Amazing Facts About Okra
Okra is a green flowering plant found in almost every part of homes in Africa and Nigeria to be precise. This plant is a warm-season vegetable that needs a hot climate to grow. It is cultivated in warm and tropical climates such as those in Africa and South Asia. Due to the difference in language, ethnicity, and nationality, it is given different names. Apart from okra, it is also known as lady’s fingers or gumbo or bhindi. It’s a versatile vegetable around the world. The okra is mucilaginous, meaning its slimy. The plant parts are useful; fresh leaves, buds, flower, pod stem, and seeds. We consume this plant without really knowing its health benefits.
It is a powerhouse of many valuable nutrients and sources of many nutrients for a healthy life; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. It has high nutritional value, and it can also be referred to as medicine. Okra has a unique texture and a mild taste, inside the pod are small, edible seeds.
Nutritional Facts About Okra
Raw okra is 90% water.
Amount per; 100 grams
Fat – 0.2 gram
Cholesterol – 0 milligram
Sodium – 7 milligrams
Potassium – 299 milligrams
Carbohydrates – 7.5 grams
Dietary fiber – 3.2 grams
Sugar – 1.5 grams
Protein – 1.9 grams
Caffeine – 0 milligram
Vitamin C – 23 grams
Vitamin K – 31.3 grams
Vitamin B6 – 0.215 milligram
Vitamin A – 36 micrograms
Thiamin – 0.2 milligram
Calcium – 82 milligrams
Magnesium – 57 milligrams
Folate – 60 micrograms.
Guidelines Recommended for the Consumption of Okra
It is advised that you eat 14 grams of fiber in every 1000 calories you consumed.
30.8 – 33.6 grams per day for a male between 19 and 50 years of age
25.2 – 28 grams per day for females between 19 and 50 years of age
For people beyond the age of 50, it recommended you take;
28 grams for men
22.4 grams for women
In children and teenagers, they require different amounts of fiber, depending on their sex and age. You can include fiber into your diets by eating fibrous foods, such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains.
Health Benefits of Okra
- Weight loss /weight management
- Good for diabetes
- Heart health
- Anti-cancer agent
- Boost gastrointestinal health
- Healthy skin
- Pregnancy and bread feeding
- Prevention of osteoporosis
Weight Loss/Weight Management
If you are on a fitness journey, okra should be included in your diet. Okra is a good source of fiber. It is aids digestion and keeps you satiated for a long time by reducing your appetite for food. It also contains some essential nutrients needed to assist your body’s metabolism and strengthens your core muscles.
Including okra in your diet, provides flavor and substance that satiates your senses and appetite. Maintaining a low-calorie level diet improves weight management. Fiber also combines with the other foods in your body and nutrients in your stomach. It slows the gastric juice entering into your intestines and absorption into your bloodstream.
The impact of foods on blood glucose affects your weight loss rate because high glycemic foods increase blood sugar. Excess glucose is removed from your blood by insulin and stores it in your liver and muscles.
Good for Diabetes
Okra contains a substance called; myricetin, which improves and increases sugar absorption by muscles and can also lower the high sugar level in your blood. Okra is a good source of fiber; fiber helps improve insulin sensitivity and, at the same time, aids in controlling and maintaining the blood sugar level.
High cholesterol is associated with heart disease; High fiber reduces harmful cholesterol levels in your blood. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes, as said earlier on. On a daily basis, it is advised to consume 14 grams of fiber in every 1000 calories eaten.
Okra is also a great source of magnesium, which aids in maintaining your blood pressure level. The mucilage of okra binds with cholesterol during digestion, making it easy to be excreted with your stool. With this process, okra reduces the higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. This exotic plant also helps to remove toxins from the body.
Okra contains a type of protein called lectin, which restrains the cancer cell’s growth in your body. Folate is an essential nutrient in okra, which also prevents breast cancer. So it is recommended that okra is an excellent prevention of cancer cell growth.
Gastrointestinal Health Boost
Okra reduces appetite and contributes to weight loss. Dietary fiber helps in the prevention of constipation and maintains a healthy digestive system. Okra is also capable of preventing irritation, inflammatory gastric diseases, and improves bowel movement. Fiber is known to cure ailments like Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS and even constipation as already said earlier on. It has a property that protects the guts from H. pylori, it is bacteria that causes an ulcer.
Healthy Hair and Skin
An antioxidant is present in okra in the right quantity, which reduces oxidative stress and also effectively removes free radicals present in your body. Antioxidants help in reversing your skin damage and slows down aging. Apart from Antioxidant compounds, it also includes other compounds like phenolic compound and flavonoid derivatives such as catechins and quercetin.
In keeping a healthy hair, you can make use of an okra solution; Get a cup of okra, cut and put in little water until the juice mucilage comes out. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice, and then apply the mixture to hair and wash off after 10 minutes. Your hair will feel more energetic and have more glow to it.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Some essential nutrients are needed during pregnancy, including protein, folate, iodine, and iron. Fortunately, 75% of the nutrients are present in okra
Folate is useful for preventing fetal problems during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has a low folate supply can lead to pregnancy loss and difficulty for the child. In pregnancy, women need vitamin supplements for the development and healthy growth of the baby.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and break easily. This condition affects older women primarily. It is characterized by the decrease in bone mass with decreased density and enlargement of some species producing porosity and fragility.
Vitamin K plays a very vital role in bone formation and blood clotting. It prevents fractures and gives strength to bones. Okra, usually called the lady’s finger, is a rich source of vitamin K and calcium.
The Adverse Effect of Okra
Too much consumption of okra can adversely affect some people.
The fructan present in okra can cause diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bloating in people with existing bowel problems.it should be taken in the normal proportion.
Oxalate is present in okra in high quantity, the most common types of kidney stones consist of calcium oxalates. Eating high oxalate food (such as okra and spinach) may increase kidney stones in people who already have them.
Vitamin K aids blood clotting but high vitamin K content may affect those people who make use of blood thinner drugs, such as Coumadin and warfarin. The functions of blood thinners are to prevent the formation of blood clots that may lead to a stroke or heart attack.
It is recommended for people who make use of blood thinners to maintain a regular consumption of vitamin K–rich foods.
Okra contains solanine, solanine is a toxic substance in okra, which may cause arthritis, joint pain, and prolonged inflammation. Examples of foods that contain solanine include; eggplant, blueberries, artichokes, and tomatoes.
It helps a lot to control glucose. Still, in doubt about this plant, I would have you know that Okra is a vegetable that can be added to our diet almost instantly. You can add it to your salad, soup, and stew. Okra supplies nutrients that are 20% of the daily value of the food you consumed. Eating okra is in the best moderation to keep a balanced diet. In okra usage, it may trigger some allergic reaction in some people, but you must avoid using it if you are allergic. It can be consumed in different ways. It was given the name lady’s the finger because of its long and slender shape.