Health Benefits of Okra. Nutritional Value of Okra. Benefits of Okra. Why is Okra Good for The Health? Best health Benefits of Okra.
Okra is a flowering plant of Malvaceae family. It is known for its edible green seed pods. This plant has been cultivated for centuries, and it belongs to the same plant family as Hibiscus and Cocoa. Okra is native to Africa and was a very popular food in Egypt at the times of Cleopatra. It is later spread rest of the world. Today, okra is a popular vegetable in Indian subcontinent, eastern Mediterranean region and also in the Japan, US and Caribbean islands. Okra has some health benefits as well. Health benefits of okra come from its significant amounts of nutrition.
Nutritional value of okra :
First, it is very low in calories ( 30 calories per 100 g). Furthermore, okra contains no saturated fat and cholesterol. Okra is a good source of dietary fiber, minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium. It also contains proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B9 and vitamin B6. According to experts okra is a very good food for pregnant women as it prevents birth defects.Because folic acid is good for pregnant women as it prevents birth defects. Wheat Foods Council recommends that boiled okra is very good for pregnant women.
Health Benefits of Okra :
Okra is good for preventing diabetes. Dietary fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels in the blood. Regular consumption of okra can help improve diabetes.
- Okra is known to lower cholesterol. Dietary fiber in okra is useful in lowering cholesterol levels. It also reduces triglyceride levels.
- It is a good food for the digestive system. Regulates and HELP the toxins can be expelled from the body ‘s digestive system.
- Okra prevents arteriosclerosis. Containing vitamin C protects against oxidative damage of the cells, thereby preventing damage to the blood vessels and plaque accumulation.
- Insoluble fiber is good for the intestinal tract, which is useful to prevent colon cancer or colorectal cancer.
- The laxative properties, fiber and water content, are very good to prevent constipation. Pectin -rich foods like okra are good for constipation.
- The antioxidant properties of okra make it a very good health food vision. Vitamin A is important for the skin too.
- Okra helps treat lung inflammation and cancer, but also helps to treat cancers of the oral cavity.
- The folate content of okra is responsible for preventing birth defects. It is a recommended vegetable during the preconception period.
- It is said that okra is a good food for the brain or mind. This helps to lift depression, exhaustion and mental weakness.
- Okra seeds containing oleic acid ( the same fatty acid found in olive oil and canola oil ), which is excellent in reducing blood pressure.
- It is a good food to relieve joint pains. Okra is considered a good food for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia.
- It is a good food for leaky gut syndrome. Helps soothe and coat the intestinal lining that helps treat leaky gut.
- It is a vegetable that helps to cure many digestive disorders and can prevent stomach ulcers too. The alkaline pH of the neutralized okra digestive acids and prevents gastro- intestinal ulcers.
- As pulmonary inflammation can also treat sore throat.
- May be the complex replacement of human blood plasma.
- Vitamin C helps build immunity and prevents colds, flu and infections.
- Okra is good for weight loss. That means okra helps you lose weight and maintain it. High in fiber remains full for a longer time. The low glycemic index of okra also helps in weight loss.
- Antioxidant and anti – inflammatory properties of okra makes a good food for asthma. Help prevent the risk of developing asthma.
- It is a good food for summer and treats and prevents heat stroke.
- It is good for the dissemination of good bacteria or probiotics vegetables.
- It is a very good skin food. Vitamin C plays an important role in it. Antioxidants protect inflammatory and skin diseases such as skin staining properties pimples.
- Okra is good for the eyes and reduces the risk of developing cataracts. Foods rich in lutein are great to protect eye problems and diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and macular degeneration (ARMD ). Okra can preserve vision and protects eye problems.
- Regular consumption of okra provides protection against trans fats.
- Nurture you hair : Lady's Finger can be applied to hair as the last rinse to make your hair bounce.
- Cut the lady finger into small piaces and boil it in hot water.Kool it and mix lemon juice and apply it to your hair for a bouncy look.
- It is good for diabetics and it was very useful and Sugar will be in control.
- Take two pieces of Lady Finger (Bendi) and remove/cut both ends of each piece.
- Also put a small cut in the middle and put these two pieces in glass of water. Cover the glass and keep it at room temperature during night.
- Early morning, before breakfast simply remove two pieces of lady finger (bendi) from the glass and drink that water.
Keep doing it on daily basis.
Within two weeks, you will see remarkable results in reduction of your SUGAR.My sister has got rid of her diabetes. She was on Insulin for a few years, but after taking the lady fingers every morning for a few months, she has stopped Insulin but continues to take the lady fingers every day.
But she chops the lady fingers into fine pieces in the night, adds the water and drinks it all up the next morning.
Try it as it will not do you any harm even if it does not do much good to you, but yoU have to keep taking it for a few months before U see results, as most cases might be chronic.
