Scientifically known as Rheum rhabarbarum; rhubarb belongs to Rheum genus and the family of polygonaceae. This is a very attractive looking vegetable triangular shaped green leaves and red stalks with flowers that grows like a leafy cluster of greenish white or red in colour. This plant is perennial in nature and needs cold weather to survive in. To make it available throughout the year in the markets for consumption rhubarb needs to be grown in green houses or hot houses during the absence of outdoor cultivation. The indoor cultivated rhubarb is far better tasting than that of outdoor rhubarb as the stalks are brighter in colour and tender in texture. The first rhubarb of the year is planted in candle light enforcing the growth of it, a practices that is believe to produce sweeter rhubarb ; this is followed in UK. The leaves of the plant are dotted at the shreds in rhubarb triangle. Rhubarb triangle is a place in U.K where the growth of rhubarb is forced; an area located between Morley, Rothwell and Morley forming a triangle. This practise was introduced by many small holders and farmers where domestication of rhubarb was started in UK.It is also mentioned in a classic named ‘The Divine Farmers Herb Root’; a book written and compiled 2700 years ago. The Chinese civilisation made use of it for thousands of years for its medical purpose. Used as a form of laxative this was one of the first Chinese medicines that made its mark in the western market.
Rhubarb Nutrition Value
- It holds some vital phyto-nutrients such as dietary fiber, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins
- Rich in several B-complex vitamins.
- Provide good amounts of vitamin-K.
- Contain healthy levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Boosting your Heart Health.
- Excellent source of Vitamin C.
- Healthy immune system.
- Good source of calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
- Helps to protect healthy cellular growth.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.20 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.8 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.085 mg||1.5%|
|Vitamin A||102 IU||3.5%|
|Vitamin C||8 mg||13%|
|Vitamin E||0.27 mg||2%|
|Vitamin K||29.3 µg||24%|
Rhubarb is more than just an ornamental plant as it has more nutrition value than one ever imagine. One of raw rhubarb consists of only 26 calories which is very low and qualifies as a low energy density food. Rhubarb consists of 45% of recommended levels of daily intake of vitamin K which is known for increasing bone strength of the body. This also helps in preventing Alzheimer’s and also limits neuronal damage in the body. Vitamin A present in rhubarb helps in protecting eye sight, gives a good skin, and protects the membrane and mucous inside your mouth in order to prevent mouth or oral cancer. Inclusion of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B promotes good heart and prevents cardio vascular disorders.
Rhubarb consists of oxalic acid, something that one needs to pay extra attention to. People diagnosed with kidney disorder or other kidney related problems as this food might aggravate the situation further leading to dire results.Another word of caution is that the leaves of rhubarb are supposed to be toxic and their consumption by pets or children is strictly prohibited.It 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.It is also a good source of vitamin C (great for a healthy immune system), calcium, potassium and magnesium.
How To Enjoy Rhubarb
Rhubarb stalks are enjoyed as a part of many pies, pudding and desserts. It can be poached in wine and be accompanied by mascarpone cream as a fine dining dessert.
Rhubarb can also be a part of trifle puddings eaten with fresh fruits and sometimes baked pies of rhubarb and rhubarb jams are something that one cannot get their hands off. Their zesty flavour brings life to any ordinary dish.