Okra , which is also known as bhindi, lady’s finger, gumbo or Baima, is a member of the mallow family. Okra is mainly grown in subtropical, warm temperate and tropical regions. This plant is low in calorie with no fat but supplies a high source of nutrient to the diet.
The pods and leaves of fresh and immature okra are used in various cuisines as a vegetable. Hence, you may enjoy it in fried, pickled, or boiled form.
The okra seeds are extracted to make the edible okra oil that has a pleasant or odor taste. The okra oil is rich in unsaturated fats like linoleic and oleic acids.
Okra has a high source of vitamins C and K, folate, fiber as well as potassium and calcium. It also has thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, magnesium, beta-carotene, lutein, and manganese. Additionally, it contains powerful antioxidant properties.
Plus, the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in okra have many health benefits if you use it properly. In this article, VKool.com will present to you top 10 health benefits of okra. This article listed the best advantages of this green plant from reliable sources. However, it is only for the informational target and it is not aimed to give medical advice. Continue reading this writing to understand more!
Top 10 Health Benefits Of Okra You Should Know
1. Lower Bad Cholesterol
Okra can also help you in lowering cholesterol levels. It was found in a study published in 2004 that the hypolipidemic activity of its skin extract can provide cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Okra has the ability to inhibit pancreatic cholesterol esterase activity, reduce the effect of cholesterol micellization as well as bind to bile acids. Hence, this will delay cholesterol absorption and increase its excretion.
Additionally, it doesn't contain saturated fats or cholesterol and thereby helping to prevent heart disease and various health problems which are caused by cholesterol in your blood.
To sum up, you should include okra in each of your diets to lower the bad cholesterol level. You can also take the okra extract after you consult your doctor advice.
Learn more: Natural tips on how to increase good cholesterol
2. Promote A Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnant women are highly advised to use okra. In fact, okra contains the important B vitamins that can help in ensuring the healthy growth of your baby in the womb as well as in preventing birth defects such as spinal Bifida.
Moreover, it is high in folic acid helping maintain and produce new cells, which is very necessary for the health of pregnant women. Folate in okra also keeps miscarriage at bay. Besides, okra also has vitamin C that plays a vital role in developing fetal.
Hence, let include okra in each of your diets during you have a pregnancy, especially from the 4th to 12th weeks when your neural tube grows in the fetus.
Read more: Nutrition for good health during pregnancy
3. Make Your Hair Shiny And Soft
This is one of the effective beauty benefits of okra that you should know. The vitamins and antioxidants in this plant may help you to enjoy well-conditioned, bouncy, and shiny hair. Plus, it also has other useful nutrients such as copper, zinc, folate, thiamine, potassium which are beneficial for your hair.
Moreover, okra also contains the transparent mucilage that works as a natural conditioner as well as adds a new life to dull hair.
- To make a homemade solution for your hair with okra, you simply put 8 to 10 cut horizontally okras in a pot and then put 1 cup of water in this pot.
- Next, you heat this and let it simmer until this mixture forms a sticky texture.
- After that, you take it out of the heat and add some drops of mint oil or lavender oil in it.
- You let the concoction cool and use a muslin cloth to filter this mixture.
- You store this filtered content in 1 bottle.
- Let apply this homemade conditioner and wait for about 5 minutes.
- Finally, you rinse your hair off with water.
4. Promote Healthy Skin
This is one of the effective benefits of okra for skin health that you should apply. Okra contains several nutrients that can be beneficial in keeping your skin looking vibrant and young. The vitamin C contained in it also assists in growing and repairing damaged tissues, which can affect the formation of collagen and skin pigmentation. Besides, it also has the ability to prevent psoriasis, acne, and various skin conditions.
Thanks to a high source of dietary fiber, okra also stimulates smooth digestion. This is another essential factor for healthy skin.
- To make a solution for the health of skin, you firstly boil chopped okra (2 cups) in water (2 cups) for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- After it boils, you take the pot out of the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Then you strain the okra pods and grate them with a few drops of carrier oil or jojoba oil to get a fine paste.
