Health Benefits of Okra
By Madhusudhan Tammisetti
Okra is part of the mallow family plant (Malvaceae). It's indigenous to the Eastern Hemisphere's tropics and Africa.
Although it's technically a fruit because it includes seeds, it is most generally thought of as a vegetable, particularly when used in cooking. The plant's unripe pods or fruit are the only things that are consumed. The insides of pods have seeds that are oval in shape and dark in color and a significant quantity of mucilage, a gelatinous material that thickens recipes.
Exopolysacharrides and glycoproteins make up the mucilage within the pods. The pod's sticky feature provides amazing health benefits, particularly when it comes to diabetes prevention.
It's a high-antioxidant food that may help prevent free radical damage and cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
Okra was first found in the Abyssinian center, which covers modern-day Ethiopia, Eritrea's highland or plateau region, and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan's eastern and northern section.
Okra has been grown in the United States for generations. While there are no records of okra being grown in early America, the plant may have been widespread among the French colonists.
Good for Heart Health and Cholesterol Management
According to the Journal of Food Processing and Technology, the soluble fiber in okra helps lower cholesterol and, as a result, may help lessen the risk of developing disorders such as heart disease.
It's particularly abundant in pectin fiber that may help lower blood cholesterol levels by altering bile production in the intestines. Almost half of the okra pods contain soluble fiber as pectins and gums.
Furthermore, okra's mucilage binds toxins and excess cholesterol present in bile acids. It makes the job of the liver simpler to remove them. Mucilage has other medical uses when administered as a blood volume expander or plasma replacement.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
It regulates the pace at which sugar is ingested from the intestine, which helps keep blood sugar in check. The okra seeds have the properties of normalizing blood glucose and lipid profiles, which may help avoid diabetes naturally.
In India, researchers discovered that rats fed with dried and crushed okra seeds and peels had lower levels of blood glucose, while others exhibited a progressive decline in blood glucose after consuming okra extract daily for around 10 days.
After drinking okra juice made from overnight soaked okra pieces in the morning, many people with diabetes have experienced a decrease in blood sugar levels. Roasted seeds are used as a traditional diabetic medication in countries like Turkey for millennia.
Good for Healthy Eyesight
Okra pods are high in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, all of which are essential nutrients for maintaining good vision and healthy skin. Additionally, it may aid in the prevention of eye-related diseases such as macular degeneration.
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