VegetableOkra, commonly known as lady’s finger, is a flowering plant grown in many regions across the world. This vegetable is mostly found in the South Asian and West African countries as it required warm climate and moderate rainfall. However, most people rarely know that it is actually a vegetable of Ethiopian origin! This green vegetable has lots of nutritional benefits, due to which parents, particularly in South Asia, keep pushing their little ones to eat it regularly! Okra is loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals, which help in proper overall functioning of your body.
Here are some cool facts about the nutritional value of okra:
Increases energy levels: Okra skin contains a high concentration of vitamins A, B, C, E, K, iron, calcium, proteins, and fibre, and its seeds contain an antioxidant called polyphenols. All of these ingredients help in breaking down the complex food into simple form that is easily digested. As the glucose gets digested quickly, your energy levels are set to rise and keep fatigue at bay! One helping of okra at each meal, on a regular basis, keeps you more active and energetic.
Manages blood sugar levels: As okra is loaded with iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K, it is an excellent vegetable to consider if you are trying to keep the glucose level in your blood under control. The skin and peels of okra help reduce the glucose levels in your blood. They break the carbohydrates in a short span of time. This, as a result, helps in reducing the risk of diabetes mellitus.
Strengthens bones: Okra contains handsome quantities of vitamins C, K, and calcium. They enhance the strength of your bones and regulate proper passage of blood throughout the body. This prevents early development of osteoporosis.
Improves eyesight: Vitamin A that is present in okra and the proteins that are present in its skin help improve ophthalmological health and eyesight, keeping infections away. Vitamin A keeps the optic nerve healthy and enhances the production of white blood cells, which is vital for good eyesight.
Boosts immunity: The horde of nutrients that okra contains, are extremely helpful in boosting your overall health conditions and improving immunity. A cup of okra daily can fulfil your regular quota of vitamin A, K, C, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, protein, and fibre intake. These nutrients help maintain toxin-free blood, liver, and stomach. Your chances of contracting infections reduce by nearly 30%.
Improves liver health: Okra is known to be an excellent toxin-flushing super food! Liver you body’s primary detox device. To keep the liver clean, you need a daily intake of vitamin B complex, C, and K, magnesium, iron, zinc, proteins, and fibre. All of these essential nutrients are available in okra. They help the enzymes break down into a simple form that is easily digested and passed through the intestines. Who would have known that one cup of this humble vegetable could do all of this?
Prevents breast cancer: As is believed by most researchers, okra kills breast cancer cells. A wonder ingredient called ‘lectin’, isolated from okra can instigate cell suicide among the breast cancer cells. Eating a cup of okra on a daily basis can reduce the risk of breast cancer by nearly 63%!
Reduces the risk of asthma: The high concentration of vitamin C in the seeds of this vegetable help reduce asthma. Doctors are still trying to find out the reason behind this wonderful trick done by the vitamin under question, although the proof of this occurrence has been established. About 6 tablespoons of okra daily, can fulfil your regular requirement of vitamin C, and hence reduce the risk of asthma by nearly 20%.
Okra seems to be way better than they look, which probably lets you down. Yes, that slimy texture that it adorns while being cooked is what turns most people off! Nevertheless, keep that aside and take into account the wonders that it can do to your health. However, to avoid looking at that sticky substance, soak it in mild salt water before cutting. Now you have no excuses!