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KITLIVING

Zero fat, zero cholesterol, 21 calories,

4.5g carbohydrates, 13% vitamin

C, 8% potassium, 8% calcium, 7%

dietary fibre, 3% magnesium.

*Per cent daily values are based

on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily

values may be higher or lower

depending on your calorie needs.

Nutritional value of

rhubarb, per 100g,

raw (unsweetened)

Too sharp to eat raw, unless very young and tender, rhubarb is

usually made palatable by pairing it with sugar. It's still a good food

choice, but be wary of the fact that it's sugar that makes it edible

most of the time.

LIVING

Rhubarb plants can

grow big and rangey,

have leaves way

bigger than a dinner

plate, and it's edible

stalks are long and usually a shade of

pink. However, these long stalks (often up

to 2ft long) can be rough stuff - extremely

fibrous, unless you pull up some of the

very young stalks, which you can happily

snack on raw. Due to this fibrousness,

and its tart taste, rhubarb is often cooked

with sugar to make either jams, pickles or

as a component of crumble. (Never eat

the green leaves though; they contain

oxalic acid which, in excess, can be fatal

if ingested).

As a raw snack, diabetics can chomp

away, but once it's been jammed or

pickled, be aware there will be a high

sugar content. However, according to

www.organicfacts.net one of the main

reasons why people cultivate and eat

rhubarb is for its nutritional value. Rhubarb

is packed with mineral, vitamins and

organic compounds. There is plenty of

dietary fibre, vital for a healthy diet, but

also has B complex vitamins, vitamins

C and K as well as calcium, potassium,

manganese and magnesium. It is a rich

source of polyphenolic flavonoids like

beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Polyphenols have antioxidant, antiinflammatory,

anti-carcinogenic and

other biological properties, and may

protect from oxidative stress and some

diseases. Note, although all flavonoids are

polyphenols, polyphenols not necessarily

are flavonoids. All polyphenols, including

flavonoids, offer numerous health benefits.

Besides being potent antioxidants, some

polyphenols have other biological activities

that can prevent certain diseases. In some

studies pomegranate juice has slowed

down the growth of prostate and lung

cancers and it's thought to improve overall

vascular health. Tart cherry juice (not

sweet cherry juice) reduces muscle pain continued over

and inflammation in athletes. Green tea

and red wine polyphenols can contribute

to heart health too.

Gut feelings

Rhubarb is one of the lowest calorie

vegetables, along with celery, in its raw

state. Rhubarb is a vegetable, although

many think if it as a fruit as it's often

used in baking and jams. It is sometimes

recommended for people who want to

lose weight as 100 grams of rhubarb

contain only 21 calories. It has zero fat,

zero cholesterol and therefore poses

no threat to cardiovascular health. It

can actually increase the levels of good

cholesterol due to the presence of its

dietary fibre, which can 'scrape' excess

cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels

and arteries. This fibre can help to keep

your digestive system healthy by keeping

you regular, easing constipation and other

digestive issues.

MAKING CARBS COUNT

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