HEALTH BENEFITS OF OKRA (Lady's Finger)

okra nigeria


Okra/Scientific name Abelmoschus esculentus
Okra/Family name. Mallows
Okra/local name gombo(French) Ila(Yoruba)Kubewa(Hausa)Olewele(Igbo)
Okra is better known by its common name as lady’s finger.This high fiber vegetable is known for its high soluble and insoluble fiber content. A good filler food, okra not only curbs hunger but keeps you from tiring, too. It also strengthens your immunity against conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, breast cancer, and asthma. Being rich in vitamins A, C, and K, it helps fortify bones while also improving your eyesight. Experiment with okra water, peels, and powdered seeds to see what suits you best.Okra is also good to go with a fist sized compliant swallow Fufu of your choice.
It adds more fiber to the carbs content of most swallows and help calm the activities of high carbs in the blood. (by lowering sugar spike and insulin surge).
Interesting Facts About Okra
Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra.Okra seeds were used as coffee bean substitutes during World War II.Okra found its way to different parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade.

Nutritional value of Okro

100 grams of Okra contains 1.5% energy from calories, 7.03 gram carbohydrates, 2 gram protein, 0.1 gram fat and 9% fiber. Such fiber content can prove to be very beneficial for the body. Other nutrients are folates 88mg, niacin 1mg, Vitamin C 21.1mg, Vitamin E 0.36mg and Vitamin K 53mg. Other than these, Okra also contains calcium 81mg, copper 0.094mg, iron 0.8mg, magnesium 57mg, manganese 0.99mg, phosphorous 63mg and zinc 0.6 mg. For those who suffer from the symptoms of lactose intolerance or are vegans or vegetarians, okro can help provide enough calcium to make up the lack of dairy

HEALTH BENEFITS OF OKRO

Okra for weight loss.
Okra is one of the best and super filling Nigerian vegetables to consider if you are trying to lose weight. Very rich in protein, fiber and carbohydrates. A 100 gram raw okra contains 7 gram carbs, 2 gram protein and 3 grams of fiber with negligible amount of fat. Rich in Vitamin C and much more minerals.
A low density food with very little calorie. Just 33 calories in 100 gram raw okra and about 25 calories in half cup cooked and drain okra.
Cooking it crunchy makes it enjoyable eating with protein as whole meal, without any swallow. You can help yourself to as much as you want without worrying about too much calories because you will definitely be full before you will over eat it. Nevertheless, you have to be careful in stuffing up on too much meat while eating okra soup just because you are not using swallow.
Meat is protein and is has the same amount of calories per gram as carbs. But far better than carbs for weight loss.
Prevents Diabetes
Okra is known to aid in the prevention of diabetes. It is rich in fiber that helps in the prevention of this disease.

How To Use

The best way to use okra for controlling diabetes is with the use of okra water. Following are the steps to prepare okra water:
Take two okra pods and cut off their ends.
Sticky liquid will ooze out once you slit the pod. Do not wash it.Take a glass full of water and drop these pods into it at night and cover with a dish.In the morning, take out the pods and drink the water in the glass.
You have to prepare okra water daily and drink daily in the morning to control your raised blood sugar level. It is important to note that okra water helps cure diabetes much better than cooked okras. It is fine to add okra to your curries and soups, but take raw okra soaked in water for faster recovery from raised blood sugar levels.

