Okra – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Friday, June 16, 2017 by

Long considered a great food for the health-conscious, okra (also known as gumbo and lady’s fingers) is packed with nutrients that are great for the body. Okras are green-flowering plants that belong to the same family as cotton and hibiscus. The name okra usually refers to the edible white-colored seeds found inside the pods.

List of known nutrients

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Pectin
  • Phosphorus
  • Phytonutrients
  • Potassium
  • Pyridoxine
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Medicinal uses for okra

Okras are highly favored by health-conscious individuals for obvious reasons: They have low calorie content, high dietary fiber, and are rich sources of other nutrients like iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.

Various studies have tried to find the connection between okras and diabetes improvement. While still in their early stages, these studies have shown favorable results. One study showed that okra water helped improve the blood sugar levels in pregnant rats with gestational diabetes. The same findings on another study showed that roasted okra seeds can lower blood sugar.

Okras are fiber-rich. Eight medium-sized okras have approximately three grams of fiber, which can help improve digestion, cravings, and satiety. People who increase their dietary fiber intake have been proven to have better glycemic control and improved insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, fiber from okras help improve peristalsis. The mucilaginous fiber in these pods will help your body move food through the digestive tract with ease. Not only will have you enjoy regular bowel movements, you’ll also reduce the chances for boating, constipation, cramping, and excess gas. It also helps prevent diarrhea.

The abundance of antioxidants in okras will benefit your body in so many ways. Carotenes, lutein, and xanthein can help protect you from cataracts and macular degeneration. Okras are also packed with vitamins and minerals, like potassium, which is vital in maintaining proper fluid balance in the body. This nutrient helps the blood vessels and arteries relax to reduce blood pressure and avoid putting more strain to the cardiovascular system, keeping atherosclerosis at bay.

Okras also have anti-cancer properties. Lectin, a protein found in okras, can reduce cancer cell growth. One study showed that it can prevent breast cancer by killing 72 percent of the human cancer cells and reduced cancer cell growth by 63 percent.

Other studies showed that okra seeds and peels can be used to treat diabetes. Moreover, vitamin K helps improve bone health by making calcium absorption easier. People who don’t have enough vitamin K are more susceptible to fractures.

Body systems supported by okras

Okras are great for those who want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. The awesome fiber content of these green vegetables are beneficial in promoting peristalsis. They promote a healthy digestive system and prevent gastrointestinal issues like constipation, bloating, and camping.

Other than fiber, you can find vitamin A in okras, which is good in maintaining healthy vision. You can also take advantage of the abundance of antioxidants to have healthy-looking skin. These skin-protecting nutrients can promote faster wound healing, eliminate wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of scars.

High levels of okra in your diet will fortify your body’s defense mechanism. You’ll have a stronger immunity against diseases caused by free radicals in the body. Moreover, okras will protect your heart and keep your bones strong and healthy.

Ways to use okras

You can enjoy okras in so many ways. You can fry them, saute, boil, or stew them. You can also use okras as thickeners for many dishes. If you’re looking for healthy okra recipes, then check these out.

Where to learn more

Summary

Okras help improve vision and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

Okras protect the heart against diseases.

Okras boost the immune system by fighting free radicals in the body.

Okras prevent constipation and improve digestion.

Okras can prevent certain types of cancers.

Sources include:

Eatingwell.com

OrganicFacts.net

Nutrition-and-You.com

HealthLine.com

MedicalNewsToday.com 1

MedicalNewsToday.com 2

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

 

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