Okra: Important Things To Know

Important Things To Know About Okra (Ladies' Finger) - A to Z Fruit & Veg

Origin

The okra, also known as ladies’ fingers is cultivated in tropical and warm regions of the world. It is highly sought for its fibrous fruits. It is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world. Its origin is still disputed and unclear.

Health Benefits

When it comes to okra, many people are unaware that this often-fried southern vegetable contains a hefty amount of nutrition. Cultures in Africa have employed okra for a number of maladies, including diabetes and liver disease. Research has shown that many okra health benefits are attributed to the veggie’s polysaccharide and lecithin content, and its bioavailable antioxidant content also contributes greatly to its proven health effects.

  1. Protects the Liver: The liver is our main detoxifying and organ, and keeping it healthy helps us to reduce the levels of toxic buildup that occurs as a result to those that we encounter in the environment. Keeping our liver healthy is crucial for maintaining the health of our entire body, and it turns out that okra may help immensely. The antioxidants found in okra have been found to be protective against liver damage, something which can occur from environmental toxin exposure.
  2. Lowers Bad Cholesterol: Okra may also help lower cholesterol levels. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that the hypolipidemic activity of okra skin extract provides cholesterol-lowering benefits.
    It inhibits pancreatic cholesterol esterase activity, reduces the efficacy of cholesterol micellization and binds to bile acids, which in turn delays cholesterol absorption and increases its excretion.
  3. Cancer Fighter: Recent research has found that okra contains a hefty amount of polyphenol (antioxidant) content and immunomodulatory compounds, both of which may help fight against cancer. Not only is okra a good source of vitamin C, a potent vitamin necessary for maintaining the health of the immune system, this hot-loving summer crop contains powerful components responsible for fighting tumour growth in the human body. Studies have consistently shown that certain polysaccharides within okra may initiate macrophage activity in cancer cells, reducing their overall size, activity, and presence. Lecithins in okra are also responsible for the vegetable’s effects on inducing cancer cell death (apoptosis).
  4. Prevents Liver Disease: Okra purges the liver and guards against liver disease. It contains substances that stick bile acid and cholesterol to detoxify the liver. It even keeps the aggregation of fats in the liver.
    In a recent report released in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, specialists reasoned that the potent antioxidant characteristic of okra concentrate can help protect against chemically induced liver damage.
    To enhance your liver health and prevent liver disease, incorporate okra in your eating routine or take an okra supplement subsequent after consultation with your doctor.
  5. Makes Your Hair Soft and Shiny: The antioxidants and vitamins in okra can help you enjoy well-conditioned, shiny and bouncy hair. It also contains other useful nutrients like copper, zinc, potassium, folate and thiamine that are good for your hair.
    In addition, the transparent mucilage in okra works as a natural conditioner and adds life to dull hair.
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Important Things To Know About Okra (Ladies' Finger) - A to Z Fruit & Veg

Nutritional value

Water – g 89.58
Energy – kcal 33
Protein – g 1.93
Total lipid (fat) – g 0.19
Carbohydrate, by difference – g 7.45
Fiber, total dietary – g 3.2
Sugars, total – g 1.48

Minerals

Calcium, Ca – mg 82
Iron, Fe – mg 0.62
Magnesium, Mg – mg 57
Phosphorus, P – mg 61
Potassium, K – mg 299
Sodium, Na – mg 7
Zinc, Zn – mg 0.58

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – mg 23
Thiamin – mg 0.2
Riboflavin – mg 0.06
Niacin – mg 1
Vitamin B-6 – mg 0.215
Folate, DFE – µg 60
Vitamin B-12 – µg 0
Vitamin A, RAE – µg 36
Vitamin A, IU – IU 716
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – mg 0.27
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) – µg 0
Vitamin D – IU 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) – µg 31.3

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated – g 0.026
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated – g 0.017
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated – g 0.027
Fatty acids, total trans – g 0
Cholesterol – mg 0

Amino Acids

Other

Caffeine – mg 0

Source: The Healthy Advocate, Remedies Expert, Top10 Home Remedies, USDA