Rhubarb tends to get looped in with strawberries while making pies and other yummy baked goods. Although that’s a great combo, the health benefits of rhubarb make it worth celebrating on its own. The vibrant red stalks are filled with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and relieve stress. Plus, it contains vitamins that help boost bone health — it’s time to hop on the rhubarb bandwagon!
Did you know rhubarb is actually a vegetable? This might seem odd because we see it most often in pies, cakes, and homemade jams, but it has a naturally tart flavor. Most recipes with rhubarb suggest adding in a little sweetener to tame the intensity. It’s also important to avoid eating the leaves at the top — they’re poisonous and can make you really sick.
Aside from the lovely flavor, rhubarb stalks are a rich source of antioxidants such as phenolics and anthocyanins. Both of these compounds work together to prevent inflammation, diabetes, and cancer risks. Research even shows that rhubarb has a higher amount of the helpful phenolics than kale.
The antioxidant content not only protects your body against diseases, but it can also boost your mood. Rhubarb contains gallic acid, which is another type of phenolic acid and has been shown to ease stress and support brain health. Eating food that makes us feel good inside and out is what a healthy diet is all about!
As we get older, keeping our bones strong and healthy is super important as well. Luckily, rhubarb contains a high amount of vitamin K, which is essential to bone health. Healthline reports that a 3 1/2 ounce serving of the veggie contains 26 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. Over time, this helps prevent fractures and to maintain your bone mineral density (yay!).
Stronger bones, less stress, and nourishing your body with antioxidants are definitely great reasons to eat rhubarb more often. Simply dice the raw rhubarb and add it to cereal, yogurt, or a smoothie with some honey. If you’re cooking it, try roasting it with chicken breasts for a tasty twist on regular weeknight dinners. You can find so many amazing ways to prepare rhubarb for a delicious addition your regular diet.
You can buy it at the farmer’s market or grocery store from April to June, which is its prime season. It’s also readily available in the freezer section all year round, so you never have miss out on the healthy treat!