Lady's finger has other health benefits as mentioned below.
Soothes the gastrointestinal tract.
The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
Okra's mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most unlike the OTC drugs.
Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.
In India , okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
To retain most of okra's nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.
Acid Reflux and Constipation
A person, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux, started eating 6 pieces of Okra. Since then, has not taken any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may curtail the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C. 1/2 cup of cooked Okra contains over 13 mg of vitamin C.
Diets high in insoluble fiber, such as those containing okra, are associated with protection against heart disease in both men and women.
Eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
1/2 cup of cooked okra contains 460 IU of vitamin A. Some studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts.
That consuming a "dietary portfolio" of vegetarian foods lowered cholesterol nearly as well as the prescription drug lovastatin (Mevacor). The diet was rich in soluble fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant and okra. It used soy substitutes instead of meat and milk and included almonds and cholesterol-lowering margarine (such as Take Control) every day.
Depression and Lack of Energy
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
A controlled trial showed that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables containing folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C effectively lowered homocysteine levels. Healthy people were assigned to either a diet containing a pound of fruits and vegetables per day, or to a diet containing 3 1/2 ounces (99g) of fruits and vegetables per day. After four weeks, those eating the higher amount of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower homocysteine level compared to those eating the lower amount of fruits and vegetables. Okra is a storehouse of vitamins and folic acid.
In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.
Nutrients in Lady finger
Following are the nutrients that contribute to benefits of lady finger.
Dietary fiber ( 9 % ), folate , pyridoxine , thiamine, Vit C, Vit A, Vit K , copper, calcium , potassium , iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.
Benefits of Lady Finger -
The low calorie content of Okra ( 30 kcal / 100 gm) and its high fiber content makes it a suitable food for weight loss . It provides minimum cals and the fiber helps in keeping you full for longer.
Controls blood sugar levels
This benefits of lady finger for diabetes is again attributed to its fiber. Eugenol a type of fiber, helps in slowing down the digestion and absorption of sugar from the blood stream. Hence it helps in avoiding sugar spikes after meal and stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Its fiber further more help in lowering the blood sugar level.
the fiber content of lady finger helps in better digestion, and regularization of bowels. pectin swells up in the intestine and helps in easier elimination of the wastes from the intestine. People suffering from constipation benefit from regular consumption of lady finger.
Conception and Pregnancy
Lady finger is an absolutely important food for ladies who are willing to conceive. Okra contains folic acid / folate. folate does not only helps in conceiving but also helps in the development of fetus and prevention of miscarriage. folate helps in the formation of neural tube of the fetus.
Another important benefit of lady finger is that it contains Vit C which helps in improving immunity.
Lady finger contains iron and folate and Vit K , these nutrients help in treating and avoiding Anemia.
Prevention of Colon Cancer
Like all other high fiber foods , Lady finger too helps in prevention of Colon cancer by keeping the digestive system intact and functioning properly.
The vitamin A and beta carotene present in lady finger may be helpful in improving eyesight.
Treatment of dandruff and lice
Okra is used as home remedy for dandruff and lice. gut okra horizontally and boil in water, add lemon to this water and use this water for rinsing hair.
By cleansing out the intestinal tract, Lady’s Finger is able to advance colon health by permitting the organ to work at a higher rate of effectiveness and decrease the risk of colon cancer.
Soluble fiber in lady’s finger or okra helps to reduce serum cholesterol therby reducing the risk of heart disease. Having okra helps to effectively control the body’s high cholesterol level. Okra is furthermore high in pectin that helps in lowering high body-fluid cholesterol by changing the output of bile in the intestines.
Good for Immune system
The high Vitamin content in Lady’s finger helps battle cold and improves the overall functioning of the immune system. The Vitamins and numerous minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron in lady’s finger fights against hurtful free radicals and enhances the functionality of the immune system.
Okra or lady’s finger can furthermore help get your hair back to its original state, free from dandruff. For bouncy hair, boil water and add okra in it, allow it to get to room temperature, squeeze half a lemon and use this solution as a hair rinse. Professionals say that it can even help in getting rid of lice.
Good for Eyesight
- Vitamin A and beta carotene discovered in okra’s are absolutely vital nutrients for sustaining good eyesight. In supplement, these essential nutrients furthermore help stops eye associated problems such as cataracts. The Vitamin A promotes health of the eyes and defends against age associated eye disorders.
- Fetus Development: The high allowance of folate contained in lady’s finger or okra is beneficial for the fetus during pregnancy. Folate is an essential nutrient which advances the development of the fetus body. The high allowance of folic acid in lady’s finger or okra plays a significant role in the neural tube formation of the fetus through the fourth to twelveth week of pregnancy.
- But there is much more to okra.
