Okra - Lady Finger
About Okra - The Exquisite Lady Finger
Okra, commonly known as the lady finger, is actually the seedpod of the Okra plant. You might picture it as a slimy, difficult-to-eat vegetable. But you’ll figure out soon enough that the lady finger does not deserve to be judged by its appearance. While the texture may appear to be slimy and unpleasant, those that know how to incorporate it into their cooking think of it as a vegetable that is to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Okra Nutrition and Health benefits
Rich In Fiber!
The rich dietary fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods encourages the smooth peristalsis of digested food particles. The roughage also helps to alleviate cases of constipation.
Low In Calories!
The lady finger contains only 30 calories per 100 grams. But that’s not all; it is also free from bad cholesterol and saturated fat content. For all those looking for a natural, healthy way to regulate cholesterol levels or shed those extra pounds, we suggest you add okra to your grocery list!
Good Source Of Folates
Fresh okra pods are an excellent source of folates (about 22% of RDA per 100 g). Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period, decreases the incidence of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and cleft palate, in infacts.
Good For Vision!
Okra pods are loaded with vitamin A and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. In fact, it is documented as one of those vegetables that contain impressive amounts of antioxidants. These substances collectively reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Consumption of okra pods introduces a number of antioxidants in the body. These substances help to protect the body from lung cancers and oral cavity cancers, by fighting against cancer-causing agents.
Protection from Respiratory Diseases
Okra pods are rich in vitamin-C. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C reduces the risk of asthma, emphysema and chronic cough. Itchy throats and dry coughs can be soothed by sipping okra water, prepared by boiling the vegetable in water.
Good for the Bones
Okra pods are rich in B-complex vitamins which include niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The vegetable is also an excellent source of Vitamin K. All of these nutrients work collectively to fortify and strengthen the body’s bone structure.
Rich Source of Glutathione
Glutathione is a protein molecule that is naturally produced in the body. Why should we eat food that contains this protein? Because the amount of glutathione produced by the body decreases as a person ages. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from the harmful effects of cancer and disease-causing agents, boosts the immune system and maintains the normal functioning of the lung, heart and liver.
Good for Digestion and Sugar Levels!
Nutrients in the okra pods encourage the growth of good bacteria in the intestine. These bacterial organisms promote smooth bowel movements and prevent any irregularities in the digestive system. The lady finger also contains substances that help to regulate blood sugar levels and plays an important role in preventing the onset of diabetes. People suffering from diabetes are advised to consume okra, or okra water regularly as a supplement to their treatment.
Possible Health Concerns
Okra does not have any documented side effects. However, those on blood thinners should refrain from consuming the vegetable since it can interfere with the effect of the blood thinners on the body.