Okra, also referred to as “lady’s finger”, is a plant that offers numerous health benefits. It is cultivated in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions all over the world.
It is actually an edible pea pod that can be consumed raw. You can also lightly steam, blanch, or stir-fry it to decrease its “green” taste.
You should consume okra when it is tender, because it can get fibrous when it is older.
Nutritional Value of Okra
It is high in nutrients and low in calories. Moreover, it is an excellent source of folate, vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber.
Okra is also packed with zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, and B-vitamin. It also possesses traces of manganese and magnesium.
That’s not all, it also abounds in antioxidants and phytonutrients, like lutein, beta-carotene, and xanthin.
13 Reasons Why You Should Include Okra in Your Diet:
– Immune Booster: Okra is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that help boost your immune system, which means you will be less susceptible to colds and flu.
– Gut Helath: The high amount of fiber in okra could enhance the population of healthy bacteria in your gut.
– Peptic Ulcers: The high mucilaginous content in okra may help provide a temporary coating to your stomach lining and digestive tract, which helps in the treatment of ulcers.
– Bone Health: It is packed with folate that helps build strong bones, thus decreasing your likelihood of osteoporosis.
– Constipation: The high content of fiber in okra pods helps elevate bulk, and stimulate regular bowel movements. It helps fight constipation due to its laxative properties. What’s more, the regular consumption of this vegetable may help decrease your likelihood of developing colon cancer.
– Skin Health: You will notice significant improvements in your skin health due to the regular bowel movements.
– Cholesterol: It is high in soluble fiber that helps reduce serum cholesterol, thus preventing heart disease and atherosclerosis.
– Anti-Cancer: Okra is abundant in potent antioxidant agents that help prevent free radical damage and cell mutation.
– Asthma: The high vitamin C and antioxidant amount in okra makes it an incredible natural remedy for asthmatic attacks.
– Vision Health: The high content of lutein, beta-carotene, and xanthin present in okra makes it a great natural remedy for vision problems, such as glaucoma and cataract.
– Anemia: The regular consumption of okra can help stimulate the production of red blood cells and protect against anemia.
– Pregnancy: The high amount of folate found in okra could help reduce the risk of neural tube defects in infants.
– Diabetes: The insulin-like properties of okra make it a great natural remedy for diabetes. Namely, the daily consumption of eight young, raw pieces of okra may help lower your blood glucose levels.
Another Way to Use Okra as a Natural Remedy for Diabetes:
Take about four pieces of raw, tender okra, and then cut off the stem part. You should make a slit to expose the insides of the veggie and then cut it into 2 pieces or more. Afterwards, you should submerge okra into a mason jar containing distilled water. Next, close the jar with its lid and allow it to stand during the night at room temperature.
In the morning, consume the water. You can also consume the okra. You will notice a great reduction in your blood glucose levels in a period of two-four weeks. In case you are suffering from diabetes, you should also follow a healthy, balanced diet for best results.
Opt for smaller-sized and tender okra. Avoid buying okra that is soft and that doesn’t look fresh.
Like almost all veggies, okra may also be loaded with pesticides and insecticides. That’s why you should purchase organic okra whenever possible. In case you cannot find organic okra, soak the non-organic variety in a solution of some water, sea salt and ACV for ten minutes. Next, rinse it thoroughly.
You should cut off the tops and cut the veggie into small pieces. As mentioned above, you can lightly steam, blanch, or stir-fry it to decrease its “green” taste. Finally, consume it on its own, dip into your homemade chilli sauce, or add it to your favorite salad.
You cannot juice okra because of its mucilaginous content and fibrous texture.
Caution: In case you have kidney stones, avoid okra because it possesses a small amount of oxalic acid.
- Food Science and Quality Management. ”Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus): A Review”;
- Fortunato, Mario. ”NATURAL CURES – Discover The Powers of Fruits and Vegetables: Healthy Foods – Healthy Eating Now, Natural Foods to Feel Better Now, Your Natural Cures Superfoods”;