Health Benefits of Okra – Okra is also called by the name of “Lady Fingers” because its shape is long like a finger. Okra included in the genus hibiscus and family of Malvaceae. This most fiber crops are usually planted in the tropical and warm climate.
Okra is native to Africa but became known to several countries such as Sri lanka, Philippines, Japan, Saudi Arabia and now has spread to parts of the world. Before we look at the health benefits of okra for, let’s look at the nutrition facts in okra.
The Huge nutrition in okra is fibers and glutathione. While in its seeds contain a lot of oil to 40%. The resulting oil is in the form of oleic acid and linoleic acid is a monounsaturated oil. Lets below we look at the nutrients in Okra (lady fingers).
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Nutrition Facts of Okra Vegetable
|Item||Nutrition value||% RDA|
|Pantothenic acid||0.245 mg||5%|
|Vitamin A||375 IU||12.5%|
|Vitamin C||21.1 mg||36%|
|Vitamin E||0.35 mg||2.5%|
|Vitamin K||53 µg||44%|
|Lutein zeaxanthin||516 µ||—|
Well, based on the nutrient content of Okra, we can imagine the health benefits of this vegetable. Here we see one by one to the health benefits of okra.
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13 Health Benefits of Okra
1. Protect your lungs
Okra is important vegetable in the world of health. The content of antioxidants called that flavonoids makes okra as healthy vegetables for consumption by all ages. In addition to flavonoids, Okra also contains xanthin and lutein. The combination of these nutrients provide huge benefits of okra to protect the lungs.
2. Good for healthy eyes and skin
One of health benefits of okra is keeping your eyes and skin. The content of vitamin A in okra good for the eyes and skin as it keeps the mucous membrane under the skin.
3. Prevent constipation
Constipation is a digestive disorder that is very disturbing. Fiber content as well as the many substances in okra slime helpful to address this issue. Consuming okra regularly will smooth the process of disposal of food waste or waste in the digestive system.
4. Preventing oral cancer
Furthermore, health benefits of okra is maintaining oral health of the possibility of cancer. Antioxidants are important compounds in okra that useful to prevent cancer.
5. Keeping the immune
Okra helpful to maintain immunity. Vitamin C in okra can meet 36% of the body’s daily needs. Consuming okra helpful to prevent cough, infection and get rid of free radicals in the body.
Furthermore, okra also contain iron which is helpful for building the body’s hemoglobin and increases the number of platelet. Red blood cells are handy for transporting nutrients to all parts of the body and further benefit is instrumental in the body’s metabolism.
6. Prevent the risk of birth defects
Fresh okra is a high source of folate that is good for the health of pregnant women. In 100 fresh okra is said to contain as much as 22% RDA of folate. Pregnant women who consume a lot of helpful folate to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus. So, the food is very good for pregnant women apart from avocados and broccoli.
7. Lose weight
Okra also include vegetables that are beneficial for weight loss. Okra (lady fingers) is a low-calorie vegetables, 100 grams contains only 30 cal, so it is not harmful to weight gain. Instead, fiber, minerals, and vitamins and free of saturated fat makes okra as the best food for weight control and get rid of cholesterol in the body.
Even, nutritionists often recommend this vegetable as important food in losing weight.
8. Strengthen bones
Other benefits is strengthen the bones. Okra contains vitamin K which serves as a co-factor in blood clotting for strengthening of bones. In addition to vitamin K, okra also contain calcium which is very useful to helps to build healthy bones, teeth and nails.
9. Helping the energy metabolism
The content of magnesium in the okra acts as a catalyst in biological reactions in the body, while manganese functions in the synthesis of urea, the formation of connective tissue and bones and prevent lipid peroxidation by free radicals. Both of these compounds are very important in the process of controlling energy metabolism in the body.
10. Maintain body balance
Okra is a source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. Keep in mind that vitamin B complex is the most important element in any workings of the body.
The working of vitamin B complex interrelated between each other, so the lack one of them could have a bad effect on health. The ill effects of this is in the form of imbalances of the body such as the nervous system that are less healthy, energy shortages, unhealthy cholesterol and poor digestion. It is very important for anyone to get enough of the vitamin B complex.
11. Good for digestion
The next health benefits of okra is to help digestion. High fiber content makes the digestive system works optimally in removing a variety of wastes in the body, including cholesterol and bad fats.
12. Lowers Cholesterol
Okra benefits for lowering cholesterol has been studied by experts. In a journal entitled “The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” stated that the extract of okra were able to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
13. Reduce the risk of heart disease
Fiber and antioxidants such as procyanidin, catechin, quercetin, epicatehin on okra is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease.