Okra, also known as ‘lady’s finger,’ or ‘bamia pod’ is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. It is low in calories, with only 30 calories per 100 g. It also contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is also high fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The pods are a great source of flavonoid antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein and vitamin A. Okra has a numerous health benefits:
100 g of okra contains 30 calories, 2 grams proteins, 1 gram of fat, 21 milligrams vitamin C, 3 grams of dietary fibers, 7.6 grams carbohydrates, about 80 micrograms of folic acid and 60 mg of magnesium.
Okra contains Vitamin K, that helps in strengthening the bones and it also acts as a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes. It is also a great source of vitamin C. Okra provides about 36% of daily recommended levels. Vitamin C helps the human body develop immunity against infectious agents.
1. Okra is great for digestive health
Okra is great for digestive health. Due to its high fiber content, it helps aids digestion. It has laxative properties. Okra contains both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which helps in maintaining colon health. Eating okra on a regular basis helps in keeping the intestinal tract clean. It also binds all the toxins and assists in flushing away from the body.
2. Okra promotes a healthy pregnancy
Okra is a great source of vitamin B and vitamin-C. These vitamins are needed for producing new cells and help in the development of the healthy fetus. They also promote growth and development of the healthy brain.
3. Weight Loss
Okra is high in fiber and low in calories- a great combination for weight loss. Dietary fiber helps you feel satiated and also aids in promoting healthy digestive system.
4. Lowers cholesterol
Soluble fiber in okra can lower cholesterol in the body. Okra contains pectin which can lower the level of triglycerides in the body. Also, antioxidants like polyphenols and quercetin in okra have the ability to restrict oxidation of cholesterol and protect against free radicals. Plus, polyphenols and quercetin help in preventing the arteries from clogging.
5. It helps to prevent diabetes
Okra is high in fiber. Fiber helps in stabilizing the blood sugar level in the body and restricts the spiking of sugar and also regulates the absorption rate of sugar from intestinal tracts. Studies have shown that consuming okra on a regular basis can prevent diabetes.
6. Okra promotes radiant skin
Okra contains Vitamin-C, a major antioxidant which helps in repairing damaged tissues. Also, this vitamin has the ability to fight free radicals that are associated with premature aging.
7. It prevents atherosclerosis and cancer
Okra is packed with antioxidants. It contains vitamins Vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids. They fight against free radicals and scavenge oxidative stress. Insoluble fiber can also help prevent colon cancer.
8. Okra prevents diabetes
A recent study has shown that eating a few okra pods every day has the ability to prevent diabetes. Soluble fiber can help people who have diabetes because of its ability to keep blood glucose levels stable.