Okra Health Benefits
Lady finger or okra or bhindi is a green colored vegetable which belongs to mallow family. Lady finger generally cultivates in warm tropical and sub-tropical region. The pods of this plant is consumed which contains round shaped white edible seeds. Lady fingers are consumed after cooking them and you will notice slimy texture which comes due to the presence of mucilage; which is high in soluble fiber. Lady fingers are consumed in stew, soups or they are boiled, steamed or stir fried.
Even the leaves of lady finger are consumed and are used for garnishing and in salads. Edible oil is extracted from the seeds of lay finger which is rich in unsaturated fats like oleic acid and linoleic acid. Lady finger is found to be a food which can becomes a healthy food with these nutrients. So, we will be further discussing the okra health benefits.
Nutritional Benefits of Okra
Okra is a low calorie vegetable. It provides around 30 calories for 100 grams of its consumption. Almost 90% of it contains water. It primarily provides carbohydrate and dietary fiber. Vitamin-A, Vitamin-B, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-E and Vitamin-K are present in okra. Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium are found in okra.
Okra for Digestion
Okra is sticky and has laxative properties. It aids in digestion and proper bowel movement. Lady finger have both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. This help in maintaining colon health. Consuming lady finger helps in keeping the intestinal tract clean as the slimy nature of this vegetable binds all the toxins and assists in flushing away from the body. Polysaccharides in lady finger acts as a barrier for the bacteria to grow and spread in the stomach. It inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which can cause gastric ulcers. Also, vitamin-a in it helps in the health of mucous membrane, thus aiding in overall digestion process.
Okra Health Benefits during Pregnancy
Pregnant women must go for okra. Okra is rich in vitamin-b and vitamin-c. Folates are necessary for producing new cells and help in the development of healthy fetus. They promote growth and development of healthy brain. Vitamin-c along with vitamin-b can prevent spina bifida, which is a common birth defect. Also, folic acid in lady finger plays a vital role in the formation of neural tube of fetus.
Okra assists Weight Loss
Okra is a low calorie vegetable and is a great source of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is known to keep a person sated and also aids in promoting healthy digestive system. Okra can be steamed and salted and consumed to reap its nutritional benefits.
Okra for Heart
Soluble fiber in lady finger can lower cholesterol in the body. Pectin present in it can lower the level of triglycerides in the body. Also, antioxidants like polyphenols and quercetin in lady finger have the ability to restrict oxidation of cholesterol and protect against free radicals. They help in preventing the arteries from clogging.
Okra Health Benefits – Combats Diabetes
Okra is high in fibre and mucilage content. They help in stabilizing the blood sugar level in the body and restrict the spiking of sugar. They also regulate the absorption rate of sugar from intestinal tracts. Okra water is recommended to a person suffering from diabetes. Okra when cut into pieces and soaked overnight has shown significant results in reducing diabetes. Consuming lady finger has also resulted in increase in insulin secretion and beta cell growth in pancreas.
Okra promotes radiant skin
Consume lady finger or okra if you are looking for healthy skin. Vitamin-c a major antioxidant present in it helps in repairing damaged tissues. It has the ability to fight free radicals that are associated with premature aging and blemishes. Also, consumption of high fiber foods improve digestion which results in healthier skin.
Okra prevents atherosclerosis and cancer
Lady finger or okra is loaded with antioxidants. Vitamin-e, vitamin-c, carotenoids, flavonoids are some of the antioxidants present in it. These nutrients have the ability to fight against free radicals and scavenge oxidative stress. Insoluble fiber in it has the ability to fight against colon cancer. It helps in keeping the intestinal tracts clear and lowers its risk. Also, high amount of antioxidants can fight against free radical damages and prevent growth of carcinogenic cells.
Okra for Eyes
Xanthin and lutein are the beta-carotenes present in okra. These are helpful against cataract and night blindness.
Other Health Benefits Of Okra
- Iron, folates and Vitamin-K in okra can help prevent anaemia.
- Mucilage present in okra can act as a great hair conditioner. It can be applied to combat itchy and dry scalp.
- Foods rich in flavonoid antioxidants like xanthin, beta-carotene and lutein can inhibit cancer cells to grow. They are found to be helpful in treating lung and oral cavity cancer.
- Vitamin-K present in okra helps in strengthening the bones and it also acts as a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes. So, people suffering from nose bleeding, gum bleeding must add this food to help in enhancing the process of blood coagulation.
- Loaded with vitamin-c and other antioxidants, it can significantly improve your immunity against diseases. Vitamin-c is an essential nutrient for the production of white blood cells, which fights against pathogens.
- Some researchers have found consumption of lady finger can prohibit asthma as it is rich in vitamin-c