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20 Major Health Benefits Of Okra


Okra which is also known as “Lady’s finger” or “Bhindi” in Hindi is a popular vegetable of North East African region. The Scientific name of Okra is “Abelmoschus esculentus” and is cultivated in the tropical and warm regions throughout the world. In this article, we will cover the major health benefits of Okra but before that let’s take a look at the nutrients present in Okra.

Nutrition Chart of Okra

Nutrition Chart of Okra
Source-USDA

 

As we can see from the nutrition chart, Okra is a wonder vegetable that can provide many health benefits because of its ingredients. Now, without further delay let’s move forward to know about the major health benefits provided by Okra.

 

Health Benefits of Okra

Health Benefits of Okra
Source-Pixabay.com

 

(1) Helps In Weight Loss

We all our do our best to shed off the extra pounds and gain the perfect shape, and Okra helps in losing weight because it is very low in calorific value and contains only 30 calories per 100 grams.

(2) Good For Heart

A healthy heart must for a healthy living and eating okra helps in keeping the heart in good condition. This benefit of okra is because of the absence of saturated fats and cholesterol in Okra. Okra also contains a soluble fiber called pectin which helps in lowering bad cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis by altering the production of bile in intestines and helping in the elimination of cholesterol and clots.

(3) Better Digestive System

A healthy gut is a must for healthy living, and if your stomach is not in good working condition, then there are high chances of getting sick and get caught by diseases. Okra is very rich in dietary fiber which helps in keeping the digestive system in good condition. It is the reason many health specialists recommend Okra to people suffering from digestive problems. The fiber present in Okra also helps in proper bowel movement.

(4) Prevents Diabetes

Okra also helps in the prevention of Diabetes. It is all because of the presence of dietary fiber present in Okra. It also helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels by slowing down its absorption from the intestines. Diabetes is one of the major health problems of the modern world and currently affects more than 371 million people worldwide, and this number is expected to rise to 552 million by 2030. In the US alone, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds. (Source ).

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(5) Beneficial During Pregnancy

Okra is recommended for women during preconception period and during pregnancy as Okra reduces the neural tube defects (Neural tube defects are congenital disabilities of the brain, spine or spinal cord and happens in the first month of pregnancy (Source)) in a newborn baby. This benefit of Okra is because of the presence of Folates in Okra.

(6) Helps in Blood Clotting

Okra helps in the process of blood clotting because of the presence of vitamin K in it, which is an important co-factor in the blood clotting process and this doesn’t end here as vitamin K also plays a major role in strengthening our bones.

(7) Controls Asthma

Regular consumption of Okra is recommended to people who have Asthma. This benefit of Okra is because of the presence of Vitamin C in Okra which is anti-inflammatory in nature.

 (8) Prevents Constipation

Okra facilitates the proper absorption of water in our body and ensures that wastes and toxins get disposed of our body properly. In this way, it helps in getting rid of constipation.

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(9) Prevents Sun strokes

Okra is good for people suffering from sun strokes and summer heat. It also helps in giving relief from weakness, exhaustion, and overall depression.

(10) Lowers the risk of Colon cancer

Okra also helps in lowering down the risk of colon cancer. It is done in two stages. The presence of dietary fibers in okra cleanses out the wastes and intestinal tracts and thus reduces the risk of colon cancer. On the other hand, high antioxidants in Okra help in protecting the immune system from the harmful free radicals and thus prevent mutation of cells.

(11) Controls Obesity

Just like Diabetes mentioned earlier in this article, Obesity is also a major health problem of the modern world and as per statistics ( Source ) is the fifth leading risk for global death. At least 2.8 million adults lose their life because of obesity and overweight. Not only this but around 44% if diabetes burden, 23% of heart disease burden and between 7 to 41 % of certain cancer burden is attributed to obesity and overweight.

Now, the interesting fact about obesity is that it is not necessarily due to consumption of fatty acids and high calorific value food but also due to lack of Important nutrients. Okra helps here by providing minimum calories (30 calories per 100 grams), dietary fibers present in Okra helps in keeping us fuller for a longer duration and other nutrients present in Okra is goo the for nourishment of our body.

(12) Soothes Respiration

Okra helps in soothing respiration and keep it in good condition. The slimy and gluey substance present in Okra acts as an excellent home remedy for common cold and flu. A decoction of Okra flowers and leaves is also used for treating against bronchitis pneumonia.

(13) Good Skin Cleanser

Okra acts as a natural skin cleanser. It is because of the presence of fiber in Okra which helps in removal of toxic waste from our body and the presence of vitamin C in Okra helps to repair body tissues, prevents skin pigmentation, reduces acne, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.

(14) Good for Hair

The thick gluey substance present in Okra give life to unruly and lifeless hair. It acts as a great hair conditioner and scalp moisturizer the for the dry and itchy scalp. It also fights dandruff and lice, and give a natural shine to hair.

(15) Immunity Booster

We all know the importance of Immunity system in our body as it is the immune system that keeps our body in a healthy condition by constantly monitoring our body for any foreign element (viruses, bacteria) and prevent them from attacking our body. A healthy immune system is a must for healthy living, and this is where Okra helps. The presence of antioxidants and Vitamin C makes okra a good immune booster food. Okra also contains other nutrients like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron fights against harmful free radicals and promotes healthy immune system.

(16) Improves Vision

Our eyes are our window to the world, and it is important that we take good care of our health. Okra contains Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, xanthin, and lutein. All these antioxidant properties help in keeping the eyesight in good working condition and helps in prevention of eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.

(17) Prevention of Anemia

Okra is rich in iron, folate, and vitamin K. All these substances help in the formation of hemoglobin, blood coagulation, and production of red blood cells, which provides a supreme defense against anemia.

(18) Cures Ulcers

The sticky and gluey substance present in Okra helps in neutralizes of acids and forms a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract which speeds up the healing of peptic ulcers.

 (19) Genital Disorder Treatment

Okra helps in the treatment of many genital disorders like syphilis, gonorrhea, leucorrhoea, dysuria and excessive menstrual bleeding.

Okra helps in the treatment of many genital disorders like syphilis, gonorrhea, leucorrhoea, dysuria and excessive menstrual bleeding.

(20) Rich in Protein

Seeds of Okra are an excellent source of vegetable protein, oils and essential amino acids like tryptophan and Cystine.

Seeds of Okra are an excellent source of vegetable protein, oils and essential amino acids like tryptophan and Cystine.

Points To Remember

 

  1. Okra is full of nutrition and is unlikely to cause any side effects most of the time but if you are prone to oxalate kidney stones then consumption of okra on regular basis may worsen your symptoms.
  2. Okra contains almost negligible fat and very low cholesterol which is good for the heart but if you cook it with a lot of butter, margarine or oil then it may give opposite effects and give rise to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart problems. It is therefore important to use the moderate level of fats while cooking Okra.
  3. Okra is rich in nutrients but they may get lost when okra is overcooked. It is therefore important to cook okra in low flame.

 

References:-

http://buahmerahmix.ph/top-22-health-benefits-of-okra-ladys-finger.html

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-okra/

http://www.naturalfoodbenefits.com/display.asp?CAT=2&ID=54

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/okra.html

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-okraladys-finger/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/462519-is-okra-good-for-you/

 

Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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