9 Rhubarb Benefits You Need to Know

From glowing skin to stronger bones, rhubarb benefits are as plentiful as the stalks in your backyard!

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An extensive array of ripe red rhubarb stalks
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Lowers Cholesterol

Too many rhubarb dessert recipes aren’t great for your health but adding a little to your diet could improve cholesterol levels. One study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that eating rhubarb stalks lowered cholesterol levels in men with high cholesterol. It was especially helpful in reducing LDL or bad cholesterol.

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Fresh rhubarb and strawberries on a wooden underground
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Aids Digestion

The tannins in rhubarb stalks have been found to improve digestion and gut health. Rhubarb is also rich in fiber to help prevent constipation. If you could use a little help in that department, there are more options than your plain old cup of tea or coffee; here’s a list of food that makes you poop.

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Strengthens Your Bones

Rhubarb stalks are rich in vitamin K, a key nutrient in improving bone density and lowering the risk of fractures. Try pairing your rhubarb dessert with the benefits of pineapple for an extra dose of bone-strengthening nutrients.

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An overhead close up shot of a strawberry rhubarb pie and a slice.
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Protects from Free Radicals

Move over kale and blueberries; there’s a new antioxidant powerhouse in town! A study in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found that a serving of rhubarb has more antioxidants than a cup of packed kale. That means more protection from harmful free radicals that can lead to chronic disease.

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Raw Organic Red Rhubarb Ready to Use
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Brightens Skin

The antioxidants in rhubarb won’t just protect against chronic disease; they’ll make you look younger too! The nutrients support collagen production for firmer, brighter skin. And while you’re snacking on your favorite rhubarb treat, check out the health benefits of avocado in a face mask for naturally glowing skin.

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Preparation homemade refreshing strawberry,lime and rhubarb lemonade with mint
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Fights Inflammation

Rhubarb stalks contain anthocyanins, the compound that gives them their deep, red color. A study in the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology found that eating foods rich in anthocyanins was associated with less inflammation and more protection against chronic diseases like diabetes.

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Improves Liver Health

The compounds in rhubarb stalks improve our gut health and can even protect the liver from harm. A study in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that taking rhubarb extract is linked with improved liver health among study participants who reported binge drinking alcohol.

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Fresh rhubarb in white bowl on wooden table
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Boosts Heart Health

The anthocyanins found in rhubarb stalks can boost heart health by reducing inflammation and preventing atherosclerosis, the narrowing and hardening of blood vessels. Need a little protein with your rhubarb pie? Try sprinkling chopped nuts on top; the health benefits of almonds protect your heart, too.

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Fresh rhubarb on wooden board
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May Protect Against Cancer

Because rhubarb stalks are rich in antioxidants, eating them may help protect against some types of cancer. Antioxidants help to repair cells from free radical damage, which can lead to cancer. Add rhubarb to the yummy list of superfoods you can grow yourself.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.