Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a popular vegetable, which also goes by the name of okoro, gumbo, bamia and lady fingers. It’s a perennial flowering plant from the Malvaceae family with dark green colored edible pods. These pods are hand picked right before they mature for the best possible flavor. In addition to what some people describe as an amazing taste, okra health benefits make it a highly sought after vegetable.
How To Eat Okra
You can eat okra stewed, steamed, fried or raw, although some people may have a hard time with the texture when eating it uncooked. One Green Planet has some great tips on how to cook okra to keep it from becoming slimy for those who prefer it cooked. This vegetable is believed to have a wide variety of health benefits that may encourage you to make it part of your family dinners. Here are some of the main health benefits associated with consuming okra.
Known Benefits of Okra
Eat Okra to Improve Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Disease
Some believe okra has the ability to help the body stabilize your blood glucose levels, especially if you eat it raw. Using okra water for diabetes is a fairly new trend that requires you to soak the okra pods in water overnight. This allows the water to absorb the nutrients from the seeds and the skin of the pods.
Okra water is believed to be more beneficial than eating the vegetable since you are getting the benefits in their purest form. Some people also believe that since diabetes can cause kidney damage, then okra may help reduce your risks for kidney disease since it helps to reduce your blood glucose levels.
Promotes Good Digestion
Okra acts as a natural laxative because it’s full of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive tract maintain a healthy pH balance. It also increases the number of good bacteria found in the gut and contains antiadhesive properties that help clean out the stomach. Okra may also help you lose weight since it does promote good digestion, does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats and is low in calories.
General Health Benefits
Rich in vitamins, minerals and folic acid, okra may help improve many respiratory issues including asthma symptoms. The Vitamin C is also great for strengthening the immune system to help fight off many illnesses. The vitamin K is important for proper blood clotting and it helps to strengthen bones.
Okra also has anti-inflammatory agents and it’s a great source of magnesium, manganese, iron, and calcium. All of which the body needs to stay healthy. All of the nutrients may even help promote a healthy pregnancy.
Okra has antioxidants, vitamins A, C and K, beta-carotene, xanthine, and lutein. Some people believe that okra can even help prevent cancer cells from growing since it has the ability to improve the immune system, which helps to prevent cell transformation.
As you can see, okra has a lot to offer in the way of nutrition. If you’ve never tried it before, add it your diet. Who knows? You may love the way it tastes and it certainly offers many health benefits.
Okra health benefits help to make this vegetable one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
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