Okra is an old vegetable which firstly appeared 3, 500 years ago. It is also known as lady’s finger and is rich in numerous nutrients which can improve your overall health. This vegetable was one of the Cleopatra’s favorite foods. People used okra seeds instead of coffee beans during the World War II.
How Nutritious are Okras?
Okras contain minerals like iron and calcium and vitamins A and C. This vegetable also contains thiamine, riboflavin, fat and starch. It can be consumed raw or cooked. One cup of raw okra contains 33 grams of calories while cooked okra has 25 grams. Raw okra contains more fiber (3.2 grams) than cooked okra (2 grams). Raw okra has 660 IU vitamin A and in cooked okra there is 460 IU. There are 21 milligrams of vitamin C in raw okra and 13.04 milligrams of vitamin C in half a cup of sliced okra.
There are numerous scientific proofs about the beneficial properties of okra and some of them are:
- Okra contains a great amount of fiber which is very important for maintaining proper sugar level in the blood. This is because it can curb the rate of sugar absorption when it goes to the intestinal tract.
- The vegetable’s mucilage helps in binding the cholesterol and the bile acid that carries toxins. That is why okra helps in liver detox.
- You can defeat constipation with the help of this vegetable. This is because it lubricates the large intestine as it has laxative properties. Firstly, it is rich in fiber which improves the water absorption and bowel movements. Second the mucilage of the vegetable is able to soothe the intestinal tract thus making it easier for the intestine to get rid of the waste.
- The intestinal tract contains good and bad bacteria and okra accelerates the good bacteria growth thus maintaining the GI tract healthy.
Because of its numerous health benefits, okra is used by many people for preparing natural remedies against certain medical conditions.