Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is an amazing vegetable. All sorts of soups and stews use these edible calcium-rich pods. It is versatile, but not a lot of people actually grow it. Try adding this marvellous vegetable into your diet because it possesses numerous uses, as well as health benefits.
1. OKRA PROMOTES A HEALTHY PREGNANCY
Okra is rich in folates and vitamin C. Folate is an extremely important B vitamin for producing and maintaining new cells and it’s an essential compound for optimal pregnancy.
The vitamin helps in the prevention of birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby grow sufficiently. Vitamin C is also essential for fetal development.
2. HELPS PREVENT DIABETES
It can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing its absorption from the intestines.
3. HELPS WITH RESPIRATORY ISSUES LIKE ASTHMA
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of okra plant, as well as its rich vitamin C content, curtail the development of asthma symptoms and prevent fatal attacks.
4. PREVENTS ANEMIA
Iron, folates, and Vitamin K help in the formation of hemoglobin, blood coagulation, and red blood cells production, providing a supreme defense against anemia.
5. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
Okra promotes a good digestive health, but also good cholesterol levels due to its high fiber content. Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water, so it breaks down in the digestive tract.
This plant also helps to lower cholesterol by replacing all the foods you eat with high fat and cholesterol levels. It’s interesting that okra contains no cholesterol and very little fat!
COOKING AND PREPARING OKRA
The pods can be stewed or fried under low heat oil, chopped, or sliced, so that you can soften their mucilaginous texture. They then, can be mixed with other vegetables, rice, or meat.
Avoid over-cooking so that they don’t become slimy.
Some hybrid varieties of this plant may have been subjected to insecticide/pesticide sprays. So, always wash the pods thoroughly in cold water so that you can remove dirt, soil or any residual insecticides!