Technically, okra is fruit, but it is usually considered a vegetable (in a culinary sense). If the edible part of the plant contains seeds, then that plant is considered fruit.
If the edible part of the root, leaves or stems, in the botanical sense, this plant is considered a vegetable.
However, from the culinary point of view, many foods that are considered botanical aspect fruits are vegetables because they are not sweet.
The nutritional profile of okra
Vitamins, minerals, and fibers
The okra contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, so it is a desirable ingredient in every diet. Since it contains many fibers, the stomach can improve digestion and slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
It’s an extraordinary source of vitamin C
The okra contains a large amount of vitamin C. Only one cup of okra contains about 40% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. This means that the okras are excellent for immunity.
It is rich in vitamin K
Okra contains a lot of vitamin K that is needed for proper blood clotting and healthy bones.
Okra is rich in both vitamin A and other antioxidants that are important for the sight and destruction of free radicals.
Okra contains a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral that is needed to regulate blood pressure and control blood sugar.
Calcium and potassium
Calcium and potassium are very important for healthy bones and muscle function.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Another good thing about the okra is that it contains many vitamins from the B group. Only 100 grams of potassium meet about 20 percent of daily folic acid requirements.
Folic acid is vital for pregnant women. Our body needs vitamins B9 and B12 for proper blood circulation, a strong immune system and the proper function of the brain.
A little carbohydrate
The okra contains very few carbohydrates, so it is an excellent supplement to any diet based on reduced carbohydrate intake.
The okra and our health
Okra is extremely nutritious and good for health. Let’s look at and for everything.
A lot of nutrients
One of the main reasons why okra is so popular is that it is full of nutrients that are very important for health. Among other things, okra contains the following nutrients:
- Calcium, which we need for strong bones and healthy teeth.
- Iron, which we need to create red blood cells.
- Potassium, which maintains normal blood pressure.
- Zinc, which protects the DNA and strengthens the immune system.
- Antioxidants, which destroy free radicals in the body and protect us from many diseases.
- Fiber, which improves the digestion process.
If you are often tired and exhausted, okra can help you feel a little better. Enzymes and nutrients found in the seeds of the okra reduce the level of lactic acid and other chemicals in the blood that can cause anxiety.
Help with weight loss
In a number of ways, the okra can help us to remove unwanted pounds faster.
As we have already mentioned, okra is an excellent fiber source, making us losing weight and less eating. Also, the okra contains very few calories and is rich in vitamins and minerals. This means that with the honey we get a lot of nutrients that we need, and there are no unwanted calories.
The okra can be very useful in lowering cholesterol in the blood. It does not contain fat at all and has ingredients that actively lower the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
Several studies have shown that okra can successfully reduce the number of fat cells in the blood. Also, okra successfully prevents diseases that are directly associated with elevated cholesterol and other metabolic disorders.
To lower cholesterol in a natural way, reduce the intake of unhealthy fat and also eat more omega-3 fatty acids.
Regulating blood sugar levels
One of the most important properties of okra is that it prevents a sudden leak of blood sugar after a meal.
The okra is considered a food with a hypoglycaemic effect. Regular consumption of the okra helps in the long term lowering of blood sugar, which is very significant in type 2 diabetes.
Good mood and less stress
It is believed that okra can greatly relieve stress and improve mood. It has also been proven that the okra has a similar effect as some drugs that are prescribed for anxiety.
A clinical study published in the Scientific Word Journal has shown that okra works well against anxiety, stress, and depression. And additions to okra can help relieve a lot of stress. It has been proven that okra has a similar effect as benzodiazepines. Thus, okra is an excellent natural antidepressant.
The okra protects the liver
This delicious fruit protects the liver from various diseases. The cell contains a lot of antioxidants that protect the tissues in the liver. The extract of okra increases the concentration of proteins in the liver, which prevents the progression of various liver diseases.
The okra can also be used to clean the liver.
Better cognitive functions
The okra greatly enhances cognitive functions and help prevent various diseases and disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Some ingredients of okra have excellent brain effect. Quercetin and rutin improve concentration and memory.
Some scientists believe that okra extract can even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and also protect the brain from other degenerative diseases.
Okra and Diabetes – what does science say?
The okra is highly appreciated because it can lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. This is the most important factor in the treatment of diabetes and the prevention of complications.
Fibers from the stomach help reduce glucose absorption. The okra is traditionally used to treat type 2 diabetes, as it effectively prevents the sudden leak of sugar in the blood following a meal.
Seeds and shell of okra can reduce blood sugar levels in the long term (the seed has a stronger effect than the shell). Also, the okra helps to lower the elevated levels of lipids in the blood. The seeds of the okra can successfully prevent the rapid absorption of blood sugar.
One of the best ways to control the symptoms of diabetes is to drink also okra water.
Precautions for Diabetics
The okra may have interactions with certain diabetes medication. Therefore it’s best to ask your doctor if she recommends consuming okra.
The okra is generally considered safe for consumption and is used to treat various diseases, but you have to pay attention to several things.
How to use okra for medicinal purposes?
The okra has a taste similar to eggplant and zucchini. Some people taste the flavor of a fresh pea. What kind of taste will the okra have to depend on most of the way it is being prepared.
Water from okra for diabetics
Water from okra is one of the best ways to use all the nutrients from this plant. The water in which the okra was kept is very healthy and is also great for controlling diabetes. In this way, you will save a lot of nutrients, which are lost in the cooking process. Read more about how to use okra water for diabetes treatment and how to make it here.