Okra, gumbo, or lady’s finger, is an incredibly healthy tropical vegetable which has been valued for its numerous medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries.
It dates back over 3500 years ago and has been commonly used by the Egyptians, and it is nowadays often included in many dishes, like the gumbo dish. Nowadays, numerous people enjoy its unique taste and countless health benefits.
It shares many kiwi fruit benefits, and it is extremely rich in vitamin C, K, and folate, as well as fiber which stabilizes blood sugar, helps digestion and controls the rate of sugar absorption.
The amount of nutrition provided from okra is affected by the way it is consumed, but it is a fact that it is abundant in nutrients.
We will try to illustrate its nutritional value through the following figures, which are based on a cup (100g) of okra:
-Vitamin C – 16.3 milligrams. 27% RDA.
-Folate – 46 micrograms. 11% RDA.
-Vitamin K – 40 micrograms. 50% RDA. This vitamin is also known as K1, one of the two most beneficial forms, together with K2, while K3 is synthetic.
-Vitamin A – 283 international units. 6% RDA.
-Fiber – 2.5 grams. 10% of RDA (recommended daily value)
-Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg. 9% RDA.
-Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg. 9% RDA.
-Beta carotene – 225 mcg.
-Lutein, Zeaxanthin – 516 mcg.
-Magnesium – 36 mg. 9% RDA.
-Manganese – 0.3 mg. 15% RDA.
It provides numerous health benefits, mostly due to the high vitamin, mineral, and nutritious content, and the following 6 are the most important:
—Supports Colon Health – Okra is rich in dietary fiber which is vital for the health of the colon and healthy digestion. It also cleans out the gastrointestinal system, and thus supports the proper function of the colon. Moreover, the vitamin A helps the digestive tract to work properly, and supports the health of the mucous membranes.
—Helps with Respiratory Issues such as Asthma – This delicious fruit is high in vitamin C, which aids in the case of respiratory issues such as asthma. According to one study, “the consumption of fruit rich in vitamin C, even at a low level of intake, may reduce wheezing symptoms in childhood, especially among already susceptible individuals.”
—Helps Prevent Diabetes – Due to the fiber it contains, as well as the other nutrients, okra regulates blood sugar and helps in the case of diabetes.
—Treats Kidney Disease –In October 2005, Jilin Medical Journal published a study which found that showed that the regular consumption of okra prevents kidney disease. The study found that “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” This is also related to diabetes, as almost 50% of kidney disease cases are a result of diabetes.
—Okra Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy – Okra is abundant in vitamin C and folate which are vital for a healthy pregnancy. Namely, vitamin B is essential for producing and maintaining new cells, while the vitamin C supports the normal development of the baby and prevents birth defects such as spina bifida.
—Promotes Healthy Skin – Vitamin C rejuvenates the skin and helps the growth and recovery of the body tissues. It supports the formation of collagen and skin pigmentation and rejuvenates damaged skin. To make your skin smooth, soft, and young-looking, you should boil a handful of okra until it is soft, leave it to cool and mash it. Then, apply it as a mask on the face and leave it to act for 5 minutes.
This is a summary of the most important health benefits of this impressive vegetable:
-Helps digestive health
-Promoting a healthy pregnancy
-Prevents damage caused by free radicals
-Helps weight management
-Promotes colon health and prevents colon cancer
-Promotes eye health
-Alleviates respiratory issues such as asthma, cough, or trouble breathing
-Promotes skin health