Slimy! Gross! Yuck, can’t eat it! These are just some of the things I’ve heard over the years when the very name of okra is mentioned. Having parents that grew up in the deep South, I am very accustomed to eating okra and I am here to profess that I LOVE OKRA! My favorite ways to eat it is in homemade vegetable soups or stews and my absolute favorite way is deep fried! Granted, it may not be the healthiest was to partake in this southern delicacy, but I go gaga when fried okra is around! Everything in moderation, right? 🙂
Whether you like it or not or you’ve never tried it, I would suggest giving it a go again. Seriously. The health benefits are amazing! Below are some great nutritional factors of okra.
According to Healthy and Natural World, here are 10 Health Benefits of Eating Okra.
1. It’s low on calories – bamia pods contain only 30 calories per 100 grams and are often recommended as a part of a weight-loss program.
2. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
3. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing its absorption from the intestines – see below for more details on okra consumption and diabetes. There are other 12 foods that control type 2 diabetes.
4. It contains lots of dietary fiber and acts as a natural laxative which can help you to naturally get rid of constipation. The pods are rich in mucilage substance, which is a thick, gluey substance that lubricates the large intestine and helps with elimination. Okra’s fiber also feeds the gut’s beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and helps maintain the pH balance of your digestive tract. Increasing your fiber intake is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
5. It’s rich in vitamin A and other antioxidants – the green pods contain beta-carotene, lutein and xanthine, which together with vitamin A help preserve good vision and keep your skin fresh and healthy. Okra has been connected to cataract prevention and is praised for preventing spots and pimples.
6. Due to the abundance of antioxidants and fiber, some also connect okra with cancer prevention, especially the prevention of colorectal cancer. There are other steps that you can take to prevent colorectal cancer and there are 14 foods that can protect against cancer development in addition to okra.
7. It’s a rich source of vitamin C, which helps with the body’s immunity – okra has been linked to cough and cold prevention. Since vitamin C also act as an anti-inflammatory, okra might be good for reducing the symptoms of asthma and can be used in addition to these 10 natural treatments for asthma.
8. It contains folates – 100 grams of okra provides about 22% of the recommended daily amount. Folates (folic acid) are particularly important in the pre-conception period and during early gestation and help prevent birth defects. Foods with folate are can also help to cleanse your lungs.
9. It’s a good source of minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium (find out if you are magnesium deficient) and manganese.
10. It contains vitamin K, which is important for bone health and plays a major role in blood clotting.
With this information is mind, don’t you think it’s time to treat yourself to a healthy dose of okra?! Eat up!!
Photo: The Glow Goddess