Abelmoschus esculentus, usually referred to as okra or “lady’s fingers”, is a flowering plant commonly found on gardens which is widely known for its taste and various health benefits.
People who lives in the United States, United Kingdom, as well as the Philippines, calls it okra, while with the pronunciations of the name differs in several parts of the world such as Nigeria and Caribbean English of okro.
There is no specific place that researchers can give about the origin of okra. However they said that the plant may have originated from Southeast Asia, West Africa, or in Ethiopia.
Okra is also popular worldwide because of its seed pods.
Another reason why okra is popular among cuisines of many countries, especially on Caribbean and Chinese dishes is because of its many different uses.
As mentioned, okra has seed pods which can be used as a pickled vegetable. This a famous ingredient that is commonly found on soups and other side dishes.
Okra is also well-loved because of its oil, which can also be extracted and can be used as a vegetable oil.
The list of okra’s benefits goes on and on and the highlight is okra’s benefits to health. In fact, the flowering plant is also called as “a nutritional hero” because of this certain ability.
Okra is rich in vitamins and minerals which is responsible for the plant’s ability to heal. Such nutrients includes Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
Not only that but it also contains iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
Okra’s nutritional distribution is as follows:
It comprises at least 21 milligrams of Vitamin C, about 2 grams of protein, around 60 milligrams of magnesium, at least 3 grams of dietary fiber, 7.6 grams carbohydrates, around 80 micrograms of folate, 0.1 grams of fat, as well as only 30 calories.
You can enjoy the health benefits of this kind of plant in different ways such as stewed, boiled, pickled, and fried, at any period of the year.
With all these nutrients and minerals, indeed the regular consumption of okra can provide numerous health benefits. One of those benefits is the improvement of the digestion process.
Eating okra means more fiber are being consumed by your body. This fiber can help make the food flow better in the digestive track, thus bowel movement will be regulated.
Moreover, fiber in okra also helps reduce the level of cholesterol in your body, and prevents diarrhea and constipation as well.
Aside from digestion, okra also improves one’s vision. It is because this vegetable is high in Vitamin A and other antioxidants like lutein and beta carotenes.
We all know that antioxidants are responsible for destroying and neutralizing free radicals. On the other hand, free radicals, the byproducts of cellular metabolism, bring harm to the body by degrading cells.
Therefor, eating okra in a regular basis can help guard your eyes from having cataracts and macular degeneration.
Additionally, Vitamin A and its antioxidants can also help in skin care. These nutrients help keep the skin healthy through faster healing.
Aside from that, these nutrients of okra can also heal scar and decrease the appearance of acne. And there’s no more need to worry about skin aging because okra can also eliminate wrinkles.
Such purpose is being fulfilled because of the free radicals bringing damage to the skin are being neutralized by the antioxidants of okra.
As the free radicals which bring harm to one’s health are being destroyed and neutralized, that also means that the immune system is being boosted.
Aside from the antioxidants, okra also has Vitamin C contents which make the boosting of the immune system possible. This nutrient is responsible for stimulating WBC or white blood cells which are the prime fighter of unwanted pathogens in the body.
Pathogens are those foreign entities in the body which makes the immune system weak.
Okra is also heart-friendly because it has the ability to lower blood pressure. The many vitamins and minerals which this plant has includes potassium which is a key nutrient needed to maintain health.
Because potassium has sodium, it can balance the fluids in the body including blood, which can then make the veins and arteries relax as blood flows.
There is no strain in the blood vessels, therefor there is lower risk of having heart attacks and other cardiovascular difficulties.
Aside from these health benefits, okra also has the ability to soothe asthma symptoms and other respiratory issues, lessen the levels of cholesterol, battle against diabetes, avoid kidney disease and many more.
Moreover, it has been considered as an effective ingredient in lessening the quantity of glucose that was consumed by the foods through your gastrointestinal tract.
Glucose is the sugar of the blood which makes it thick. Less glucose means less blood sugar level.
Now, we will be presenting an easy and simple homemade recipe of okra that will assist you in balancing the levels of sugar in your blood in a natural way.
All you’ll be needing 4 raw okras. Slice their tails and heads and put at least 2 to 3 cuts in a cup of water. Leave them overnight.
Consume the water in the morning, at least half an hour before breakfast.
And there you have it! Why okra is good for your health and hot to benefit from it.