Table of Contents Hide
- Rhubarb Nutritional Profile
- How Many Nutrients in Food
- How To Serve Nutritious Food
- Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food
- How To Buying This Food
- How To Storing This Food
- How To Preparing This Food
- What Happens When You Cook This Food
- Adverse Effects Associated With Food
Rhubarb Nutritional Profile
• Energy value (calories per serving): Low
• Protein: Low
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: Low
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium
How Many Nutrients in Food
• Despite its crunchy stringiness, it provides only small amounts of fiber, including the insoluble cellulose and lignin in the stiff cells of its stalk and “strings” and the soluble pectins in the flesh. It has some sugar, no starch, and only a trace of protein and fat.
• It is a relatively good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
• One-half cup cooked it has 2.4 g dietary fiber including insoluble cellulose and lignin in the “strings” and soluble pectins in the flesh. One-half cup cooked it food has 2.4 g dietary fiber and 4 mg vitamin C (5 percent of the RDA for a woman, 4 percent of the RDA for a man).
• It also has some calcium (174 mg per serving), but oxalic acid (one of the naturally occurring chemicals that give rhubarb its astringent flavor) binds the calcium into calcium oxalate, an insoluble compound the body cannot absorb.
• The other astringent chemicals in rhubarb are tannins (also found in tea, red wines, and some unripe fruits) and phenols. Tannins and phenols coagulate proteins on the surface of the mucous membrane lining of the mouth, making the mouth “pucker” when eating rhubarb.
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How To Serve Nutritious Food
Only the stalks of the rhubarb are used as food; the leaves are poisonous, whether raw or cooked.
Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food
• Low-oxalate diet (for people who form calcium oxalate kidney stones)
How To Buying This Food
Crisp, bright, fresh stalks of rhubarb. Although color is not necessarily a guide to quality, the deeper the red, the more flavorful the stalks are likely to be. The medium size stalks are generally more tender than large ones, which, like large stalks of celery, may be stringy.
How To Storing This Food
• Wrap the food in plastic and store it in the refrigerator to keep cool and humid. It is fairly perishable; use it within a few days after you buy it.
How To Preparing This Food
• Remove and discard all leaves on the food stalk. rhubarb leaves are not edible; they are poisonous, raw or cooked. Wash it under cool running water.
• Trim the end and cut off any discolored parts. If the stalks are tough, peel them to get rid of hard “strings.” (Most of it, we buy is grown in hothouses and bred to have a thin skin that doesn’t have to be peeled.)
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What Happens When You Cook This Food
• It is colored with red anthocyanin pigments that turn redder in acid and turn bluish in bases (alkalis) and brownish if you cook them with sugar at very high heat.
• If you cook rhubarb in an aluminum or iron pot, metal ions flaking off the pot will interact with acids in the fruit to form brown compounds that darken both the pot and it.
Adverse Effects Associated With Food
More than 50 percent of all kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate or calcium oxalate plus phosphate. People with a metabolic disorder that leads them to excrete large amounts of oxalates in their urine or who have had ileal disease or who eat large amounts of foods high in oxalic acid are the ones most likely to form these stones.
• It, like beets, cocoa, nuts, parsley, spinach, and tea, is high in oxalic acid.
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