Known as “lady’s finger”, okra is an annual vegetable that is cultivated in warm, tropical, and subtropical temperate regions for their phytonutrients rich pods. It is valued for its edible green seed pods.
Today, we will reveal you some facts about this green vegetable that has a high nutritional profile and is significantly beneficial for your overall health.
Okra is low in calories and rich in nutrients. It is a great source of fiber, vitamin A, C, and folate. It is also rich in vitamin K, B vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Okra is one of those vegetables that are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin, beta-carotene.
Anemia: Okra helps the production of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
Anti-Cancer: Being an excellent source of antioxidants, okra can boost the immune system, protect your body from free radicals, and prevent mutation of cells.
Asthma: Due to its rich content of vitamin C and antioxidants, okra can effectively reduce asthmatic attacks.
Bone Strength: Okra contains folate that can build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis as well.
Cholesterol: The soluble fiber found in okra can lower serum cholesterol which in turn reduces atherosclerosis and the risk of heart diseases.
Constipation: Thanks to its rich content of fiber and mucilaginous and its natural laxative properties, okra pods help increase bulk, bind to toxins and ensure easy bowel movements. By regularly consuming okra, you will be able to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Diabetes: Okra possesses insulin-like properties that can reduce blood sugar level. It is recommended to eat 6-8 young, raw okra on a daily basis. You will notice how your blood sugar level will be significantly lowered.
Immune Booster: Due to its high content of vitamin C and antioxidants, okra is a great immune booster and can prevent numerous health issues including cold and cough.
Pregnancy: As we said, okra is rich in folate that can reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in babies.
Skin Health: Having good bowel movements will improve skin health. It will prevent acne, psoriasis, and other skin issues.
Okra is a great source of beta-carotenes, lutein and xanthin, all of which are very beneficial for vision health. Okra will prevent eye problems such as cataract and glaucoma.
Another way of eating okra to lower blood sugar levels
You should take 3-4 pieces of raw okra, and cut off the stem part. Make a slit in order to expose the insides of the okra and cut the okra into two pieces. Then, you should submerge them into a glass of water. Put them in a mason jar and let it stand overnight at room temperature. The following morning, you should drink the okra water. You can either eat the okra or eliminate it. Within 2-4 weeks, you will notice that your blood sugar levels are significantly lowered. If you have diabetes, it is recommended to follow a healthy diet in order to obtain the best results.
Make sure to always choose okra with small size instead of the big ones. Use when it’s tender, as it gets very fibrous when it’s older. Avoid okra which is soft and its color doesn’t look fresh. Also, it is very important to buy organic okra. If not, make sure to soak okra in water with sea salt and apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes, then rinse well. Cut off the tops and cut okra into smaller pieces of 2-3 inches. To reduce the mucilage and the “green taste”, you should steam or quickly stir-fry. You can add it to your salad or consume it on its own.
Okra has a very fibrous texture and mucilaginous content, so it can’t be juiced.
Note: Okra is not recommended for those who have a history of kidney stones.