Do you know what rhein is? Turns out the health benefits of rhein are plentiful, so you’ll want to know what it’s all about.
How many times have you been surprised to find that a certain plant or herb is a lot healthier than you thought? The plant may look innocuous or useless, but when you dig a bit deeper, you discover a wide range of health benefits. Rhubarb is one such plant. It’s so much more than just the ingredient in your favorite pie, but it is a surprisingly healthy food. A lot of its benefits come from a nutrient called rhein. Rhein (or cassic acid, as it’s also known) is a substance found in rhubarb. It was once believed that rhein was a laxative, but today it is understood that it is a cathartic. What’s the difference?
A laxative makes it easier for you to eliminate waste, and it does so by softening your waste matter. With a cathartic, however, the muscles in your bowel are stimulated, speeding up the elimination of waste. The results are the same, but the effects are not.
Rhubarb has long been used as a natural laxative, thanks to its rhein content. However, there’s so much more to the plant than that! Here are some of the health benefits of rhein and rhubarb:
- Improved intestinal health — Thanks to the rhein content, you can improve your digestive function and clear out the “junk” from your intestines. By eliminating the waste clinging to the walls of your intestines, you make it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients and water. This flushing will also reduce your risk of intestinal cancer.
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- Effective waste eliminator –– If you are trying to eliminate waste, it may be better to eat rhubarb than get an enema. In at least one study, rhubarb proved more effective at eliminating excess waste matter than enemas.
- Fight cancer –– Have you ever noticed how brightly colored foods tend to have cancer-fighting properties? This is due to the flavonoid and polyphenols that give these foods their bright colors. Rhubarb is packed with these antioxidants, which can help to destroy cancerous cells.
- Rich in nutrients –– The brightly-colored rhubarb stalks are packed with Vitamin A, and the red varieties contain more than most green vegetables. The stalks also contain beta carotene, luteine, and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that do wonders for your overall health. You’ll find that getting more of these nutrients will fight off a wide range of diseases.
- Great for your bones –– Rhubarb is rich in calcium, the most important mineral for healthy teeth and bones. By getting more calcium, you provide the nutrients your body needs to produce new bone tissue and protect your body from both injuries and bone degeneration.
- Boost heart health –– The tasty little plant stops your body from producing certain enzymes that play a role in the synthesis of cholesterol, essentially reducing cholesterol levels. This, in turn, reduces the wear and tear on your heart, improves circulation, and prevents a wide range of heart disorders.
- Speeds up metabolism –– Thanks to the antioxidants and fiber in rhubarb, you can fire up your metabolism. This will help you to burn more calories on a daily basis, making it easier for you to lose weight.
- Great for skin — You know how rhubarb is very tangy and sour? That’s largely thanks to its high Vitamin C content. Your body needs Vitamin C in order to produce collagen, the nutrient that keeps your skin healthy and young.
If you want to be healthy, it’s a good idea to add more rhubarb to your diet!