Lady Finger

Okra is a flowering plant known for its edible seed pods. It’s cultivated in warm and tropical climates, such as those in Africa and South Asia.

Sometimes referred to as “lady’s finger,” okra comes in two colors — red and green. Both varieties taste the same, and the red one turns green when cooked.

Biologically classified as a fruit, okra is generally utilized like a vegetable in cooking.

It’s frequently used in Southern American cuisine and a popular addition to gumbo. Yet, it can have a slimy texture, which some people find unappealing.

Though it’s not one of the most common foods, okra is packed with nutrition.

Here are 7 nutrition and health benefits of okra.

Lower Blood Sugar

Okra has potent antioxidant power in its seeds and peel, which specifically help people with type 2 diabetes. A recent study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences explored the antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic properties of the green sticky vegetable.

Diabetic rats were administered the powdered form for a range of 14 to 28 days and showed improved lipid profiles when the tests ended. Researchers suggested that the okra decreased sugar absorption in the digestive tract, leading to a more stable blood sugar response.

Easy To Add To Your Diet

Though okra may not be a staple in your kitchen, it’s quite easy to cook.

When purchasing okra, look for smooth and tender green pods without brown spots or dried ends. Store them in the fridge for up to four days before cooking.

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.

Beneficial Antioxidants

Okra packs many antioxidants that benefit your health.

Antioxidants are compounds in food that fend off damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.

The main antioxidants on it are polyphenols, including flavonoids and isoquercetin, as well as vitamins A and C.

Research shows that eating a diet high in polyphenols may improve heart health by lowering your risk of blood clots and oxidative damage.

Rich in Nutrients

Okra is an excellent source of vitamins C and K1. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that contributes to your overall immune function, while vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s known for its role in blood clotting.

Additionally, it is low in calories and carbs and contains some protein and fiber. Many fruits and vegetables lack protein, which makes somewhat unique.

Eating enough protein is associated with benefits for weight management, blood sugar control, bone structure, and muscle mass.

Lower Heart Disease

High cholesterol levels are associated with a greater risk of heart disease.

Okra contains a thick gel-like substance called mucilage, which can bind to cholesterol during digestion, causing it to be excreted with stools rather than absorbed into your body.

One 8-week study randomly divided mice into 3 groups and fed them a high-fat diet containing 1% or 2% okra powder or a high-fat diet without okra powder.

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