Rhubarb has a striking resemblance to celery but presents itself in reddish stalks with a sour and tangy taste. The roots have a lot of medicinal uses in Asia and have been a part of China’s traditional medicine. For culinary purposes, it is often cooked with sugar or used as a sweetener to skip the sour taste.
The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has officially classified it as a fruit. The stalks are consumed in the form of jams, sweet soups, pies, crumbles, tarts cocktails, and rhubarb wine. Let’s know more about rhubarb health benefits and the ways to use it.
Nutritional Value of Rhubarb
Rhubarb nutrition offered in A 100 gm serving of cooked rhubarb with sugar as an additive.
|Vitamin K1||26% of the DV|
|Calcium||15 % of the DV|
|Vitamin C||6 % of the DV|
|Potassium||3 % of the DV|
|Folate||1 % of the DV|
How Does Eating Rhubarb Benefit Health?
1. Helps in controlling cholesterol levels in the body
A controlled study observed men who consumed around 27 gms of rhubarb stalk fiber each day for one month. It showed that those who consumed daily had a drop in their cholesterol levels by 8 % and a reduction in the bad cholesterol(1) or LDL by 9 %.
2. Packed With Antioxidants
Rhubarb is known to comprise of anthocyanins that provides numerous health benefits. It has a high amount of condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins(2).
3. Prevents Constipation
Rhubarb works as a natural laxative and is useful in treating constipation. It has a high tannin content that provides anti-diarrheal effects. It also contains sennosides that are compounds that work as laxatives.
4. Maintains Bone Health
To utilize rhubarb health benefits, you must add them to your diet. It contains a high amount of Vitamin K that plays a vital role in strengthening the bones.
5. Helps to Lose Weight
The presence of fewer calories in rhubarb and its ability to reduce bad cholesterol helps to lose weight. It is made up of catechins, which are compounds present in Green Tea. It also helps boost the metabolism of the body and helps to burn body fat and aids weight loss.
6. Fights Cancer
One significant way rhubarb health benefits are that it helps fight cancer. Animals’ studies state that it contains physcion that help to kill about 50 % of cancer cells within 48 hours.
7. Reduces Symptoms of PMS
PMS can be quite traumatizing for women, as it includes symptoms of cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, and mood swings that can affect disruptions life.
[Read: Herbs for PMS]
8. Delays Aging of the Skin
The body requires vitamin A – it works as an antioxidant. Rhubarb is a storehouse of Vitamin A. Rhubarb health benefits include its ability to neutralize the free radicals and delay premature aging of the skin.
9. Has Antibacterial Properties
Rhubarb is known to be anti-bacterial. Traditional methods included raw rhubarb paste as a topical application to treat numerous skin infections.
10. It Promotes Kidney Health
Consuming rhubarb in the form of supplements improves therapeutic effects in treating the advanced stage of kidney diseases.
How to Use it?
- To utilize rhubarb health benefits, you can have the stalks.
- You can eat them raw or dip the stalk in sweets like honey, agave nectar, etc..
- You can make Rhubarb tea by boiling water and allowing the stalk to steep for 20 minutes. Strain and drink it.
How Much to Use?
Dosage for adults – For every 1 kg of weight, you must have 20 to 50 mg of rhubarb.
- Since children are at a very high risk of oxalic poisoning owing to rhubarb leaves, it is considered harmful to children and must be given only under the supervision of a doctor
- Avoid overconsumption as it may cause diarrhea or constipation, and/or worsen liver conditions.
1. Is Raw Rhubarb Poisonous?
They are absolutely safe to eat but you must ensure that you don’t consume the leaves. As it is rich in Oxalic acid, consuming it in large quantities can prove to be very fatal.
2. What Is the Best Method to Prepare Rhubarb?
Rhubarb has high amounts of Calcium when compared to a glass of milk but in a manner which the body can’t absorb. Eating the stalks however provides the required vitamin K and C. manganese, potassium along with other minerals and vitamins.