Rhubarb: Important ingredients, nutritional values, acid dangerous, and Side Effects

Rhubarb: Important ingredients, nutritional values, acid dangerous, and Side Effects

Rhubarb is popular because of its fruity and sour taste and is suitable for refining various dishes. Rhubarb refines compotes or cakes, in particular, in a unique way. In addition, it has relatively few calories, but on the other hand, it contains oxalic acid, which is considered toxic. Here, you can find out how Rhubarb affects health and what should be regarded when preparing it.

Rhubarb: Important ingredients

Rhubarb has numerous vitamins and minerals that are important for the human organism. This includes:


Rhubarb in numbers – nutritional values

One hundred grams of Rhubarb usually contains about 13 kilocalories (54 kilojoules), only 0.1 grams of fat and 0.6 grams of vegetable protein ( protein ). The carbohydrate content is around 1.4 grams, while the fibre content is 3.2 grams.

Rhubarb has no cholesterol and is relatively healthy due to the low amount of calories. However, since sugar is added often due to the high acid content, this positive effect is often cancelled out again. A practical alternative to industrially produced sugar is fruit juice (e.g. apple or orange), added to the rhubarb compote during preparation.

Health effects of Rhubarb

The vitamin C contained in Rhubarb strengthens the immune system and the body’s defences. As a result, eating Rhubarb in winter can help prevent a cold, for example.

The high potassium content ensures that Rhubarb has a draining effect and promotes the transport of nutrients into the body’s cells. The sodium it contains supports digestion and stimulates intestinal movement.

In addition, Rhubarb is characterized by a blood-cleansing effect and can be used to detoxify. Rhubarb can gently cleanse the intestines, bile, and liver, especially in compote. The fruit acids it contains also stimulate the appetite. The substances in the rhubarb root are solid, so they are often used as an ingredient in laxatives.


allergies and intolerances

Allergies that result directly from the consumption of Rhubarb are usually not to be feared. However, special attention must be paid to oxalic acid, found in more significant amounts in Rhubarb.

Oxalic acid is toxic and is found in the leaves of Rhubarb, which is why they must be removed before preparation and never be eaten. Otherwise, large amounts may cause vomiting and circulatory problems. A small amount of oxalic acid is also present in rhubarb stalks.

The acid binds calcium, which is why excessive consumption can impair the condition of teeth and bones. Because it attacks tooth enamel, you should brush your teeth at least half an hour after eating Rhubarb. There is also a risk of bladder or kidney stones forming from deposits of oxalic acid in connection with endogenous calcium.

When is oxalic acid dangerous?

The older the Rhubarb becomes, the higher the oxalic acid content. For this reason, Rhubarb should not be harvested after the end of June. The optimal harvest time extends over the summer months before June.

The harmful effect of oxalic acid can be reduced if Rhubarb is combined with milk or milk products. In this way, the oxalic acid is neutralized by the calcium.

Consumed in average amounts, Rhubarb is safe for most people to drink. However, if you have rheumatism, arthritis, kidney stones or gout, it is better not to eat Rhubarb. In addition, small children and women should not eat Rhubarb during pregnancy.

Tips on buying, storing and shelf life

When buying Rhubarb, please pay particular attention to its quality, mainly reflected in its freshness: the stalks should be firm and have a slight sheen. The ends should also appear juicy. Wavy rhubarb stalks are not yet ripe – buying them is not recommended.

After buying it, it is best to immediately wrap the Rhubarb in a damp cotton cloth. It is best stored in the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment, where it stays crisp and fresh for several days.

Rhubarb is also suitable for freezing; it is placed in the freezer raw or processed for this purpose. This significantly increases the shelf life.


This must be taken into account when preparing.

Before preparing Rhubarb, the stalks are washed, and the leaf’s base and the stem’s end are removed. The rhubarb stalks are cut into pieces. Particularly thick and fibrous stalks should be peeled, as they have a high oxalic acid content. Green parts are also rich in acid and should be cut off.

After the Rhubarb has been boiled, it is ready for further processing and can now be sweetened. Cooking also reduces the oxalic acid content by releasing the acid into the cooking water – this should, therefore, be thrown away after cooking. Rhubarb should only be eaten raw in small amounts.

Under no circumstances should Rhubarb be boiled in an aluminium pot or wrapped in aluminium foil. It must also not come into contact with other metals such as zinc . All chemical compounds formed are toxic due to the oxalic acid.

Use of Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a healthy ingredient in various recipes and is particularly suitable as a refinement for desserts. A classic is the rhubarb cake, which is decorated with crispy crumbles. Muffins are another variant for a juicy dessert with Rhubarb.

Rhubarb is also famous for processing jam, especially strawberry-rhubarb holes. The proportion of strawberries balances the acidity of the Rhubarb and creates a harmonious, fruity aroma. Rhubarb can also be used as an addition to warm milk and is also suitable for making liqueur, which is very popular out of season.

Rhubarb: fruit or vegetable?

A fruity-sour taste characterizes Rhubarb and is often prepared like fruit. However, Rhubarb is a vegetable. It belongs to the so-called knotweed family, which makes it related to the sorrel. Rhubarb consists of a petiole and is grown in fields, but also often in your garden.


Interesting facts about Rhubarb

Rhubarb originally came from China and was mentioned as a medicinal plant in a Chinese herbal book as early as 2,700 BC. However, the healing power of Rhubarb was not seen in the stalks but in its roots. A powder from these was used against constipation and constipation, for example, and was even said to help against the plague.

Rhubarb only became a popular food in the 18th century. Various types of Rhubarb were first cultivated in England at the beginning of the 19th century. In the meantime, Rhubarb, which generally prefers more temperate zones, has become relatively widespread. The plant has also been cultivated in Germany for around 150 years.

Rhubarb stalks with light red flesh are characterized by a slightly milder taste than dark red stalks. In Germany, Rhubarb can usually be bought between April and June 24, St. John’s Day. After that, the Rhubarb should no longer be harvested.

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