The okra is a vegetable that is cultivated in warm, tropical, and subtropical temperate regions for their phytonutrients pods. It is also known as ‘lady’s finger’ and its edible green seed pods are what make it so fantastic.
The reason for writing today’s article is to show you some of the benefits this green vegetable has to offer. This is all due to its high nutritional profile.
Nutritional Benefits of the Okra
Okra is very low in calories and very rich in nutrients. It has fiber, vitamin A, C, and folate. Moreover, it is rich in vitamin K, B, vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Plus, it is that type of vegetable that is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants like lutein, xanthin, beta-carotene.
Anemia: Okra can help with the production of red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Anti-cancer: Due to its antioxidant content, this vegetable can boost the immune system and protect the body from free radicals and prevent mutation of the cells.
Asthma: Because the vegetable is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it will reduce asthmatic attacks successfully.
Bone Strength: Okra also contains folate that will aid in building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis and heart diseases.
Cholesterol: The fiber that is found in okra can lower the serum cholesterol which will reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of heart diseases.
Constipation: Due to the richness of fiber and mucilaginous and the natural laxative properties, the okra pods will help to increase bulk, it will bind to the toxins as well, to ensure easy bowel movements. If you consume it often, you will reduce the risk of colon cancer as well.
Diabetes: Moreover, okra has insulin-like properties that can reduce the blood sugar level. It would be best to eat 6-8 young, raw okra daily. In turn, the blood sugar levels will be decreased.
Immune Booster: Because of the vitamin C and antioxidants content, the okra is a great immune booster and it will prevent a lot of health issues, like colds and coughs.
Pregnancy: As previously mentioned, the okra is rich in folate that reduces the incidence of neutral tube defects in babies.
Skin Health: If your bowel movements are good, it will improve the health of the skin. Plus, it will prevent acne, psoriasis, and other skin issues.
The okra also contains beta-carotenes, lutein and xanthin. They are all perfect for vision health. They will help with the prevention of eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma.
Another Way of Eating Okra to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Take 3-4 pieces of raw okra and cut off the stems. Then, make a slit so that you can expose the insides and cut the okra in two pieces. Next, put them in a glass of water and then a mason jar and let it stay like that for a whole night at room temperature. When you wake up the next morning, drink the water. You will notice in 2-4 weeks that the blood sugar levels are lowered. Also, if you have diabetes, you need to follow a healthy diet so that you will get the best results.
If you are wondering how to consume the okra, make sure you always go with smaller sizes. Use it also when it is tender, because it gets very fibrous when it is older. Avoid the soft ones and those which color is not fresh. The most important thing to know is that you should buy the organic ones. If they are not however, you need to soak them in water with sea salt and apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes and rinse them well. Then, cut the tops off and cut into smaller pieces of 2-3 inches. If you want to reduce the mucilage and the ‘green taste’ steam them or stir-fry them. You can add them both to salads or consume them plain. Moreover, you can also juice it due to its fibrous texture and mucilaginous content.
As you can see the okra is very healthy and you should definitely consume it. However, note that it is not recommended for people who have a history of kidney stones.