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Eat Rhubarb Like a Boss

By Melissa Gutierrez
Posted On Jun 01, 2016
Eat Rhubarb Like a Boss

Let’s talk about rhubarb, the fruit or vegetable that we all have heard in passing, but in actuality is an obscure word that we are not confident enough to admit to aloud.

Technically a vegetable, in 1947 a New York court declared rhubarb a fruit because it is most often cooked as one in the United States. However, rumor has it that this was a tactic to save businesses that imported these stalks from spending additional money on taxes, sly move Uncle Sam.

Rhubarb is very seasonal, being harvested only from April through June. Its stalks are famous for their bright pink color, but the stalks can also take on a light pink or even a pale green hue; unlike other fruits, the different color palette is not an indication of the ripeness or sweetness of the fruit. Additionally, the stalks are the only edible part of the fruit. DO NOT eat the leaves; they are poisonous!

DO NOT eat these leaves!!
DO NOT eat these leaves!!

Raw rhubarb is extremely tart, not an exaggeration, hence, it is almost always cooked or baked. When prepared, rhubarb’s unique flavor and sweet taste complements a variety of other sweet fruits for pies, cakes, and juices. In fact, rhubarb is commonly paired with strawberries to create the famously delectable strawberry rhubarb pie.

Photo Credit: www.thebakerchick.com
Photo Credit: www.thebakerchick.com

But there is more to this spring darling than just being a great ingredient for baking. Packed with essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, rhubarb’s health benefits include weight loss, improved digestion, cognitive health, improved blood circulation, and protection against various cardiovascular conditions.

  1. Weight Loss

Rhubarb is one of the lowest caloric vegetables in the market, so go ahead and load up. Furthermore, the impact of that its organic compounds has on the body’s metabolism can also dramatically help increase the rate that the body burns fat.

  1. Cardiovascular Disease

 Rhubarb is packed with dietary fiber, which is known to scrape excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and arteries, hence it aids in promoting cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the impressive amount of antioxidants in rhubarb helps ensure that free radicals do not cause heart disease.

  1. Better Digestion

 The dietary fiber in rhubarb also helps improve digestion by ensuring bowel movements are smooth and regular.

  1. May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

 Vitamin K may be the stepsister of the vitamins, but this vitamin is the most prominent in rhubarb, and it plays a significant role in brain and neuronal health. Vitamin K can help prevent the oxidation of brain cells and stimulates cognitive activity, therefore helping to delay or do I daresay even help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Bone Health

 Vitamin K also promotes osteotropic activity as it stimulates bone growth and repair. Also, the rich amount of calcium and other minerals found in rhubarb aids in strong, healthy bones.

  1. Great Antioxidant Source

 Rhubarbs are an overflowing fountain of antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals are byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to die or mutate. A decent amount of antioxidants in your diet can help delay premature aging, cataracts, macular degeneration, and wrinkles.

  1. Blood Circulation

 Rhubarb contains trace amounts of copper and iron, which helps stimulate the production of red blood cells (RBCs), increasing their total count in the body, which then increases oxygenation throughout the body.

 

Pick up some rhubarb at your local farmer’s market or grocery store and get to baking! Why not pick up some extra stalks and freeze them for use in the wintertime, you’ll be glad you did!