If you hear “rhubarb” and think “pie,” you’re not alone. In fact, the spring vegetable is sometimes referred to as “the pie plant,” thanks to how often it is paired with sugar, butter, flour, and a flaky crust. Rhubarb has a long history, with roots in ancient Chinese medicine. It was also used in ancient Arab, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Today, it is popular in jams, pies, compotes, and even drinks. This article provides a detailed overview of the Health Benefits of Rhubarb.
Health Benefits of Rhubarb
Rhubarb Aids Weight Loss
Rhubarb was found to reduce bad cholesterol, and since it is a low-calorie food choice, it sure can be a great addition to a weight loss diet. It also contains catechins, the same compounds in green tea that give it its beneficial properties. Catechins are known to boost metabolism, and this also helps burn body fat and aid weight loss.
Rhubarb is also a good source of fiber, another nutrient important for weight loss. Because of its laxative properties, rhubarb is a prominent ingredient in certain weight loss formations.
It could help fight inflammation
Rhubarb contains anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives fruits and vegetables their antioxidant-rich red, blue, and purple hues. According to a 2010 study, “anthocyanins possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties, all of which are more or less associated with their potent antioxidant property.”
Protects The Heart
Being a good source of fiber, rhubarb has shown to lower cholesterol levels. Consuming rhubarb stalk fiber was found to reduce bad cholesterol by 9%.
Other studies talk about the active compounds in rhubarb that protect the arteries from damage, which might otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease. Some sources say that rhubarb can also lower blood pressure.
Delays Skin Aging
Rhubarb is a storehouse of vitamin A. This natural antioxidant helps in neutralizing free radicals and delays the symptoms of aging (like wrinkles and fine lines). Thus, rhubarb keeps your skin youthful and glowing by preventing cell damage by free radicals.
Rhubarb is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent and helps protect your skin from various infections. Raw rhubarb, in the form of a paste, had been advocated by alternative medicine practitioners as a topical application for various skin infections. You can make a paste of rhubarb stems and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off with cold water. Repeat every morning.
The antioxidants in rhubarb help fight free radicals in the body, which may help to protect against oxidative stress and cell damage. The free radical-fighting properties of antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
The antioxidant compounds in rhubarb help to fight inflammation. These properties may be helpful to people with systemic inflammatory reaction syndrome. Another study found that the anti-inflammatory properties of rhubarb extract can help improve wound healing.
Rhubarb Works As A Natural Hair Coloring Agent
Rhubarb root contains a good dose of oxalic acid that is known to render a light brown or blonde hue to the hair. The presence of oxalic acid makes the hair color last longer and does not harm the scalp.
Add about three tablespoons of powdered rhubarb roots to two cups of water and simmer it for 15 minutes. Allow it to rest overnight. Strain the liquid in the morning and rinse your hair with this mixture for awesome hair color.
Improves Blood Circulation
The trace amounts of copper and iron found in rhubarb are essential for the production of new red blood cells, necessary to maintain the total RBC count in the body. Maintaining adequate healthy red blood cells is essential for oxygenation of the body, thereby ensuring optimum function. Furthermore, according to an animal study in the Chinese Medicine Journal, rhubarb not only promotes blood circulation but also processes the effect of hemostasis.
How to Cook With Rhubarb
Most recipes direct you to macerate, stew, roast or otherwise cook chopped rhubarb first, which allows you to sweeten the assertive stalks before introducing them into your dish. You can use sugar or an alternative sweetener. Pairing rhubarb with another naturally sweet fruit lets you cut down on the added sugar. A classic strawberry rhubarb pie makes a good introduction to this intriguing ingredient. It also shines in tarts, crisps, puddings, ice cream, smoothies, and jam.
If a sour bite appeals to you, try rhubarb pickles, rhubarb chutneys or even rhubarb cocktails. You can also use minced raw rhubarb as a crunchy garnish for soups, stews, tacos, and salads, or any place that diced raw radish might appear.
These are the Health Benefits of Rhubarb. Adding rhubarb to your diet can be a good idea after all.