Why Does It Work

The soluble fiber present in this pod helps slow down the sugar uptake into the blood.
This is done by lowering the rate of sugar absorption from the intestine.
It reduces the glycemic load of glucose in the blood, which otherwise disturbs the body’s function to properly process the sugar leading to diabetes.
The soluble fiber forms a type of gel inside the bowel, which slows down the sugar absorption of food from the intestine. This soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol by drawing in the bile acids, which contribute to raised cholesterol levels. This allows the body to pass acids out of the system and prevents its re-absorption.
Improves EyesightOkro is also used to improve eyesight! Okro pods are fantastic source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are both important nourishment for sustaining excellent eyesight (along with healthy skin). Additionally, this nourishment may help inhibit eye-associated illnesses
Improves Heart HealthThe soluble fiber within okro helps naturally reduce cholesterol and, therefore, decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease, according to the Journal of Food Processing & Technology, making the consumption of okra is an efficient method to manage the body’s cholesterol levels. Okra additionally is loaded with pectin that can help reduce high blood cholesterol simply by modifying the creation of bile within the intestines.
High Fiber Content
The dietary fiber content of okra/lady’s finger is known to be high, and hence, many health specialists recommend it for digestive benefits. The fibers aid the process of digestion in the body by facilitating proper bowel movement.
Stabilizes Cholesterol Levels
Okra would make a great functional food ingredient!
The more finely ground okra powder is, the better it can adsorb cholesterol.
Okra promotes cholesterol degradation and inhibits the production of fat in the body.It, thus, decreases total cholesterol and triglyceride and enhances excretion of bile acids (made from cholesterol) in the feces.
By regulating cholesterol levels in the blood, okra can prevent clogging of arteries – protecting us from heart diseases like atherosclerosis.
Fortifies Bones And Prevents Excessive Bleeding
The most abundant vitamin in okra is vitamin K.12 This vitamin helps strengthen bones and promotes clotting of blood. Okra, thus, helps prevent osteoporosis, fractures, and excessive bleeding (due to injury or bleeding disorders).
Good for DigestionOkro contains insoluble fiber, which helps keep the intestinal tract healthy by decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, it helps prevent constipation and works as a natural laxative. Keeps You From Getting Tired
It is unfortunate how common the word “fatigue” has become in today’s world. What used to be mostly age and sickness-related, is now an everyday struggle for young, healthy individuals. Okra seeds can delay fatiguing. They contain antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids that promote glycogen storage in the liver. Glycogen is a body fuel reserve, and more of it means you will take longer to tire.
This is why okra is also good for individuals suffering from depression. You will be able to fight the feeling of being inexplicably tired.
Improves Hair Problems.Okra can help you get healthy hair and be free from dandruff. For bouncy hair, boil water with horizontally cut okra, strain on cooling, squeeze half a lemon and use as a hair rinse. Experts say that it can even get rid of lice too.As a conditioner .Wash your hair and squeeze out the excess water. Massage the watery mucilage through your hair and rinse thoroughly with water.
Improves Immunity.The high Vitamin C content in okro helps fight cold and cough by encouraging a healthy immune system. The Vitamin C and many essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron in okro also fight against harmful free radicals and therefore promote an overall healthy immune system.
Contributes to a Healthy Pregnancy.The high amount of folate contained in the okro is beneficial for the foetus during pregnancy. Folate is an essential nutrient which improves the development of the foetus.
How To Store Okra?
Okra should be stored unwashed.You can store it in a paper bag or simply wrap it in a newspaper. If you don’t have a paper bag, you can also store it in a perforated plastic bag.Make sure you keep it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. This would help you store it for up to 3 days at least.Okra tends to decay faster when kept really cold. So, make sure you store it in warmer temperature in your refrigerator.Simply blanch the whole okra and freeze it, if you want to store it longer.

Tips For Usage:

Before cooking, thoroughly wash and rinse the whole okra well with water.After washing, pat it dry completely, using a dry towel.You can then store it in a zip-lock bag and leave it overnight in the fridge before using it the next day. This will make it less slimy while cooking. This will make the okra freeze solid.Add okra immediately to your dish after taking it out from the refrigerator. You can use it as a whole or chopped.Always trim the ends before adding it to your dish.Don’t allow it to thaw to avoid it from sliming out.

WAYS TO USE OKRO

Okra Soup.
Grate or chop your okro in to your desired shapes and use to make soup with added condiments. it's a favourite dish in Africa.
Okra Water
Soak okra pods in a glassful of water overnight at room temperature. Some of its water-soluble nutrients and compounds will get leached out into the water. Strain out the pod, and drink the infused water.
Alternatively, you may soak sliced pods instead of whole pods. Bear in mind that there will be a bitter after-taste.
Okra Peel
Using a handheld grater or lemon zester, scrape the peel from the okra pod. Directly consume about half a teaspoon of the peel at a time. This is a good way to avoid ingesting okra’s mucilaginous secretion.
Okra Powdered Seeds
It is difficult to manually separate okra seeds from the pod and then make a powder. A more pragmatic approach is to buy readily available dried okra seed powder. It is generally advised not to have more than 5 gm of this powder in a day. Check the dosage with your health practitioner, especially if you are on diabetic medications.
Enjoy your Okra.

Post a Comment

0 Comments