After a bit of prodding from me she agreed to plant some and try it. Her very next question was, “What are the best researched health benefits of eating Okra.”
The undeniable truth is that the health benefits of eating okra are many, and talking about all of them could fill an entire book all by itself! So rather than go on page after page to address each health benefit in turn, I have chosen to simply list some of them:
For Diabetes: It has insulin-like properties that help to reduce blood sugar levels. Eugenol, a type of fiber found in Okra, helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
For Pregnancy and Fetal development: Abundant Folates in Okra, not only help in conceiving but also in fetus’ brain development, prevention of miscarriages, formation of the fetal neural tube, and preventing any defects in the tube.
For Strong Bones: Vitamin K is a co-factor in the vital blood-clotting process and along with Folates, restores bone density, strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis.
For Asthma: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Okra, and rich vitamin C content, curtail the development of asthma symptoms and prevent fatal attacks.
Respiratory soother: A decoction of leaves and flowers of Okra are used in treating bronchitis and pneumonia. Its mucilaginous (slimy, gluey) quality makes it an excellent home remedy for treatment of common cold and flu.
Relieves Constipation: The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in Okra pods help increase stool bulk, facilitate proper absorption of water, bind to toxins, lubricate the large intestines, and ensure easy bowel movements, with its natural laxative properties.
Treats Sun strokes: Those suffering from summer heat and sun strokes should include Okra in their diet as it offers relief from general weakness, exhaustion, and overall depression.
Lowers Colon cancer risk: The insoluble fiber found in Okra cleans out the intestinal tract, decreasing the risk of colon-rectal cancer. The high antioxidants in Okra help protect the immune system against harmful free radicals and prevent mutation of cells.
Prevents Obesity: Okra provides minimum calories, the fiber helps in keeping you feeling full for longer periods of time, and the abundant nutrients nourish you like few other vegetables (on an ounce for ounce basis)
Lowers Cholesterol: Okra contains the soluble fiber pectin, which helps in lowering the serum (bad) cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis. It does this by altering the production of bile in the intestines and aiding in the elimination of deposited cholesterol and clots.
Skin Detoxifier: Okra's fiber aids toxic waste cleansing and its high Vitamin C content aids in repairing body tissues, preventing skin pigmentation, reducing acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Lively Hair: when used topically when washing the hair, the transparent mucilage imparts life and bounce to unruly, curly and lifeless hair. It acts as a great hair conditioner, scalp moisturizer for dry and itchy scalp, fights dandruff and lice, and adds a youthful sheen to your hair.
Detoxification: Okra’s fiber not only aids the stool function but the mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid, ejecting toxins, dumped into the body by the filtering the liver.
Immunity Booster: The high phytonutrient, antioxidant and vitamin C content make Okra a good immune booster. Other essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron fight against harmful free radicals and promote healthy immune system function.
Clear Vision: Okra contains beta-carotenes, vitamin A, xanthin and lutein, all of which offer antioxidant properties shown to aid in preventing eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.
Prevents Anemia: Okra has high levels of Iron, Folate, and Vitamin K all of which aid in hemoglobin formation, blood coagulation, and red blood cell production, providing a supreme defense against anemia.
Cures Ulcers: The alkaline mucilaginous content helps neutralize acids and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract speeding the healing of peptic ulcers.
Treats Genital Disorders: Okra increases sexual potency and is beneficial in treating genital disorders like syphilis, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, dysuria and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Rich Protein Source: The seeds of Okra are an excellent source of first-rate vegetable protein and oils, enriched with amino acids like tryptophan, cystine and other sulfur amino acids.
Feeds Blood Network: Studies show that eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as Okra will help to support the structure of blood capillaries.
Probiotics: Okra feeds the good bacteria in intestines contributing greatly to the health of the intestinal tract.
Okra is one food that you should not leave out of your diet!