Diet and Nutrition

What Is Rhubarb? Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Rhubarb

What Is Rhubarb? Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Key Takeaways

  • Rhubarb is considered to be both a vegetable and a fruit.
  • It has a complex protein and nutrition profile and comes loaded with a wide range of health benefits.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. The only edible parts of rhubarb are its flowers and stalks. 

Rhubarb has a complex protein and nutrition profile and comes loaded with a wide range of health benefits. For this reason, rhubarb is used more often as a food medicine. It contains various minerals and contains essential amino acids as well. Overall, rhubarb is widely known for its medicinal properties. However, its stalk is more often used in food preparations. 

Rhubarb is also considered as a medicine and is used in Asian cultures to treat everything from digestive disorders to treating cold sores

High on the nutrition counter

Rhubarb is one of those few plants that seem to rank quite high on the nutrition counter. It contains vitamin C, vitamin B, and vitamin K, which can help reduce your risk from stroke. Apart from these vitamins, a single cup of rhubarb can also provide you with complex plant compounds that help fight off cancer cells. It also contains high amounts of calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

Given the fact that it has a high nutritional value, it actually helps boost your endurance and overall metabolic health.  One hundred grams of rhubarb comes with only about 21 calories, so you should be able to consume more of this vegetable without having to worry about getting rid of the excess calories.

Here are some of the many benefits of using rhubarb:

1) Aids in digestion

Rhubarb is rich in dietary fiber and aids in proper digestion. Moreover, it is quite effective in treating gastrointestinal bleeding, constipation, and diarrhea. 

It is also quite handy in treating heartburn, stomach pains, as well as for diagnosing other digestive disorders. In fact, a few doctors may even recommend this particular plant prior to any diagnostic procedures as it can help them diagnose your condition more accurately, and thereby, treat you efficiently. So if you happen to be suffering from any of the ailments listed above, then you may want to consume more of this plant for effective relief and quick recovery.

2) Weight loss

Rhubarb is one of those few vegetables that contain fewer calories. Moreover, the plant happens to be loaded with various plant compounds that enable your metabolism into the next gear, burning off calories more efficiently and quickly. Hence, it does aid in weight loss and would often be recommended by dietitians for the very same reason.

3) Improves cardiovascular health

Since it is rich in dietary fiber, it helps eliminate the bad cholesterol from your body and boosts your cardiovascular health. Rhubarb is rich in soluble dietary fiber, which helps scrape bad cholesterol from various blood vessels in the body. It also eliminates several toxins from the body that can cause cardiovascular diseases.

4) Treats cold sores

Rhubarb has various health benefits and one of them is its ability to inhibit and treat infections like cold sores. Since it is loaded with antioxidants, rhubarb can be quite effective in treating different infections. Just take some rhubarb and process it into a paste. You can apply the rhubarb paste directly onto the affected area along with sage. You will then find that it is quite as effective as some medicated ointments used for treating various skin-related infections.

5) Prevents kidney disease

The kidneys are one of the most important organs of your body and it is vital that you take care of it by eating healthy food. Consuming rhubarb can help prevent the development of kidney disease as well as promote the effective functioning of the kidneys.

Various studies have proven how effective rhubarb is at preventing kidney diseases and alleviating some of the symptoms associated with the same. You can make a rhubarb drink for kidney disease prevention. The procedure is quite simple. Process some rhubarb extract and make it into a juice and drink it up regularly. The regular consumption of rhubarb juice should both aid in the prevention of kidney disease as well as improve your overall health. It should also aid in the reducing of some of the symptoms associated with kidney diseases. Moreover, it should also help improve the overall functioning of your kidneys by cleaning up your blood more efficiently as well as help regulate the urea content in your body.

6) Regulates cholesterol levels

Rhubarb along with plantain are quite effective in lowering your cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol levels, then consuming a diet that contains both plantain and rhubarb should help control your cholesterol levels to optimal ones, and even eliminate the bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from your body.

7) Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is quite a debilitating condition and one that still has no definite cure. Each year, it affects millions of people worldwide. If you have a loved one or if you know someone who is suffering from this condition, then you may want to suggest that they take rhubarb since it contains vitamin K. This particular vitamin can stimulate your brain, help prevent oxidation of your brain cells, and help improve your cognitive memory and functioning, which effectively slows down the disease. It even reduces your chances of acquiring the disease, especially if you are genetically predisposed to such disease.

Overall, rhubarb should be quite effective in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and may even go a long way in slowing down its impact to people who already have the disease.

8) Bone development

Since rhubarb is rich in vitamin K, it should enable you to develop strong bones, heal broken ones fast, and even help alleviate crippling bone pain and some of the other symptoms associated with osteoporosis. For this reason, some doctors may even recommend a regular rhubarb consumption to prevent the development of bone disorders and the symptoms that go along with such conditions. 

Moreover, since rhubarb contains high amounts of calcium and other minerals, it helps prevent debilitating bone disorders and even aids in the faster healing of broken bones.

9) Cancer prevention

Rhubarb contains high amounts of antioxidants, which aid in removing harmful toxins from the body as well as repairing damaged cells. Apart from this, rhubarb also contains beta-carotene and polyphenolic compounds such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are quite proactive in attacking cancer cells and limiting the spread and growth of such cells.

That is why you may want to start consuming more rhubarb, especially if you have been diagnosed with cancer. Rhubarb can help alleviate some of the pain and discomforts associated with cancer. More importantly, rhubarb can also help prevent muscular degeneration and other associated diseases due to its antioxidant properties and complex plant compounds.

10) Improves blood circulation

Since rhubarb is rich in soluble dietary fiber, it effectively helps clean up your blood and removes all toxins from the body. Moreover, it is quite effective in boosting your blood circulation, and at the same time, enables you to have optimal blood sugar levels. In short, if you have diabetes, then it would be a great idea for you to start consuming rhubarb more often. In addition, the amount of copper and iron contained in rhubarb are enough to stimulate the production of new blood cells. It should also help increase the red blood cell (RBC) count in your body.

11) Gum disease

Some of the early studies do indicate that rhubarb has a widely beneficial effect on gum disease. So if you happen to be suffering from gum disease, you might want to try including rhubarb in your diet. Moreover, rhubarb should have an immediate effect in relieving some of the symptoms of gum disease.

Caution

Rhubarb is a powerful substance, which is loaded with various health benefits. However, if you happen to have a weak kidney, or suffer from certain gastrointestinal disorders, consuming rhubarb may end up exacerbating your current condition. Thus, it is better to consult a doctor first and find out if you can safely consume rhubarb in your current condition.

Moreover, it is important to note that rhubarb leaves are poisonous. Rhubarb poisoning happens when people accidentally consume the plant’s leaves. Always remember that the only edible parts of rhubarb are its flowers and stalks. 

Rhubarb can also cause gastrointestinal side effects and its long-term use may cause other health conditions because of the oxalic acid content present in its leaves.

Risk factors

Pregnant women and women who have an existing kidney or liver disease must consult their doctor before taking rhubarb. Although rhubarb stalks are probably safe to consume, you still have to ask your doctor about the plant’s medicinal effects since there are reports of adverse effects when rhubarb is combined with other types of medications.