Okra (Abelmoschusesculentus) is an annual plant of the family Malvaceae. This plant origins in tropical and warm climate and produces edible green legumes.
Okra possesses an abundance of health benefits. Ongoing researches are trying to prove this plant’s potential for helping people suffering from diabetes.
In addition we will present 10 health benefits you can gain by eating okra.
1. Contains folates
100 grams of okra provides around 22% of the recommended daily amount of folic acid. Folates (folic acid) are particularly important in the period before conception and during early pregnancy helps prevent birth defects. Foods rich in folic acid also help to clean the lungs.
2. Contains lots of fiber
Okra contains fiber and acts as a natural laxative that can help to naturally get rid of the hard stool. Also, okra’s tiny hair feeds the beneficial bacteria in the intestines and helps maintain the pH balance of your digestive tract.
3. Rich source of vitamin A
Okra is rich in vitamin A and other antioxidants, green fruits contain beta-carotene, lutein and xanthine, which together with vitamin A helps in maintaining good sight and keep the skin fresh and healthy. This plant also assists in the prevention of cataract and is great when it comes to preventing blackheads and acne.
4. Rich source of vitamin C
It is a rich source of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. Okra is associated with prevention of cough and cold. Since vitamin C has anti-inflammatory property, okra can be great tool for reducing the symptoms of asthma.
5. Great source of minerals
Okra is great source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
6. Has an abundance of antioxidants
Due to the abundance of fiber and antioxidants, okra is an excellent prevention of cancer, particularly the prevention of colorectal cancer.
7. Contains vitamin K
This vitamin is important for bone health and plays a major role in blood clotting.
8. Has low caloric value
Okra contains only 30 calories in 100 grams and this is why it is often recommended as part of a weight loss program.
9. Helps in normalizing blood sugar
By slowing its absorption in the intestine, okra could help to stabilize blood sugar.
10. Does not contain saturated fats and cholesterol.
How to use okra?
These delicious fruits are best when eaten fresh while young. If you buy okra that was left on the plant too long, it may become hard and tasteless. Avoid those that look dried out and have spots in another color.
It is advisable to eat okra on the day of purchase, while fresh. It can also be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Before using it, remember to wash it well, since it might have been exposed to pesticides and harmful chemicals.