While many of us think of it as a fruit, rhubarb is actually a vegetable, it is used in many desserts such as muffins, cakes, pies, biscuits and even topping for ice cream. It has a very sour taste and usually sugar is added to offset some of the tartness. Originating in many Asian countries such as China it is now popular throughout many countries of the world. Not only is rhubarb a delicious addition to many meals, the root of the plant contains many medicinal benefits.
Rhubarb is a natural blood thinner. When you have high levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream, your arteries get clogged up with fatty buildup. This causes high blood pressure, because your heart has to work faster to move the blood through the arteries. This in turn can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Eating rhubarb can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol. Therefore it also can reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Rhubarb is an excellent source of calcium. Some individuals do not get enough dairy into their diet. Some people just do not like drinking that glass of milk. Others are lactose intolerant and cannot have any dairy products. By including rhubarb into your diet, you are helping your body increase bone density. Calcium also plays a role in lowering your cholesterol.
Rhubarb is an excellent source of potassium which is needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of this in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains high fiber content plays a key role in reducing blood pressure. That is one more reason to keep include rhubarb in our meals, since it is a major source of fiber.
Rhubarb is excellent to include in your diet if you want to lose weight and or want to maintain your weight. Not only is it low in calories, it is an excellent source of protein. If you work out at a gym, you want to have protein in your diet. The protein is needed to build muscle mass and to maintain it. When you have larger muscles, the body burns more calories. Even if you are not into body building, if you want to lose weight, including body toning exercises with your diet will help you burn off that body fat faster.
When you consume rhubarb you are taking advantage of the antioxidants which will help the body get rid of free radicals. These free radicals are damaged cells in your body which attack the healthy. The Vitamin C in rhubarb is an excellent anti-oxidannt. This vegetable is also an excellent source of folic acid. Our bodies need this in order to have healthy cells. The folic acid in rhubarb, along with the Vitamin C, protects our healthy cells from the damaged ones.
Rhubarb boosts the immune system because it contains flavonoids and Vitamin C. If you have a cold or the flu, eating this vegetable can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including rhubarb in your diet.
Rhubarb is rich in Vitamin A. We need this for optimal health, good vision, strong bones, strong teeth and youthful looking skin.
Rhubarb is a natural pain reliever because of its anti-inflammatory properties. People who suffer from headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, toothaches, arthritic pain, sprains and joint and muscle pain can find immediate relief by including this vegetable in their diet.
Rhubarb contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in preventing cuts and scrapes from getting infected.
Rhubarb contains antiviral properties. If you are suffering from the stomach flu, eating this vegetable helps relieve you of vomiting and diarrhea. If you includerhubarb in your daily diet, these antiviral properties of this vegetable may protect from catching the stomach flu and other viral infections.
Rhubarb stimulates peristalsis, which is “the contraction of smooth muscle tissue to propel food/chime through a digestive tract” (Wikipedia). Therefore, eating this vegetable is an excellent way to relieve and prevent constipation.
if you do not like the taste of rhubarb but want to enjoy the health benefits of this vegetable, you can purchase rhubarb in capsule form at your local health food store.