Rhubarb: What’s in it for me?

rhubarb

Let’s talk nutrition!

Rhubarb is made up of several key nutrients including potassium, vitamin C and calcium.

  • Potassium is a mineral that plays a role in blood pressure control, muscle growth, the nervous and digestive systems, kidney health, and brain function
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that keeps us healthy and protects our cells from damage
  • Calcium is a vital mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth

Rhubarb is made up of 95% water and is relatively low in calories in its natural state. One cup of rhubarb contains about 28 calories. As rhubarb is quite tart, it is not uncommon to add sugar to get that sweet taste. Adding sugar will however, increase the calorie content. Sometimes people opt to use artificial sweeteners to add sweetness without the calories.

first batch rhubarb 2012

While most people classify rhubarb as a fruit, it is actually a vegetable. The stalk is perfectly edible, but the leaves should be avoided as they contain oxalic acid which can be toxic!

Canada’s Food Guide recommends having at least one vegetable or fruit at every meal and as a snack to help you get the amount of vegetables and fruit you need each day.

Once picked, rhubarb is best stored in the refrigerator. It freezes well, especially if chopped and blanched prior to storage.

Get creative and explore different recipes! Rhubarb can be a great addition to your diet and can be enjoyed year round.

 

Reference: EatRight Ontario. Ruby rhubarb. Retrieved from http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/Ruby-Rhubarb.aspx