Okra or Ladies’ finger or bhindi is a podded green vegetable which is used in various dishes like stews, soups or as boiled and fried Okra. It provides various nutritional benefits to your diet if used properly as it is power house of valuable nutrients. It is rich in fiber, folic acid, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A and C essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron. Even Okra’s leaves have nutritional value. In India, okra is known as bhindi and it’s an all time favorite vegetable.
Good For Diabetics
This green vegetable is a healthy option for diabetics. Besides lowering cholesterol, okra also regulates and stabilizes the blood sugar level by curbing the rate at which the sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. Okra contains Eugenol, a type of fiber which has insulin-like properties and thus helps in reducing blood sugar levels.
Heals Stomach and Mouth Ulcers
Okra has been used as a home remedy for ulcers, both in stomach and mouth, as it provides an alkaline coating for all the acidic content in your mouth and stomach. Due to its healing properties and property of neutralizing acidity in the stomach, it prevents the formation of ulcers in your stomach and intestine, thus keeps your digestive system healthy.
Rich Source of Fiber
Okra is loaded with fiber which has several health benefits. It maintains the health of our digestive system by promoting healthy bowel movements and enhancing the production of gastric juices which in turn aids digestion. Fiber rich vegetables are healthy for people who have chronic constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Good for Eyes
Okra is rich in beta carotene which are an essential nutrient required for the production of Vitamin A in our body Vitamin A cures and prevents night blindness and also helpful in preventing major eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.
Soothes Respiratory System
Okra has been used as a home remedy for common cold and flu due to its mucilaginous quality. It helps in alleviating symptoms of common cold and flu including irritation, swelling and pain in the throat. Okra’s leaves has been used for treating bronchitis and pneumonia.
Helps in Weight Loss
Due to its high fiber content, okra can be used for weight loss. Unwanted fat deposits can develop if your diet lacks proper nutrition. In order to lose weight and losing it in a healthy way, try adding Okra into your die.
Okra can be highly beneficial for those with high cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that Okra lower cholesterol levels due to its high fiber content and antioxidant properties.
Promotes Healthy Skin
In addition to various health benefits, Okra also has a good impact on your skin health. Due to the presence of nutrients like antioxidants, Vitamin A and C in Okra, this green vegetable helps in eliminating toxins and damages caused by free radicals and in turn ensure a healthy skin.
Okra also prevents the skin pigmentation of your skin and reduces discoloration of the skin.
Healthy for Pregnant Woman
Okra is rich in Folic acid, which makes it healthy for pregnant woman. Folic acid is essential in the formation of neural tube of the fetus in the mother’s womb and prevents the risk of neural tube defects in unborn babies.
Good for Your Hair
It might sound strange , but Okra leaves serves as an excellent moisturizer for your scalp and hair. If you have itchy, dry scalp, apply a paste of crushed okra leaves and leave it for dry for about thirty minutes and then wash your hair with water. This vegetable also prevents dandruff by improving the overall health of scalp and hair.
Besides these health benefits, Okra also prevents anemia (due to high iron content), boosts our immunity, acts as a natural detoxifier and promotes the health of our intestinal tract.
Note: People who are prone to oxalate kidney stones, shouldn’t eat okra in excess.