When I was a kid, happily dipping the ends of rhubarb stalks in sugar, I didn’t know or care that that stalk I was crunching on was extremely healthy for me. Yeah, the sugar probably didn’t help much, but what’s a childhood without sugar?
We had a rhubarb patch in our garden growing up and I loved to pick the stalks, eating them right from the garden, even when still warm from the sun. My mom would use them to bake, and I would happily tuck into a rhubarb crisp later that night or week.
For some reason, this delicious vegetable fell off my radar for the next couple of decades until I found myself face-to-face with a giant rhubarb patch in my own yard that just wouldn’t quit. The first year, I gave it away, letting one of the local Hutterites down the highway come by and take whatever he wished. I was later thanked with a delicious pie. Worked out nicely for me, I must say.
Then, as my migraines progressively got worse and I looked for more food items that would help me with the pain, I fell back in love with rhubarb. I made simple syrups, juice, crisps and pies, and bread galore. It helped me stave off migraine attacks, and tasted delicious. Turns out, this ever-creeping plant holds some amazing health benefits. Just don’t eat the poisonous leaves or wild rhubarb! If you’re ever out and about and thinking you can forage anything in front of you, go back to the Concerned Children’s Advertisers song and don’t you put it in your mouth or stuff it in your face…at least until you ask someone you love. Or, you know, a professional forager.
Gimme those antioxidants
Rhubarb is chock-full of antioxidants, making it a delicious alternate to berries or kale. Rhubarb is much tastier than kale, so move over you wrinkly green.
Packed with vitamins
Rhubarb has high levels of vitamin K, plus a healthy amount of fiber, calcium, and vitamin c. That means your blood clotting and bone health will thank you after you nosh on some rhubarb.
Take down the inflammation
This is the reason I love rhubarb so much: it’s an anti-inflammatory! Any anti-inflammatory is a win in my books since it helps with migraines, but rhubarb takes the cake. And, can be made into a cake!
Can help with cholesterol
This bad boy does it all, doesn’t it? It’s an excellent source of fiber, which means that it can help with your cholesterol. I’m sure eating it in pie form probably isn’t the best idea, though.
It can get you moving
Rhubarb can help keep you regular, get you going, and slow you down. It can help with constipation and diarrhea, helping with digestive issues. Sounds better than a bland bowl of high-fiber cereal, amiright?