What is Okra?
Okra is a fruit, though it is eaten as a vegetable. The light green seed pods are cooked whole or sliced, so preparation is extremely easy, and it can be cooked in so many ways. However, choosing the right cooking method, such as frying, grilling, sautéeing, and pan-roasting, can reduce or prevent it from becoming slimy. Grocery stores in the U.S. typically sell fresh okra by the pound during the summer months when it's in season. It's pricier in the winter months when it's imported.
Okra Powder Benefits
1. It keeps you feeling full
Okra’s dietary fiber helps you feel full for longer, which will keep you from snacking on those stray potato chips after dinner. Okra can become slimy when cooked. To prevent this, follow the simple cooking methods above.
2. It’s great for your digestion
The fiber is the main factor here again. High fiber content is great for the digestive tract and keeps you going more regularly. This not only helps keep your weight down, but makes you healthier over all.
3. It’s a low calorie food
It’s always nice when a food can satisfy your hunger and help you stay trim. The low caloric count of okra means you can definitely scoop another spoonful onto your dish and still see the numbers go down on the scale.
4. It’s a diuretic
That means it helps the body detoxify itself and helps you shed excess water weight. A great weapon in your arsenal for de-bloating!
5. It helps control cholesterol levels
The pectin in okra lowers LDL or bad cholesterol, which improves cardiac function.
6. It’s cancer fighting
Packed with antioxidants, okra can provide much-needed support to cells in fighting off free-radicals that can lead to cancer. Okra contains a protein called lectin, which is being studied for its role in cancer prevention and treatment. More human research is needed.
Okra is rich in antioxidants that may reduce your risk of serious diseases, prevent inflammation, and contribute to overall health. Most notably, it contains polyphenols that may contribute to heart and brain health.
7. It boosts the immune system
Okra is rich in many nutrients and particularly high in vitamins C and K. This fruit is unique, as it provides protein, a nutrient that many other fruits and vegetables lack.
The healthy fiber in okra feeds much-needed good bacteria in our intestines, which builds our immunity against viruses and infection.
8. It supports fertility and healthy pregnancy
The high amount of folates in okra are especially important in a pre-conception diet as it “decreases the incidence of neural tube defects in offspring“. Likewise, eating more folates during the pregnancy helps support a healthy mom and baby. Eating okra may help pregnant women meet their daily folate needs. Folate is important for preventing neural tube defects.
9. It stabilizes blood sugar levels
Okra’s fiber content is also responsible for slowing down the rate of sugar absorption in the digestive tract. Eating okra has been linked to blood sugar control. Yet, some research suggests that it may interfere with common diabetes medications.
10. It helps prevent diabetes
Research has shown that in addition to its stabilizing effects on blood sugar, okra actually reduces blood sugar levels and could be an option for diabetes prevention.
11. It helps prevent kidney disease
Studies have shown that eating more okra results in the reduction of kidney damage over time.
12. It may help reduce asthma symptoms
Okra’s powerful dose of vitamin C has been linked to easing respiratory issues like asthma.
13. It can give you shiny, bouncy hair
Okra boiled, cooled, and mixed with lemon juice can be applied to your hair for a nice bouncy finish. Neat, huh?
14. It’s good for your brain
Okra is believed to be a top brain food and is eaten frequently in the Middle and Far East by students who need a mental boost.
15. It’s anti-inflammatory
That means it’s good for joints, as well as treating lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
16. It’s good for eye health
Okra’s nutrients like vitamins C and A have been linked to a reduction in the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
17. It supports strong bones
Thanks to its vitamin K and folates, okra has been credited with preventing bone loss and fending off osteoporosis.
18. It’s great for your skin
The high vitamin C content helps the growth and rejuvenation of skin cells and collagen, which keeps skin looking smoother, younger and healthier
19. It’s a great source of vegetable protein
With 2 grams of protein per cup, okra is an easily-digestible, vegetarian source of filling, fibrous protein.
20. It supports ulcer healing
Okra coats the digestive tract when consumed and helps speed the healing of peptic ulcers.So whether you’re trying to lose weight, or just eating healthier to feel better and prevent future health issues, okra should definitely make it onto your next grocery list.
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