- Now, you apply this paste directly to the face and neck.
- You allow it to sit on there for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.
- Keep applying this face mask once to thrice a week.
Read more: 6 important vitamins to get healthy skin
5. Boost Your Immunity
Consuming okra regularly may give you a boost to the immunity. Okra is high in vitamin C which will help your white blood cells work properly as well as assist immunity in fighting infectious agents. Besides, it can reduce episodes of common cold and keep harmful free radicals at bay
The powerful antioxidant nature content in okra is also beneficial in strengthening your immunity and reducing episodes of illness. Plus, it also assists in preventing heart disease, premature aging, and cancer.
6. Improve Your Digestion
Okra is high in dietary fiber, which is helpful for your colon and digestive health. Fiber assists in properly absorbing water and thereby easily eliminating waste products from your body.
This, in turn, will ensure regular bowel movements and thereby protect you from constipation, bloating, cramping as well as gas.
Additionally, the vitamin A in okra also has the ability to help your digestive tract work properly.
In order to improve the digestive health, you’d better consume 1 or 2 cups of okra per day. You may use it to make a soup and stir-fry dishes.
Learn more: The e-book of Heartburn no more
7. Improve Eye Health
Okra is also known as a vision booster. This plant contains vitamin A along with antioxidant components such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein which are helpful for your eyes.
Besides, vitamin A can protect your cornea while lutein can protect your eyes from harmful UV (ultraviolet) light and zeaxanthin aids you in developing visual.
Okra is also a powerful antioxidant which can destroy or neutralize free radicals which lead to the degradation of cells in your body.
In order to protect your eyes as well as reduce the risk of growing macular degeneration along with cataracts, you should include okra in each of your diets.
8. Prevent Liver Disease
Another benefit in the list of top 10 health benefits of okra is to prevent liver disease. Okra has the ability to cleanse your liver as well as prevent liver disease. Because this plant contains substances which bind cholesterol and bile acid, it will be beneficial in detoxifying your liver. Moreover, it can prevent the accumulation of fats in your liver.
In a study published in 2012, researchers agreed that the potent antioxidant property content in okra extract will assist you in fighting chemically induced liver damage.
Hence, in order to improve the health of your liver and keep the disease at bay, you should include okra in your diet. You can also take an okra supplement when having your doctor advice.
9. Treat Leucorrhea
Fresh tender okra pods are said to be beneficial in curing leucorrhea causing yellowish or whitish vaginal discharge during menstruations.
The mucilaginous property in okra helps in removing mucous from the system, which in turn eases vaginal discharge. Additionally, it boosts the immune system and thereby fighting many health problems.
- All you need is to wash fresh okras (1 cup) and cut them into many pieces.
- Then you boil these pieces with 2 cups of water and wait for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Next, you strain the water and divide it into three parts.
- You should drink this water 3 times per day till you get a better improvement.
10. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Okra has insulin-like properties which help in reducing blood sugar levels. Besides, it is also low in glycemic, which make it become a good choice for those suffering from diabetes.
A research published in ISRN Pharmaceutics found that this plant can assist in reducing the glucose absorption, which will lower your blood sugar levels.
- To make a solution for blood sugar levels, you firstly remove the ends of 5 or 6 okras and then use a fork to prick the body of them.
- Next, you soak those pricked okras in 1 glass of water overnight.
- In the next morning, you remove the okras and get the water to drink on an empty stomach.
- Keep doing this process daily to maintain a good blood sugar level.
- Because okra pods can have residue from pesticide or insecticide sprays, you’d better rinse them thoroughly with water before using them.
- This plant is readily available anywhere. However, you should opt for the organic ones to get the maximum health benefits.
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If you want to know more about benefits of other ingredients, please go to our main Health Nutrition page. After reading the article of top 10 health benefits of okra, hope that it can help you find out the best benefits of okra. However, the article is only for the informational purpose; therefore, you should see your doctor in order to get the advice. If you have any question, please leave the comments below, I will respond you as soon as possible. And if you know other health benefits of okra, please leave them below.