Surprising Benefits of Okra (Lady’s Finger)

Okra is a kind of vegetable otherwise known as lady’s finger especially in Asia. This veggie particularly thrives in areas where there are tropical or subtropical climates.

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Okra is an edible pea pod which can be eaten raw. Its mucilaginous content sets it apart from other veggies, and surprisingly gives people a lot of healthy benefits. During preparation, you may choose to blanch it, steam or give it a quick stir-fry and then eat away. Okra is advised to be consumed while it is still tender as it can go very fibrous as it gets older.

Okra provides a lot of nutritional benefits. To start, okra is low in caloric content but is densely packed with other nutrients. It is rich in folate, fiber and vitamins A and C. It also has a relatively high phytonutrients and antioxidant content which include lutein, xanthin and beta-carotene.

Okra may not be everyone’s vegetable of choice but it certainly offers massive health benefits. It is said to be of help in battling the following:

1. Anemia: Okra can aid in RBC (red blood cells) production thereby preventing anemia.

2. Cancer: Okra contains high amounts of antioxidants. These fight off the free radicals in the body which are harmful to other cells. It also prevents the mutation of cells.

3. Bone Strength: Okra has folate which helps in increasing bone density and strength. This process helps prevent the development of osteoporosis.

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4. Asthma: The vitamin A and C in okra helps keep asthmatic bouts at bay.

5. Cholesterol: Okra contains soluble fiber which reduces serum cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of having atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

6. Constipation: Again, the fiber content of this vegetable increases bulk, it also binds with toxins which then results to easier bowel movements. Consuming okra on a regular basis may also decrease the risk of developing colon cancer.

7. Diabetes: Okra has insulin-like properties that can keep blood glucose levels regulated.

8. Immune booster: Vitamins A and C can aid the immune system in fighting off different viral diseases.

9. Pregnancy: The folate in okra can help deflect the development of neural tube defects in fetuses.

10. Vision health: Okra is high in lutein and beta carotenes that are especially helpful in maintaining good eye health.

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