Okra commonly known as lady finger or barnia is one of the most nutritious vegetables of the North-East African Origin. Botanically okra is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the mallows family. Its scientific name is as Abelmoschus esculentus.
The pods are normally collected when they are still tender, green and at an immature stage. Okra grows quite well in well-drained and manure rich soil. It is often planted throughout the warm temperate and tropical regions globally. There are a number of okra benefits including for the skin, health and even hair.
Okra nutrition has been the most preferred foods for the people who are health conscious. It contains Vitamin C, calcium, Vitamin B, folic and potassium. It has high dietary fibers and is very low in calories. Lady fingers have been recommended to help manage blood sugar levels for people with gestational diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
Okra and diabetes
According to recent medical research on okra for diabetes management, which is still in its early stages, okra water can improve blood sugar levels for those who have gestational diabetes. Its roasted seeds have also proven positive in lowering the blood sugar levels.
Health benefits of okra
– It can be used as an anti-fatigue
Research indicates that one can improve their recovery time and fatigue levels by adding okra into their daily diet. This goes hand in hand with frequent exercise routine. Cardiovascular activity is an important part of preventing diabetes. This means that okra nutrition can contribute to a much more active lifestyle.
– High fiber content
This is one of the most important lady fingers benefits for those who consume it. It has high fiber content and therefore it is often recommended for digestive benefits. The fibers contained in okra help in the digestion process in the body through facilitating bowel movement.
– Prevents heart disease
High cholesterol levels in the blood are a major cause of heart disease. Okra contains pectin which is a soluble fiber that aids in lowering the levels of cholesterol. It is also rich in antioxidant compounds including polyphenols and quercetin. These compounds help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and blockage of arteries. And as a result it helps in prevention of heart diseases.
Skin benefits of okra
– Prevents skin pigmentation
Okra contains a lot of nutrients that can actually help to prevent skin pigmentation. It is quite important for revitalizing your skin and for the repair skin damages.
– Vitamin C benefits
This plant has vitamin C which helps to maintain a young looking skin. It helps to repair body tissues thus making the skin look young and vibrant.
Hair benefits of Okra
– Can be used as a scalp moisturizer
For people with dry and itchy scalp, okra is the best solution. The nutrients contained in it leave your hair feeling soft and does not contain any harmful effects like other cosmetics. This is a good product for people with wild and curly hair.
– Fights dandruff
Okra helps to improve the condition of the scalp and to reduce dandruffs. It moisturizes your hair leaving it moist and free of dandruff.
Other health benefits of okra include:
– Helps in reduction of weight loss
– Improves eye sight
– Improves immunity
– Prevents constipation
Well, now that we have knowledge of “what is okra?” and “okra health benefits”, we need to know exactly how okra should be stored. When storing okra, ensure that they are unwashed, wrapped in a newspaper and stored in the warmest part of the fridge. This is because they tend to rot very fast when kept in cold places. Or you can just blanch the whole okra then freeze it.