Okra is one of the vegetables people have today. Added in various meals around the world, okra is known for its slimy sap and seeds. The following are the health benefits of okra, along with a sample recipe.
One health benefit of okra is fiber. Fiber is a substance that acts as sweep to help move and eliminate unnecessary agents like toxins and free radicals from the body; this way, fiber helps the body prevent diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Fiber also adds bulk to stools, facilitating more effective elimination, preventing digestive conditions like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. Also, fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, preventing conditions like atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat deposits in the blood vessels), hypertension or high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and heart attack.
Another health benefit of okra is the prevention and management of diabetes. In one study, according to Health Line, okra enhanced the blood sugar levels of pregnant rats that had gestational diabetes. Also, roasted okra seeds have been studied and proved their effects on reducing blood sugar levels; in fact, okra seeds have long been used in Turkey as diabetes treatment. Therefore, people with diabetes mellitus may include okra in their diet to prevent the increase in their blood sugar levels and control the symptoms of the metabolic disorder.
Folate is another health benefit of okra. It prevents neural tube defects in babies while increasing mother-child health. According to Nutrition and You, as cited by Mercola, folate in okra represents 22 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in once cup serving. As per Medical News Today, as cited by the publication, getting folate from food like okra is important, since it is vital for pregnant women and people who are alcohol-depended.
Vision and Skin
One more health benefit of okra is good eyesight, in addition to improved skin integrity. These benefits are due to vitamin A, the vitamin known to improve a person’s vision and integrity of the skin and mucus membrane. As per Organic Facts, okra is rich in the vitamin, along with antioxidant agents like beta crotene, lutein, and xanthein, which help neutralize and destroy free radicals after cellular metabolism. Okra also helps improve skin integrity, healing, and reduce acne, scars, and wrinkles. Hence, adding okra to the diet helps protect the eyes from cataract and macular degeneration and the skin from various disorders.
One recipe that uses okra as ingredient is Oven fried Okra. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include frozen cut okra, butter flavored cooking spray, one-fourth cup of yellow cornmeal, one-fourth cup of panko bread crumbs, half teaspoon of garlic salt, and one-fourth teaspoon of ground black pepper.
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. Next, a baking rack is placed on top of a sheet pan or baking sheet. Then, the frozen okra is cooked in the microwave for eight minutes. After that, the okra is drained and cooled on paper towels for about five to ten minutes. Once done, the okra is sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray. Then, the panko bread crumbs, garlic salt, cornmeal, and pepper are added to a plastic food storage bag. The okra is also placed into the bag and shaken to coat it with the cornmeal mixture. After that, the okra is removed from the bad and is spread on the prepared baking rack. The okra is baked in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes golden brown and crispy.
With its health benefits, okra is considered one of the healthy vegetables people have to day. Adding it to meal menu for families and friends will boost their health and well-being.