Although often used in cooking as a fruit, rhubarb is actually classified as a vegetable. Popular in Europe and North America, it can be hard to get hold of in the UK because of the very short seasons in which it grows. The first season arrives early in the year, with the second in spring, so get hold if it while you can to get a dose of these amazing Top 5 Health Benefits of Rhubarb!
1. High in fibre
Rhubarb was traditionally used in Chinese medicine as a cure for constipation and to soothe stomach ailments. Rhubarb’s high fibre content can help promote regular bowel movements and reduce bloating and cramps.
2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is one of the most common nutrients lacking in the average diet. Eating rhubarb is a great way to counteract this, as it contains nearly 50% of
the RDA of Vitamin K. This vitamin supports healthy bone growth, protects the heart from disease and can help prevent cancer. It also plays a significant role in brain health – it can limit neuronal damage and may even prevent Alzheimer’s.
3. Good vegetable source of calcium
Rhubarb is one of the best plant sources of calcium. This nutrient is great for maintaining the strength of your bones, keeping your teeth and gums strong and protecting your heart muscles.
4. Great for eye health
Rhubarb contains the flavonoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Eating foods containing these compounds has been found to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Our bodies cannot make these compounds, so they must be consumed in order to get their benefits. Lutein, sometimes referred to as the “eye’ vitamin, is thought to act as a light filter and protect the eye from sun damage.
5. Promotes healthy blood circulation
The copper and iron present in rhubarb promote red blood cell production and increase oxygenation in essential areas of the body. The natural sourness of rhubarb means people often prepare it with lots of sugar, which taken too far may outweigh its benefits.
If you need a sweetener, drizzle over some honey or maple syrup for a healthier alternative. You could also try eating it with strawberries, or roasting it with some apple in the oven. Try having it with yogurt for a great, fortifying start to the day! Love rhubarb? Tell us about it below or @KeepfitKingdom !