5 ways rhubarb will boost your health
- Rhubarb contains antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins, helping to fight off disease.
- It apparently can help lower cholesterol, boosting your heart health.
- Rhubarb stalks are a good source of fibre, benefiting your digestive health.
- It contains vitamin K, an essential property that helps with blood clotting, protecting the bones and help fighting off liver and prostate cancer.
- Rhubarb is also a good source of vitamin C (great for a healthy immune system), calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Did you know
- Rhubarb doesn’t only come in red. You can also find pink and green rhubarb.
- The redder the stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb.
- Rhubarb has been used as a laxative for a long time.
- According to Wikipedia, rhubarb leaves are poisonous. So, um, don’t eat those.
- My aunt once told me in old movies, crowds used to repeat “Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhubarb.” over and over again to create background noise. This is probably true because she knows lots of things.
How to use Rhubarb
Take your pick from pies, punch, muffins, smoothies and loaves! Rhubarb can be added to lots of things, but due to its bitter nature, it’s usually paired with something sweeter (hence the popularity of summer’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie). It’s best to pair it with naturally sweet foods – like apples and strawberry. In my opinion, rhubarb doused in sugar would negate its powerful health benefits. Though I’m not against a treat once in a while.
In his book Supereating, Ian Maber says “Like many fruits, rhubarb is best eaten with a fat to help absorption of carotenoids and vitamin K. The refined sugar often added to rhubarb can affect magnesium levels in other foods, so sweeten with apple juice instead.”
Though I’m sure there are some folks out there who eat the stuff raw, most people like to bake or cook it first. When using it for punch or smoothies, it’s best to pour boiling water over it and let it sit for a while to soften up.
How to choose the right rhubarb
By Christine Picheca on Canadian Living
Choose rhubarb with straight, crisp, well-coloured stalks and unblemished leaves. Be sure to compost the leaves – they contain oxalic acid and can be toxic.
In the store: The bright pink type of rhubarb with curly, chartreuse coloured leaves has become popular in the last few years. This is a “forced” rhubarb grown in hot houses, and type of rhubarb is grown to force the stalks to shoot up looking for light. This forced growth produces a milder flavoured, beautifully coloured variety of the vegetable.
In your garden: The darker red garden varieties have a more assertive, tannic quality and sometimes can lose their colour when cooked, but this is the kind of rhubarb you want to dip into sugar on a warm spring day and munch on raw.
Rhubarb recipes to enjoy
Eat Good, Feel Good!
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