Okra, or “lady’s finger” is one hell of a vegetable. It’s an edible pea pod that you can actually eat raw. If you’re not a fan of the ‘green’ taste, you can quickly stir-fry or lightly blanch it for a healthy snack.
So, what are the benefits of okra? First of all, it’s low in calories but packed with nutrients. It is high in fiber, vitamin A, C, and folate content. It can also be a good source of vitamin B, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. It even has high contents of phytonutrients and antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and xanthin.
Okra is also one of the best available medicinal vegetables. It can help out with the following medical conditions:
- Anemia – helps blood cell reproduction to prevent anemia.
- Anti-cancer – high antioxidants help protect the immune system against harmful free radicals that may mutate cells and turn them cancerous.
- Asthma – high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra useful in reducing asthma attacks.
- Bone Strength – the folate in okra builds strong bones and density that prevents osteoporosis.
- Cholesterol – the soluble fiber found in okra helps lower serum cholesterol and reduces atherosclerosis and risks of heart diseases
- Constipation – the rich fiber and slimy content in okra pods help increase bulk. They also bind to toxins and ensure easy bowel movements because it has natural laxative properties. Regular okra intake may even prevent colon cancer.
- Diabetes – it has insulin-like properties that help with reducing blood sugar levels.
- Peptic Ulcers – the slimy content in okra provides a temporary coating to the digestive tract and stomach lining while healing from ulcers
Okra has plenty of health benefits. It’s truly one of nature’s most impressive vegetables. While a small amount of oxalic acid won’t hurt anyone, it is best to avoid okra if you have history of getting kidney stones.