- While the “amount of nutrition” from okra varies based on how it’s consumed (pods, grams, etc), some of the key substances in the vegetable remain the same. Here are some prominent vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in okra that deserve some spotlight. Each figure is based on 1 cup (100g) of okra.
- Fiber – 2.5 grams. 10% of RDA (recommended daily value)
- Vitamin C – 16.3 milligrams. 27% RDA.
- Folate – 46 micrograms. 11% RDA.
- Vitamin A – 283 international units. 6% RDA.
- Vitamin K – 40 micrograms. 50% RDA. The vitamin K found in okra is known as vitamin K1, one of two beneficial forms. The other beneficial form is K2; K3 is synthetic and should be avoided.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 0.9 mg. 4% RDA.
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg. 9% RDA.
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg. 9% RDA.
- Magnesium – 36 mg. 9% RDA.
- Manganese - 0.3 mg. 15% RDA.
- Beta carotene – 225 mcg.
- Lutein, Zeaxanthin – 516 mcg.
- Check out the USDA Nutrient Database for a full nutritional profile of okra.
- As mentioned, Okra is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are responsible for the health benefits the plant has to offer. Here are some of okra’s health benefits:
- Health Benefits of Okra:
- Okra is good for preventing diabetes. The mucilage and dietary fiber in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Regular intake of okra can help to get rid of diabetes. One can soak okra in a glass of water overnight and drink the water on empty stomach in the morning. By doing it on regular basis one can reduce blood sugar levels remarkably.
- Okra is known for lowering cholesterol. Dietary fiber in okra is helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. It also reduces triglyceride levels as well.
- It is a good food for digestive system. It regulates digestive system and binds cholesterol and bile acid, so that cholesterol and other toxins can be flushed out from the body.
- Okra prevents atherosclerosis. Vitamin C in it protects from oxidative damage of cells, thus prevents blood vessel damage and plaque build up.
- Insoluble fiber in it is good for intestinal tract which is helpful in preventing colon cancer or colo-rectal cancer.
- The laxative properties, fiber and water content- all of these are really good for preventing constipation. High Pectin foods like okra are very good to deal with constipation.
- High antioxidant properties in okra such as Vitamin A, lutein make it a very good food for eye health or vision. Vitamin A is important for skin as well.
- Okra helps to treat lung inflammation and cancer; it also helps to treat oral cavity cancers.
- Folate content in okra is responsible for preventing birth defects. It is a good vegetable during pre-conception period.
- It is said that okra is a good food for brain or mind. It helps to come out of depression, exhaustion and mental weakness.
- The seeds of okra contain oleic acid (the same fatty acid found in olive oil and canola oil) which is excellent for reducing blood pressure levels.
- It is a good food to ease painful joints. Okra is considered as a good food for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia.
- It’s a good food for leaky gut syndrome. It helps to soothe and coat the intestinal lining which helpful in treating leaky gut.
- It is a vegetable that helps to heal many digestive disorders and it might prevent stomach ulcer as well. The alkaline pH of okra neutralizes the digestive acids and prevents gastro-intestinal ulcers.
- Like lung inflammation it can also treat sore throats.
- It can be complex replacement of human blood plasma.
- Vitamin C in it helps to promote immunity and prevents from cold, flu and infections.
- Okra is for weight loss. That means okra helps to lose and maintain weight. High fiber content keeps one full for a longer time. The low glycemic index of okra also helps in weight loss.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of okra makes it a good food for asthma. It helps prevent developing the risk of asthma.
- It’s a good food for summer and treats and prevents sunstroke.
- It’s a good vegetable for spreading good bacteria or probiotics.
- It’s a very good food for skin. Vitamin C plays an important role in it. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties protect from skin ailments like pimples other skin blemishes.
- Okra is good for the eyes and it reduces the risk of developing cataract. Lutein rich foods are very good to protect eye problems and diseases including cataract, macular degeneration and age related macular degeneration (ARMD). Okra can preserve vision and protects from eye problems.
- Regular consumption of okra provides protection against Trans fats.
- Capillaries are minute blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules. Vitamin C rich foods like okra help to support the structure of capillaries.
- In addition, okra is a good vegetable for decreasing Multiple sclerosis (MS) risk.
- Vitamin K in Okra
- According to USDA, okra contains high levels of Vitamin K. Vitamin K rich foods helps in blood clotting, protects heart from coronary disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Vitamin K is very good for bone structure as well.
- Okra has been used in traditional medicines. It can be used as home remedies for many health problems and diseases. Fresh and immature okra pods are great for health. It can be eaten raw and should be cooked as little as possible. Normally okra contains no side effects and it’s a non-toxic food.
Okra Promotes a 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 – One study published in the October 2005 Jilin Medical Journal found 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. Additionally, the vitamin A contributes to healthy mucous membranes, helping the digestive tract to operate appropriately.
