This is a very old vegetable also known as lady’s finger. It appeared about 3500 years ago. Like many others vegetables, okra is rich in nutrients which can improve your overall health. It is even believed that Cleopatra’s favorite vegetable was okra. Also during the World War II people didn’t have coffee so they used okras ‘seeds instead of coffee beans.
How Nutritious are Okras?
Okras are rich in minerals like calcium and iron as well as in vitamins C and A. This vegetable also contains riboflavin, thiamine, starch and fat. This vegetable can be consumed cooked or raw. A cup of raw okra contains 33 g. of calories and cooked okra has 25 grams. Raw okra on the other hand contains about 3.2 g. of fiber while when cooked contains 2 g. Vitamin A in raw okra is 660IU and 460 IU in cooked okra. Vitamin C in raw okra is 21millligrams and 13.04 milligrams in half a cup of sliced okra.
Okra has many health benefits and some of them are:
- Okra is rich in fiber which is extremely important for maintaining proper blood sugar levels. This is because it is able to curb the rate of sugar absorption when it goes to the intestinal tract.
- The vegetable’s mucilage can bind the cholesterol and the bile acid that contains toxins. That is why okra is known to clean the liver of toxins.
- Okra may help people who have problems with constipation. It lubricates the large intestine as it has laxative properties. It also contains fiber which improves the water absorption that helps with bowel movements. The mucilage of the vegetable, on the other hand, soothes the intestinal tract which helps to function normally.
- Intestinal tract contains good and bad bacteria and okra is a healthy vegetable which keeps your GI tract healthy as it acts as probiotic- accelerates the good bacteria proliferation.
As it has many health benefits, okra is used by the traditional medicine for preparing various natural remedies against specific health conditions.