The health benefits of okra are varied and reason enough to include this vegetable in your diet. Also known as ladies finger, bhindi, bendakaya, okra belongs to the samefamily as hibiscus, hollyhock, and rose of Sharon.
Okra is rich in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Half its fiber content is soluble and is in the form of gums and pectin. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. The fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar level by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.
Okra has abundant mucillage, giving it a slimy texture. While many dislike this slime, this mucillage provides some important health benefits. The slimy mucillage binds and inhibits the absorption of cholesterol, bile acids, and toxins. The mucillage in okra also helps alleviate the irritation, swelling, and pain in the throat associated with the common cold and cough.
Very low in calories rich in dietary fibers minerals and vitamins and is a good source of many nutrients including Vitamin C, calcium, and folic acid. Okra is good source of Protein, Amino Acids, rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K.
** Prevention of neural tube defects in developing fetuses mainly due to its high content of vitamin B6, calcium, fiber, and folic acid hence it is good to eat it in the pre-conception period.
** Helps in adjusting blood sugar.
** Maintain healthy Gastro-intestinal Tract.
** Controls Cholesterol.
** Good for people who have Asthma.
** The Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
** Aids in Weight Management Program.
** Helps reabsorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins and surplus bile in its mucilage and slips it out through the stool.
** Helps smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
** Prevents Constipation, Gas and Bloating.
** Rich in high level of antioxidants.
** Protects from Lungs and oral Cavities Cancer.
** facilitates the propagation of good bacteria “probiotics”.
** Promotes healthy Mucus membranes and Skin.
** Is an excellent laxative treats irritable bowels, heals ulcers.
** Protein and oil contained in the seeds of okra serves as the source of first-rate vegetable protein.
** Fights infections.
** Excellent for people who have Atherosclerosis.