You’ve maybe avoiding this little green plant, but you should know that okra health benefits are tremendous. And definitely you should put it on your menu more often.
Okra Health Benefits
Okra, is known as “lady’s fingers” and is a green flowering plant. It belongs to the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton.
Being a small, spear-shaped green veggie with a mild taste, okra resembles as pepper, and it has been cultivated as a food source for hundreds of years.
Today, knowing its growing health benefits, it is used in a variety of dishes around the world.
Why Okra Is A Favorite Veggie Among Diabetics
It is their favorite vegetable because it contains:
- vitamin B
- vitamin C
- folic acid
And another better reason is because it is:
- low in calories
- has high dietary fiber content
- manages blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes
Diabetes and Okra Studies
Medical researches for diabetes and usage of Okra are still in progress, but at the time-being, some studies found that okra water improved the blood sugar levels of pregnant rats that had gestational diabetes.
Furthermore, roasted Okra seeds have been analyzed and proven to have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar as well.
Okra and Dietary Fiber
Okra is high in fiber and this fiber quality has several benefits:
- It helps digestion
- Cuts hunger cravings
- Keeps feel fuller for longer period of time
As you know, foods that are high in fiber content are VERY important part of dietary treatment options for people with diabetes.
A study have shown that increased dietary fiber intake, promote better glycemic control and improve insulin sensitivity.
Okra and Anti-stress Effects
Labs which are using mice in their researches, have found that seed extracts of okra have an antioxidant and anti-stress effect in the bloodstream.
As you probably know, managing stress levels is crucial for diabetics, because too much stress may cause blood sugar spikes.
Okra and Cholesterol Levels
It has been found that okra can decrease cholesterol levels, which is great information because diabetics most often have high cholesterol numbers.
Usually, when high cholesterol levels are combined with diabetes, the final result is not always a good one.
In case you suffer from diabetes, it is critical to make sure that your diet has healthy cholesterol levels in check.
Okra And Fatigue Management
There is a study pointing out that, by use of the okra plant recovery times and fatigue levels can be significantly improved.
If you decide to include okra in your diet and combining it with a healthy exercise routine, you’ll be able to workout longer and recover more quickly from your exercise.
Cardiovascular activity has always been an essential part of prevention and treatment of diabetes, and using okra plant may contribute to a more active lifestyle than the one you have right now.
Okra and Digestion
This miraculous little green vegetable has high fiber content, making it great for your digestive tract. It will make you go “out” more regularly and can help you keep the weight down.
Okra and Cancer Fighting
Being packed with antioxidants, okra can provide the “much-needed” support to our cells in fighting free radicals, which most often lead to cancer.
Okra,Fertility and Pregnancy
Okra has high amount of folates which are especially important in a pre-conception diet as it “decreases the incidence of neural tube defects in offspring“.
Likewise, eating more folates during the pregnancy, helps support a healthy mom and baby.
However, it is not the case with men.
It may decrease men’s fertility.
According to Dr Ochuko Erikainure, a Senior Research Officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos, has warned that Okra seeds are very rich in toxic pigment called Gossypol which promote infertility in men by arresting sperm production (spermatogenesis) even at lower dose.
Okra and Kidney Health
In the quest of discovering other Okra health benefits, studies went further. They showed that eating more okra reduces kidney damage over time.
Its high content of soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels quite successfully as they affect the absorption of sugars in the intestine.
This further reduces the chances of developing kidney disease as half of such ailments develop from diabetes.
Okra and Hair Quality
Okra when boiled, cooled, and mixed with lemon juice can be applied to your hair for a nice glossy finish.
Don’t believe us?
Try this Okra shampoo recipe:
- Grab 5-7 pieces of okra and slice each one horizontally
- Pour about 8 ounces of water into a pot and toss in the okra
- Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer on low heat. You’ll begin to notice the mixture is transforming to a gooey/sticky gel texture.
- When you notice it has reached that consistency, turn off the heat
- Since the smell of okra can sometimes turn people off, add a few drops of lavender to mask the smell
- Let your mixture cool for a few minutes
- Once it’s cooled down, strain it through a tea strainer
- Shampoo your hair as you normally do
- Squeeze out all the excess water from your hair before applying the okra gel
- Massage it into your scalp and rinse as usual
What do you say?
Will you give it a try?
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