Who knew rhubarb is a natural remedy for high cholesterol, not to mention it’s other health benefits? As a small child, I was constantly raiding Mom’s rhubarb garden. I loved those sour juicy stalks. Of course, I had no idea of the healing power of rhubarb back then. I just knew it was fun to peel off the red skin, munch it down and then go for the juicy center. As an adult, one of my favorite things to do is research the health benefits of my favorite foods. Here’s four health benefits of eating rhubarb I have learned about over the years, plus a warning about kidney stones.
1. Rhubarb lowers cholesterol levels. Rhubarb is quite high in fiber. Fiber has been shown to help absorb bad cholesterol and flush it from the body. In one study, people who consumed rhubarb daily for a thirty day period reduced their cholesterol levels significantly. This may be because it’s Vitamin C content keeps cholesterol from sticking to and blocking arteries. While you may not want to eat rhubarb daily, consuming it regularly, along with other fiber rich foods can help.
2. Rhubarb for cancer prevention. Of course, all fruits and vegetables contain the antioxidants needed to fight cancer causing free radicals. Rhubarb may also contain some ingredients that prevent cancerous tumors from forming. This research is still in the works, but initial findings suggest that rhubarb could be a powerful weapon in the war against cancer.
3. Rhubarb is an immune system booster. Rhubarb is very high in Vitamin C. The Vitamin C content in rhubarb is a very powerful immune system booster. It’s an especially effective antioxidant against the free radicals that can weaken the immune system and cause colds and other infections. It may even help prevent premature aging.
4. Rhubarb improves digestion. As a high source of fiber, rhubarb makes an excellent laxative. You would think that the sour flavor of rhubarb might lead to a sour stomach. Actually, the opposite is true. So the next time your stomach is feeling sluggish, or bloating is an issue, reach for rhubarb. It’ll get things moving in no time at all.
5. A kidney stone warning. If you are susceptible to kidney stones and are trying to diet accordingly, rhubarb is something you may wish to avoid. Rhubarb is quite high in oxalates. Oxalates are minerals that can cause the formation of kidney stones. Ask your doctor about any other changes in diet for the prevention of kidney stones.