Health Benefits of Okra
Okra, also known as ladyfinger is a commonly used everyday vegetable. But we do not know the health benefits of this vegetable.
Okra is rich in potassium, folic acid, Vitamin B and C, calcium, and fiber. These nutrients benefit you in various ways. And not just as a vegetable, you can get its benefits from its juice as well. Okra juice is really beneficial when you have a sore throat and cough.
It’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties would do the magic! It also helps in improving the immune system to g-fight against various diseases. The juice contains a high amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help to improve the immunity power of a person.
As a Therapeutic vegetable, ladyfinger contains many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help the body to fight various diseases and improve immunity. It tops among the vegetables that should be consumed on a regular basis.
What Are Health Benefits of Okra?
1. Beneficial for Pregnant/Lactating Women
Folate is an essential nutrient required for a healthy foetus development, and okra is a powerhouse of folate. This makes okra an excellent vegetable for pregnant women. Pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive must include okra in their diet. According to our health expert, Kavya KG,Senior Nutrition Consultant, okra is a good source of Vitamin A,B,C & E, thiamine, niacin and other minerals that are essential during pregnancy and will keep you healthy as you nourish your baby.
2. Lower Blood Sugar
A healthy blood sugar is very important to maintain overall health. A consistent high blood sugar might lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Including Okra in your everyday diet would help you lower your blood sugar.
3. Lower Cholesterol Level
Incorporating fiber into your diet by eating fibrous vegetables like okra can improve blood cholesterol level and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
4. Improves Gut Health
The fiber content on okra helps prevent constipation and keep you satiated for a longer duration. Thus, okra promotes weight loss and minimize your food cravings.It also protects against gastrointestinal issues such as digestion issue, cramps, bloating, etc.
5. Powerhouse of Nutrition
Okra is high in nutrients like fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, and folate. The nutrients present in okra also prevents skin pigmentation and helps to bring back the glow in your skin.
6. Best for Weight Management
Kavya KG, Senior Nutrition Consultant suggests that adding okra to your diet can help in managing your weight. Due to its high fibre content, it keeps you satiated preventing you from overeating. Okra is also rich in calcium which reduces the levels of fat stored in your body. Loaded with essential nutrients, okra boosts your metabolism & strengthens your core muscles.
7. Improves Eyesight
Okra contains Vitamin A & beta carotene which helps in sustaining good eyesight. These nutrients also help in preventing eye problems like cataract & defend against age associated eye disorders.
8. Helps to Manage Pre-Menstrual Symptoms
Due to high Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6, okra can help to prevent and manage the severity of pre-menstrual symptom such as fatigue, anxiety, lower back pain, bloating, frequent urination, and headache. Genetical disorders can also treated with okra.
9. Anti-Stress Effect
Okra seed extracts have anti-stress properties (adaptogen) which can help in enhancing overall health. It also has the potential to manage stress related disorders.
What are Beauty Benefits of Okra?
Kavya KG, Senior Nutrition Consultant provides you with different benefits of okra that can be beneficial for everyday use.
Hair Conditioner: You can use okra as a hair conditioner. It is effective against irritated dry scalp, lice, and dandruff.
Face Mask/Face Pack: The anti-ageing property of okra helps repair skin tissues, boost collagen production, and increase the elasticity of skin.
A study shows that a handful of okra is equivalent to the amount of Vitamin C added in at least 4-5 anti-ageing products.
Isn’t it amazing!!!
Different Recipes of Okra
1. Kurkuri Bhindi
Wash the okra and dry thoroughly, cut it into thin slices. Place the okra in a bowl. Add rice flour, carom seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and chaat masala. Mix it well. Place okra in baking tray and brush olive oil over the okra. Bake it in a pre-heated oven until crispy. Sprinkle salt and mix well. Serve hot!
2. Pickled Okra
Wash the okra and dry it on towel. Put these okras in the jar and add sauté garlic, fennel seeds, carom seeds, turmeric powder, and chili powder. Boil vinegar, salt, and water. Let it cool down and pour into the jar. Put the jar in the fridge and keep it at least for 2 weeks. Store the pickle in the fridge.
3. Masala Bhindi
Wash the okra and let it dry. Cut it into dices. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add okra, turmeric powder and mix it well. Cover the lid and simmer the flame. Add salt, coriander powder, and chilli powder. Mix it well. Add lemon juice at the end. Serve hot with rotis. You can make many modifications to this recipe; you can add sauté onions and garlic as well.
4. Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal
Cut okra into thin slices. Heat oil in a pan and sliced okra and fry till it turns crispy. Add cornmeal, turmeric powder, chili powder, mango powder, and salt. Mix it well and let it cook for 5-7mins.
So, whether you are trying to shed weight or turning your lifestyle into a healthier one, okra should be definitely in your grocery list!