Okra, scientific Abelmoschus esculentus, is a flowering plant in the Malvaceae( mallow) family.It has a ridged length, with edible seeds lined up in a pod.pod contains rows of green edible seeds .It is also known by other names such as lady’s fingers or bhindi.
Health Benefit 1: Promotes Pregnancy
The folate in okra is an important compound healthy pregnancy. The vitamin assists in preventing birth defects such as spina bifida .The Vitamin C in okra is also crucial for fetal development. Folates contribute to neural tube formation of the fetus in the 4-12 weeks of gestation period in the uterus.
Health Benefit 2: Wards off Diabetes
Owing to its high fiber content, okra aids in normalizing blood sugar in the body and in the process fights diabetes.
Health Benefit 3: Fights Kidney Disease
Okra lowers kidney damage, according to a study conducted on the effect of consumption of okra and kidney disease. In the same breath, it was observed that it lowers diabetes by the same percentage (50%), a proof that diabetes causes kidney diseases.
Health Benefit 4: Colon Health
The dietary fiber in okra promotes both colon and digestive health. It assists in cleansing the gastrointestinal system, hence improving the efficiency of the colon. The vitamin A in it assists in maintaining healthy mucous membranes necessary for the function of the digestive tract.
Health benefit 5: Respiratory Health
The vitamin C in Okra contains vitamin C aids in combating with respiratory issues such as asthma. The vitamin aids in lowering wheezing symptoms in people predisposed to asthma attacks.
Health benefit 6: Skin Health
Okra contains Vitamin C which contributes to young and vibrant skin. This vitamin is useful in growth and repairs of connective tissues and in particular those which relate to collagen formation and skin pigmentation. Moreover, it aids in the rejuvenation of damaged skin.
Health Benefit 7: Source of probiotics
Okra aids in the production of healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These probiotics are like those found yoghurt introduces in the small intestine and aids biosynthesis of Vitamin B complex.
Health benefit 8: Laxative
As a laxative, okra treats irritable bowels, ulcers and offers relief to the gastrointestinal tract. Laxatives are compounds or drugs that hasten or increase bowel movements.
Health Benefit 9: Treats Anemia
By assisting in the production of red blood cells, okra aids in keeping anemia at bay.
Health Benefit 10: Combats Constipation
The high fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods aid help adding bulk hence easing bowel movement. This helps in preventing constipation.
Health Benefit 11: Fights peptic-Ulcers
The mucilaginous content of okra offers a temporary coating to the gut and stomach lining hence preventing peptic ulcers.
Health Benefit 12: Ocular Health
Owing to beta-carotenes (vitamin A), xanthin and lutein in okra, eye problems such as cataract and glaucoma are kept at bay
Health benefit 13: Anti-Depression
As a superior vegetable, Okra helps in overcoming feelings of body weakness, exhaustion, and bouts of depression.
Health Benefit 14: Source of Vitamin K
Okra contains Vitamin K, which is used as a co-factor in blood-clotting process. The vitamin also aids in building strong bones.
Image Credit : USDA