Known as “lady’s finger” in some regions of Asia, Okra is a vegetable that grows typically in tropical, subtropical and warm, temperate areas in the world.
This edible veggie can be eaten raw and is crunchy. The taste is something you will have to acquire. It can be steamed, lightly blanched, or stir fried to lessen the “green” taste. Okra is best used when its tender and less fibrous. Inside okra is white soft edible seeds that are in 5-10 vertical columns, giving it a angle look in the exterior.
Okra is high in fiber, vitamin A, C, and has lots of folate. It is also a good source of the B vitamins, zinc, calcium, vitamin K, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese. Its low in calories as well!
Okra is one of the few that has an abundant amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants: xanthin, beta-carotene and lutein.
Okra has lots of medicinal benefits even though it isn’t a common favorite. These benefits might just make you want to try some:
Anemia: Helps in the production of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
Anti-Cancer: The high antioxidants in okra helps protect the immune system against harmful free radicals and prevent mutation of cells.
Asthma: The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra useful for reducing asthmatic attacks.
Bone Strength: Folate in okra helps to strengthen bones and boost density, preventing osteoporosis.
Cholesterol: The fiber in okra reduces serum cholesterol, while also reducing the risk for atherosclerosis and other heart diseases.
Constipation: The rich fiber and mucilaginous (slimy) content in okra pods help increase bulk, bind to toxins and ensure easy bowel movements with its natural laxative properties. Regularly eating okra also reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Diabetes: Okra has insulin properties that aid in the reduction of your blood sugar level. Eat about 6-8 young, raw okra every day and see your blood sugar level become stable.
Gut flora: The fiber helps improve the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Immune Booster: The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra a good immune booster food that reduce your catching the cough and cold.
Peptic Ulcers: The slimy content gives a temporary coating to the digestive tract and stomach lining while healing the ulcers.
Pregnancy: Okra’s folate content can help in reducing neural tube defects in babies.
Skin Health: With good bowel movements, skin health will improve. Helps reduce acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Vision Health: Okra contains beta-carotenes, xanthin and lutein, all antioxidant properties that are essentially for vision health, preventing eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts.
ANOTHER WAY OF EATING OKRA TO LOWER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
With okra, take 3-4 pieces and cut off the stem, then the inside of okra is open, then cut it into two pieces or more if you want. Put in water. If you want the best results, use distilled water.
I use a mason jar with the lid on to let it sit in room temperature overnight. When you wake up, drink the Okra water and you can consume the okra as well. After 2-4 weeks, you will see your blood sugar levels drop to healthy levels. If you have diabetes, eat a clean diet in order to see desirable results.
When shopping for okra, get small sized ones. It should feel firm and crisp if they are tender. Steer clear from okra that looks aged or out of color.
Okra may be subject to insecticide/pesticides.
Buy organic okra and avoid GMO. If not, soak okra in water with apple cider vinegar and seasalt for about 10 minutes, then rinse off to eliminate toxic residues from pesticide/insecticides.
Cut off the tops and cut okra into smaller pieces of 2-3 inches if desired. You can steam, lightly blanch or quickly stir-fry to reduce the mucilage and its “green taste”. Okra cannot be juiced due to its fibrous texture and slimy content.
Alongside most vegetables, okra has a small level of oxalic acid, but it usually has no effect on the body.
If you have had kidney stones before, avoid consuming okra.
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