One of the main reasons why people cultivate and eat rhubarb is for its nutritional value. It is packed with minerals, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients that makes it ideal for keeping our bodies healthy.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, Rhubarb is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin – C, K and B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium. The plant is a rich source beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which have numerous beneficial properties.
However, the stalks and flowers are the only edible parts of the plant. Leaves are poisonous because it contains a high level of oxalic acid, thus making them inedible.
Health Benefits of Rhubarb
Rhubarb is one of the vegetables with low calories and it is often recommended for people who are struggling to lose weight but still want to remain healthy.
100 grams of the plant contains only 21 calories, so feel free to have it in your plate without gaining any extra pounds.
The impact that the various organic compounds present in it have on the body’s metabolism, can also increase the rate at which the body burns fat, thereby helping you to lose weight.
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Treats Heart Diseases
The fibre present in rhubarb stalks is extremely helpful in lowering cholesterol level.
In an animal study published in the Nutrition Research journal, researchers found that rhubarb can actually help in regulating cholesterol levels.
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Aids in Digestion
Our digestive system plays a huge part in our overall health, so it is important to keep the digestive system healthy and regulated.
The high amount of dietary fibre found in rhubarb can provide a healthy digestive system by bulking up the stool and making sure that bowel movements are smooth and regular. It can help to prevent constipation. By easing constipation and other digestive issues, you can prevent a wide range of more serious gastrointestinal disorders including bloating and cramping.
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Rhaponticin, present in the stalk of the rhubarb, helps in the management of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Improves Bone Health
Along with its role in protecting the brain from neural degeneration, vitamin K also stimulates bone growth and repair. Combined with the rich amount of calcium and other minerals found in rhubarb, helps in bone protection.
Rhubarb possesses anti-cancer properties. It is a good source of beta-carotene and other polyphenolic compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin which act in a similar way to vitamin A, protecting the skin and eyes from the effects of free radicals.
A decent amount of antioxidants in your diet can help to avoid premature ageing, cataracts, macular degeneration, and wrinkles.
Improves Blood Circulation
The trace amounts of copper and a good amount of iron found in rhubarb helps to stimulate the production of new red blood cells, increasing the total RBC count in the body as well as oxygenation to essential areas of the body, thereby improving their function and boosting the overall metabolism of the body.
The presence of a compound called Rhaponticin in rhubarb helps to improve the blood sugar levels in people and thereby helps to prevent the condition of diabetes.
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Rhubarb contains vitamin C and lutein, which are very beneficial for good vision.
Treats menopause Symptoms
This amazing plant can also help with menopause symptoms by reducing the occurrences of hot flashes, due to the presence of phytoestrogens.
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Rhubarb is rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant, helps to fight against free radicals and therefore delays the signs of ageing including wrinkles and fine lines. It also acts as an antifungal and anti-bacterial agent and prevents skin infections and acne.
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(Note : People with any sort of kidney disease should avoid the consumption of rhubarb, and they should consult their doctor before consumption.)