Green, finger-like, fibrous, mucilaginous… and extremely beneficial, OKRO is what I am talking about. The vegetable okra (okro) is a popular one and being a vegetable, it is obvious that okro is healthy and should be included in your menu (Some would not want to agree with me which is the reason for this writeup).
Okra might not be the most conventional vegetable in the garden, but it is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Furthermore, okra contains high levels of mucilaginous fiber.
These are 12 health benefits of okro:
1. Boosts Vision
Okra contains a very high content of vitamin A, as well as antioxidant components like beta carotenes, xanthein, and lutein. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that destroy or neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. Free radicals are responsible for the degreadation of the cells in the body, including those responsible for vision. With high levels of okra in your diet, you will have more protection for your sight, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
2. Improves Immunity
The very high Vitamin C content in okro helps fight cold and cough by encouraging an healthy immune system. The Vitamin C and many essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron in okra also fight against harmful free radicals and therefore promote an overall healthy immune system.
3. Improves skin health
Okro contains Vitamin A antioxidants which is also able to protect skin health, by promoting quicker healing, reducing the appearance of scars and acne, and eliminating wrinkles. This is because the antioxidants are able to neutralize the free radicals which may have damaged those skin cells.
4. Controls hunger
Okra is loaded with soluble fibers. Soluble fiber makes you feel full faster and for longer. This can help keep your calorie intake in check, helping you with your weight loss goals. With a longer-lasting feeling of satiety, your need to eat more will be curbed immensely.
5. Prevents Colon Cancer
Okro cleans out the intestinal tract, this improves colon health by allowing the organ to work at a higher rate of efficiency and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
6. Prevents Diabetes
The presence of Eugenol in Okra helps fight against diabetes. The fibre also helps stabilize blood sugar level by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.
7. Prevents Constipation
Okra being one of the best vegetable sources of dietary fibre essential for the digestive system, the dietary fibres in okra help prevent and relieve constipation. The soluble fibre in okra absorbs water and adds bulk to the stool thus preventing constipation.
8. Prevents Anaemia
The iron content of okra forms haemoglobin in the blood, thos boosts the production of blood which in turn prevents anaemia. Vitamin K in okro helps in blood coagulation which prevents excessive blood loss.
9. Aids Weight Loss
The dietary fibres contained in this vegetable helps people who are on weight loss programs. Okro has a very low caloric value so it is a great addition when losing weight. Eating lots of okro provides little calories but lots if fibre which fills the stomach.
10. Improves Heart Health
The soluble fibre in okra helps to lower serum cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of heart disease. Eating okra is an effective way to control the body’s cholesterol level. Okra is also high in pectin that helps in lowering high blood cholesterol by altering the production of bile in the intestines.
11. Improves Hair Problems
Okra can help you get healthy hair and be free from dandruff. For bouncy hair, boil water with horizontally cut okra, strain on cooling, squeeze half a lemon and use as a hair rinse. Experts say that it can even get rid of lice too.
12. Aids in pregnancy
The high amount of folate contained in the okra is beneficial for the foetus during pregnancy. Folate is an essential nutrient which improves the development of the foetus’ brain. The high amount of folic acid in okra plays an important role in the neural tube formation of the foetus from the fourth to the twelfth week of pregnancy.
So, before writing off okro completely from your diet just because it is slimy (side eyes), think of all these wonderful benefits from the slimy thing. Truth is, there are several ways of preparing okro to avoid the slimy nature.
To all okro-lovers, keep on doing what you do. To others, join the bandwagon. As for me, I love me some fresh okro.