Okra and its Health Benefits

 

Okra, which is also referred to as “lady’s finger” and “gumbo” is a nutritional powerhouse used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. I found that many people did not really like okra. but I do due to its numerous health benefits.

okra1     okra

Besides being low in calories it is aplenty with vitamins of the category A, Thiamin, B6, C, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. Eating okra is much recommended for pregnant woman besides other for it is rich in folic acid which is essential in the neural tube formation of the fetus during 4-12 weeks of gestation period in the mother’s womb.

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Okra is known for it’s high vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate content. Further, okra is known for harnessing a superior fiber, which helps with digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps to control the rate at which sugar is absorbed.

Health Benefits:

  • Okra helps in healthy pregnancy – An extremely important B vitamin for producing and maintaining new cells, folate is an essential compound for optimal pregnancy. The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby to grow sufficiently. Vitamin C is also essential for fetal development. Okra is rich in both folate and vitamin C.
  • Helps prevent Diabetes – Thanks to fiber and other nutrients, okra proves beneficial in normalizing blood sugar in the body, helping with diabetes.
  • Helps with kidney disease – Research shows that regular consumption of okra can help prevent kidney disease. In the study, “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” This also ties in with diabetes, as nearly 50% of kidney disease cases are caused by diabetes.
  • Supports Colon Health – Okra is full of dietary fiber, which is essential for colon health and digestive health as a whole. The fiber Okra provides helps to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency.
  • Could Help with Respiratory Issues like Asthma – Okra contains vitamin C, which has been shown to help with respiratory issues like asthma. One study concluded that “the consumption of fruit rich in vitamin C, even at a low level of intake, may reduce wheezing symptoms in childhood, especially among already susceptible individuals.”
  • Promotes Healthy Skin – Vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of bodily tissues, which affects collagen formation and our face.
  • Okra is an excellent laxative treats irritable bowels, heals ulcers and sooths the gastrointestinal track.
  • It is an ideal vegetable for weight loss and is storehouse of health benefits provided it is cooked over low flame to retain its properties.
  • Anemia: Helps red blood cells production and prevent anemia.
  • Bone Strength: Folate in okra builds strong bones and density, preventing osteoporosis.
  • Cholesterol: The soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, thus also reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of heart diseases.
  • Immune Booster: The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra a good immune booster food that reduce your catching the cough and cold.
  • Vision Health: Okra contains beta-carotenes (precursor of vitamin A), xanthin and lutein, all antioxidant properties that are helpful for vision health, preventing eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.

This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Very interesting, just that many people does not like okra due to its viscosity. but this is quite educative. With all the health benefits it can be added to food daily.

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