that rhubarb leaves are somewhat toxic due to high levels of oxalic acid.Thus, its consumption should be avoided. If the plant is exposed to extreme cold, the hazardous acid can get transported to the stalk, so make sure to store rhubarb in a warm or temperate space- like the climate it normally grows in.
The greenhouse rhubarb is usually available all round the year while the field grown one is available for a specific time period only.
Selection: Fresh rhubarb is most likely to have crisp, moderately thin and red to dark pink stalks. Avoid the green stalks as they are more coarse and sour. Make sure that the leaves are not wilted and do not have blemishes.
Storage: Because fresh rhubarb is perishable, it is recommended to freeze the stalks in an airtight bag. This will elongate its life by 3 to 5 days.
Cutting and Cleaning: Clean rhubarb under cold running water and dry it. Cut off the leaves and the root ends and throw them away. Rhubarb leaves should not be eaten because of the high oxalic acid content in them. Cook the stalks as soon as possible to avoid the loss of essential vitamins and minerals.
|Calories from Fat||2|
|Total Fat||0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g||0%|
|Trans Fat||0 g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrates||4 mg||0%|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g||2%|
|Vitamin A2%||Vitamin C||13%|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie
- Rhubarb contains soluble fibre which regulates bowel movement and prevents constipation.
- Rhubarb promotes weight loss by giving a feeling of fullness. Also, it has very few calories- 100 grams of rhubarb contains just 21 calories!
- The fibre content of rhubarb regulates the cholesterol level by binding the excess amount from the walls of the arteries.
- Because of having loads of vitamin A in it, Rhubarb aids in neutralizing the free radicals and delays the symptoms of ageing -wrinkles and fine lines.
- Rhubarb paste can be used to treat skin infections because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
- The consumption of red variants of rhubarb helps in improving vision because of the presence of impressive amounts of polyphenolic flavonoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. These are converted into vitamin A by the human body.
- The vitamin K content of Rhubarb plays an important role in the maintenance of brain and neuronal health. Thus, it delays or prevents one from having Alzheimer’s disease.
- The vitamin K content in Rhubarb also maintains bone health by stimulating growth and repair of bones.
- Rhubarb consumption eases menopause symptoms such as heat flashes and excessive night sweating. The calcium content also decreases the risk of osteoporosis which increases a lot during this period.
- Rhubarb contains manganese which regulates the body’s blood sugar level. Therefore, diabetics are advised to include this red-hued stem in their diet to keep a check on their sugar levels.
- Since Rhubarb is an excellent source of calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron vitamin C, B-vitamins, folates and choline. Choline, in particular, plays a significant role in the health of pregnant and lactating women. Pregnant women need 450 mg of choline daily while lactating women should consume about 550 mg of this nutrient. One stalk of raw rhubarb contains 3.1gms of choline, making it a perfect choice for such women.
You should avoid consuming rhubarb leaves because they contain high amounts of oxalic acid, especially those suffering from kidney problems. Read about more side effects of rhubarb on https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-214-rhubarb.aspx?activeingredientid=214