Health Benefits of Okra
Okra, also known as lady’s fingers, is a green pod vegetable native to Africa and parts of Asia. It has a thick, ridged outer skin and slimy inside texture when cooked, making it popular for stewing, frying, pickling, and baking. Its numerous health benefits have made it a favorite among those looking for different nutrient-rich vegetables to add to their diets.
What are the benefits of eating okra
1. Rich in vitamins and minerals
Okra is filled with vitamins A, B6, C, and K. It is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium. Okra also contains protein. Best of all, okra is low in calories, carbs, and fat, which makes it an excellent choice for a healthy diet.
2. Help with constipation
As a good source of dietary fiber, okra can help ease and prevent constipation. Fiber helps to move food through the digestive system, making it easier for waste to be eliminated from the body.
3. Manages diabetes
According to certain studies, okra is beneficial for managing diabetes as it contains high levels of soluble fiber. This type of fiber can help slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut, which can help keep blood sugar levels stable.
4. May help control weight
Another great benefit of okra is its potential to help lose weight. This can be attributed to its high fiber content. Fiber helps give a feeling of fullness, which can help reduce cravings and overeating. Besides, okra promotes digestion. This can help you maintain or lose weight.
5. Boosts the immune system
Okra contains high levels of vitamin C. This can help to boost your immune system. Also, okra is a good source of zinc, which aids the production of white blood cells that fight off infection.
6. May protect against heart diseases
Studies have shown that ingesting okra can help reduce bad cholesterol levels, which in turn helps to protect against heart diseases. Okra also contains potassium and magnesium, both of which are important minerals for maintaining a healthy heart.
7. Beneficial for pregnant women
Experts often recommend including okra in the diet of pregnant women as it contains high levels of folate. Folate helps with the development of a baby’s nervous system and also helps prevent birth defects. Additionally, the fiber present in okra can help reduce constipation, which is common during pregnancy.
8. May improve eye health
Some studies have suggested that okra may be good for improving eye health as it contains vitamin A and carotenoids, which are essential for healthy vision.
9. Promotes healthy skin
Okra is a great source of vitamin A, which helps to promote healthy skin. Vitamin A can help reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging.
10. Strengthens Bones
Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health by helping the body absorb calcium better and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Okra is a wonderful source of vitamin K, so including it in your diet can help strengthen bones.
okra is a nutrient-dense vegetable with various health benefits. It can help manage diabetes, protect against heart diseases, improve eye health, and promote healthy skin. Additionally, it can help you maintain or lose weight as well as boost your immunity. To get the most out of okra’s health benefits, it is best to incorporate it into a balanced diet.
- 7 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Okra. By Natalie Rizzo. HealthLine. 2019
- Benefits and uses of okra. By Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. Medical News Today. 2019
- Health Benefits of Okra. WebMD. 2022