Okra or as we more commonly know it ‘Bhindi’ is one of the most common vegetable is our Indian households. It is one of those lesser appreciated gems that have a great number of health benefits but very few people know about it. It is a food containing high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, It can keep you full and prevent hunger pangs, It is extremely beneficial for curing Diabetes and can keep you from tiring. Other than these amazing health benefits, Okra is also used in a lot of beauty treatments too, Want to know how? Read on, to find out.
What is Okra?
Okra is nothing but a Green vegetable of the Mallow family, also called as Bhindi in Hindi. It is used very commonly as a vegetable in India. It has been grown throughout the country and is one of the most popular foods in our country. The pod along with its seeds is consumed in various food preparation and also some medicinal preparation. Here are some Okra nutrition facts and a list of all its nutritional contents.
|Nutritional Value Per 100 Gms|
|Energy||138 kJ (33 kcal)|
|Total Fat||0.19 g|
|Dietary Fiber||3.2 g|
|Vitamin A Equiv.||36 μg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.2 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.06 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||1 mg|
|Folate (B9)||60 μg|
|Vitamin C||23 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.27 μg|
|Vitamin K||31.3 μg|
Health Benefits Of Okra-Health Benefits Of Okra-
1. Prevents Diabetes-
One of the most important uses and health benefits of Okra is to cure diabetes. It is the natural way of bringing down your blood sugar level and help you get rid of diabetic conditions. Its rich Fiber content makes it easy to control blood sugar levels. Here is how to use it for curing diabetes.
- Take a Glass of water and 1 or 2 Okra.
- Slit the okra Pod from between soak it in water.
- Cover the glass with a lid and let it stay overnight.
- In the morning you should first remove the pods and then drink this water.
The soluble fiber from the okra is transferred to your body through the water. This will make the sugar absorption rate from your intestines slower. thus, keeping the blood sugar levels down. It reduces the glycemic load of glucose on blood which can otherwise hamper the functioning of body.
The soluble Fiber forms a gel that will slow down the process of sugar absorption from the food in the intestines. This gel will also absorb the excess bile acids and flush it out of the body. This prevents the cholesterol levels from rising.
2. Controls Asthma-
Okra is also known to have great benefits for asthma patients. It is known to reduce the symptoms of asthma. Although no clear reason can be stated but a lot of times the high content of vitamin C is said to benefit the respiratory system. This will be great home remedy for people suffering with asthma.
3. Prevents Constipation-
Okra helps the body in absorption of water, It is a great hydrating agent for your body and reduces over all dryness of the body. This also helps your body is flushing out all the toxins and waste out of your body, Thus, preventing occurrence of constipation.
4. Controls Obesity-
Okra is also known to help reduce obesity. Regular use of okra, Seeds and pods both, have been known to help reduce hunger. The soluble fiber makes you full fast and for a long time. This will keep the calorie intake restricted and help you lose some weight.
5. Low Glycemic Index Food-
Okra is one of the vegetables with lowest GI. Okra has a Glycemic Index of 20, which according to medical standards is really low. This makes it really apt for consumption for sugar and diabetic patients. The low GI food like Okra will slowly increase the blood glucose and thus the Insulin production will be very less. This will keep you satiated for longer and prevent you from feeling lethargic, hungry or gain weight.
6. Controls Cholesterol-
Okra degrades Cholesterol and prohibits the fat production in the body. It thus leads to reduced levels of cholesterol and increase excretion of Bile in the human wastes. This will keep your heart healthy and prevent clogging of arteries and occurrence of heart diseases like atherosclerosis.
7. High In Folate Content-
The High folate content in Okra makes it a great food to be consumed by an young and expecting mothers. It is good for preventing neural tube defects in new born babies. It will be a good option of food also for women who are on the verge of conceiving a baby. It will ensure their body is ready for conception.
8. Prevents Kidney Diseases-
In almost half of the cases of Diabetes, the kidney of the patient suffers a lot. It can undergo severe damage esp. In Type-2 Diabetes cases. For such people, Okra can really help by reducing their diabetic symptoms and reducing blood sugar levels. This is a great way to prevent your kidney health from deteriorating. You can consume Okra water for this purpose.
9. Kills Breast Cancer cells-
In a lot of cases it was observed that Lectin present in Okra was able to lead the cancerous cells to kill themselves slowly. It is called as a selective antitumor effects of Lectin on cancer cells. It has been noted that a lot of women who consume okra regularly, can be prevented from the chances of contracting breast cancer by a great number.
10. Improves the Health Of Bones-
One of the most abundant vitamin in Okra, Vitamin K is responsible for building strength in your bones. It also helps in blood clotting. It prevents easy fractures, Osteoporosis and excessive bleeding during injuries.
Skin Benefits Of Okra-
1. Prevents Pigmentation-
Nutrients present in Okra help in preventing Skin pigmentation. Over time consuming Okra can help you repair damages on the skin and repair and rejuvenate your skin.
The Vitamin C in okra is known to encourage the health of skin making it look better and younger. It improves the health of tissues and repairs the skins overall appeal, making it look vibrant and free of blemishes.
3. Healthy Skin-
The higher content of dietary fiber makes okra a really great promoter of digestive health. The better the digestive system, the cleaner your skin will look. It cleanses out the body acids and toxins and prevents the occurrence of acne and break outs.. Thus keeping the skin looking bright and healthy.
Hair Benefits Of Okra-
1. Conditions Hair-
Okra can be used as a natural conditioner for your hair. Just boil a few okra in a pan full of water. This will form a gel like mucilage. Allow it to cool and apply it over freshly washed hair. Let it stay on your hair for a while and wash it off completely. It will leave your hair smooth and well conditioned.
2. Treats dry Scalp-
This gel or Mucilage is known to treat not just dry strands of hair follicles but also the dry and flaky scalp. This gel like conditioner penetrates deep into the scalp and hydrates the roots of the hair too. It is a great way to naturally impart natural moisture to your hair.
3. Fights dandruff-
Okra boiled water can be a great way to treat dandruff. It targets the cause of dandruff. That is dry scalp and flaky skin, It will hyper moisturize your scalp and impart it a long lasting moisture. This will slowly make your scalp moisturized and reduced dandruff and other scalp problems.
Use this natural hair shining agent rather than your shine serums and mists. This ingredient imparts a natural shine to your hair and makes them silky soft too. It also gives your hair a lift and makes them look voluminous and bouncy.
Some useful Tips-
- Always wash okra well before use. Pat them dry with a towel before cooking, or els eit can build up gel like consistency and not properly cook.
- You can also optionally fry your okra pieces in oil before cooking. It will reduce the slime to a great extent.
- You can wash the okra before storing in fridge. Wrap it in a paper towel to maintain moisture and keep them from thinning too much.