Although rhubarb is typically eaten as a fruit, rhubarb is actually a vegetable. This stalky vegetable is 95% water and contains a myriad of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium. Only the rhubarb stalks are eaten, the leaves are not edible and can be quite poisonous.
Health Benefits of Rhubarb:
- Rhubarb showed positive impact on liver inflammation.
- Rhubarb helps inhibit deterioration of the chronic renal failure.
- Rhubarb provides a good dose of Vitamin C which helps improve the immune system.
- Rhubarb is beneficial during pregnancy; low doses of rhubarb prevented hypertension developed during pregnancy.
- Rhubarb helps women experiencing menopausal symptoms – it can help ease cramps associated with heavy flow of menstrual blood during the early phase of menopause. It can also relieve some of the irritating hot flashes that are quite common during this time.
- Regular consumption of Rhubarb stalk can prevent the loss of bone mass which helps in preventing osteoporosis.
- Rhubarb’s high fiber content may help lower bad cholesterol.
- Rhubarb contains anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.
- Rhubarb is a good source of Vitamin K (which has an important role in blood clotting).
- Eating just one stalk of rhubarb can help an acidic stomach and can help minimize acid reflux.
- Rhubarb has natural laxative properties.
Nutrient Content per 1 cup fresh diced Rhubarb:
- Vitamin C: 10mg.
- Potassium: 350mg
- Calcium: 100mg
- Carbohydrates: 5.5 g
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Fat: 0.2g
- Calories: 26
Taste: Rhubarb is almost unbearably tart in flavor that is why most people will consume them only when cooked with large amounts of sugar or honey.
Appearance: Rhubarb, at first glance looks like a bright red celery stalk (although it lacks the definite “ribbing” that celery has). Rhubarb stalks are ready for harvesting and cooking once they change in color from green to dark purple red; there is also a green variety, but red rhubarb is the one you will likely find in stores.
Culinary Uses: Rhubarb can be made into pie, jams, jellies and baked goods (muffin), or it can be stewed to make sauces to complement poultry, other meat dishes, and deserts. Rhubarb goes well with strawberries and there are many recipes that pair these two together. Ginger is another good flavor companion
Availability: It is available in frozen and canned forms, but most people prefer to cook the fresh stalks themselves.
Buying and Storage tips: When buying rhubarb, look for firm stalks with no blemishes or squishy spots. Trim and discard leaves and wrinkled stalk ends. The stalks will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen raw (cut them into 1-inch pieces for ease of use later on).
How to Cook Rhubarb: When cooked and sweetened, rhubarb will turn brownish in color. It should not be prepared in aluminum or cast iron pots, which will interact with the acid in the vegetable and darken both the pot and the rhubarb.
Note: Most people think that eating vegetables raw is better for you, not in the case of rhubarb because the anti-cancer benefits of Rhubarb are enhanced by baking it in the oven for twenty minutes.
Side Effects of Rhubarb Stalk:
- Rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium and iron absorption.
- Rhubarb leaves are poisonous because they contain oxalate. This toxin, plus another unknown toxin also found in the leaves, has been reported to cause poisoning when large quantities of raw or cooked leaves are ingested.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @22:46”