Botanically, okra belongs to the mallow family. Okra is also known as “lady’s finger” in some parts of Asia. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world. Okra, is a widely used vegetable all over the world. Not many people like it because of its ‘slimy’ texture, but this vegetable is loaded with a number of health benefits.
11 Reason You Should Eat Okra Daily
Okra is low in calories. A one and a half cup serving of okra contain just 18 calories. As mentioned, it is also a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as folate. All of these factors, combined with the high fiber content, make it a great vegetable for weight loss.
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.
Vitamin K is a co-factor in the vital blood-clotting process and along with Folates, restores bone density, strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis.
That means it helps the body detoxify itself and helps you shed excess water weight. A great weapon in your arsenal for de-bloating!
Lowers Colon cancer
The insoluble fiber found in Okra cleans out the intestinal tract, decreasing the risk of colon-rectal cancer. The high antioxidants in Okra helps protect the immune system against harmful free radicals and prevent mutation of cells.
Good For Eyes
Okra is an excellent source for beta-carotene, xanthein, and lutein. These antioxidants seek and neutralize harmful biological waste that can disrupt cellular metabolism, increase degradation of cells in the body, and impair vision. Antioxidants can protect your eyesight from macular degeneration and cataracts.
Iron, Folate, and Vitamin K aid in hemoglobin formation, blood coagulation, and red blood cells production, providing a supreme defense against anemia.
The various antioxidant components of okra make it very beneficial to fight off free radicals, but the high vitamin C content also means that the general immune system is boosted. Vitamin C can stimulate the immune system to create more white blood cells, which can combat the other foreign pathogens and materials in the body that can compromise the immune system.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Okra contains insulin-like properties that help reduce blood sugar levels. It also has a low glycemic index of about 20, making it a good choice for people with diabetes. A study published in the same year in ISRN Pharmaceutics found that okra helps reduce the absorption of glucose, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
According to folkloric practice, fresh tender okra pods are beneficial in treating leukorrhea, which causes whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge between menstruations. Its mucilaginous property helps remove mucous from your system, which in turn reduces vaginal discharge. Also, it boosts your immune system to help fight the problem.
The high amount of folate contained in the okra is beneficial for the foetus during pregnancy. Folate is an essential nutrient which improves the development of the foetus’ brain. The high amount of folic acid in okra plays a significant role in the neural tube formation of the embryo from the fourth to the twelfth week of pregnancy.