- 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 skin pigmentation, and helps to rejuvenate damaged skin. Okra is full of vitamin C. Topical tip: Boil a handful of okra until soft. After letting it cool, mash it, and apply it to your face. After 5 minutes, your skin should feel smooth and rejuvenated.
Boosting digestive health
Promoting a healthy pregnancy
Maintaining healthy skin
Protecting against free radical damage
Relief from respiratory issues like asthma, cough, or trouble breathing
Promoting eye health
Okra is one of many vegetables which produces edible pods. A member of the mallow family, the plant itself is coarse, tall (3 to 6 feet or more in height), and grows in warm seasons. While it is cultivated in areas such as West Africa and South Asia, it is most present in the southern United States and West Indes, The pods produced by okra are used primarily for soups, stews, and are fried or boiled as a vegetable. canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable.
If you are interested in feeling okra health benefits and growing okra yourself, don’t hesitate to start right when you can! Okra is simple to grow during warm seasons, or throughout the year in areas that are more topical. The plant can even be stored in a container.
Here are a few steps to take note of for growing okra yourself:
Begin by planting seeds about 3-4 weeks after the last frost of the season. Plant 3-4 seeds together about 0.5-1 inch deep. Be sure to separate each planting by about 6 inches, and separate each row of plants by about 2 feet if you plan on growing a large amount.
After planting, water each area gently with water. Don’t water to the point of puddles forming.
As the plants break the surface, thin them out and space them about a foot apart as they will widen quite a bit as they mature.
Once the seed pods form and grow to 3-4 inches in length, they are safe for picking. Be sure to check back routinely for more picking.
Okra grows best in well-drained and manure-rich soil, and takes about 45-60 days to get harvestable fruits.
Although mostly known as the main ingredient of Gumbo, a culinary dish, okra can and is used in various recipes. Okra pods can be: eaten raw, steamed, cooked, or fried, or included in stews and soups.
For soups and stews, okra pods are often used since they turn into a gooey mucilage after being cooked. However, the mucilage can be avoided if the pods are prepared with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar.
Okra Cure for Diabetes
My close friend, Toots, had problems with his blood sugar. He's diabetic. But one day he excitedly announced to us his recent find--okra could help normalize blood sugar levels dramatically. And he swore he was benefiting from it himself. He told us how--which I'll share with your later.
Okra can be seen everywhere. Both in the US and in Deeper Asia, it is called Okra. Some call it Ladies' Finger or Gumbo. It is said to have originated from Southeast Asia. Some say from Ethiopia or West Africa. Here in Deeper Asia, it is commonly seen in wet markets and some grocery stores. We love it grilled or mixed with other veggies in meat or fish soups. It's been traditionally seen as a good source of fibers, but that was before my friend discovered its medicinal use.
The okra treatment my friend discovered uses raw okra. Well, when cooked, okra can give us the following nutrition benefits: Protein, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, copper,potassium, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and manganese.
In addition, some studies say it is proven to be helpful in normalizing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, healing asthma due to the special Vitamin C in it (which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), removing atherosclerosis, and healing some cancers. If you're worried about eye cataracts or acne and pimples, try okra--eat lots of it.
But this still was not Toots' wonder discovery. He read somewhere that raw okra is more powerful than boiled or steamed okra. The secret was to get two fresh and nice looking okra pieces, wash thoroughly, nip both ends, pierce with a fork on two sides, and soak in clean water in a glass overnight.
Well, of course, you drink the water with the okra sap in the morning, and you do that religiously everyday. And that's what Toots did after a month or so. Then he checked his blood sugar and it dramatically stayed on normal levels. Amazing. He's been sharing the good news to friends since.
Now, be careful not to fall into the trap. Most people who discover wonderful all-natural secrets like this abuse the blessing and make it a license to eat forbidden food. Just because the okra trick does wonders to your blood sugar, doesn't mean you can eat sweets and sugars all you want. All-natural plant or herbal treatments should be accompanied with a proper and disciplined diet.
And you should never tire doing it daily. Some folks, after getting good results, become carefree and eat forbidden food again and often forget about the okra ritual. Thus, the blood sugar acts up again, and they conclude that the remedy isn't quite effective after all. All roads to healing require constancy, patience, and discipline.
Folks ask, "What if I'm on medication for diabetes? Is the okra sap safe for me?" Well, okra is pure vegetable. It's not a synthetic medicine. Ask your doctor if eating okra is good for you. If it is, then I don't see how its sap can harm you in any way. If you like, ask your doc about the sap, too. My guess is, he's going to give you a silly grin. "A what?"
Overall, it's good to have okra regularly in your diet. I often eat it boiled or steamed. I mix it with other souped viands. I find it specially appetizing when eating fish or chicken.