Okra is better known as Ladies finger or gumbo, popularly called Bhindi in Hindi, Bendakaya in Telugu, Vendakkai in Tamil, is a flowering plant that belongs to the family of hibiscus and cotton.
Okra refers to the edible seedpods of the plant and has been the preferred choice of food, used in many recipes as a part of the nutritional diet for its highly beneficial nutrients.
It is filled up with a rich nutritional profile including vitamin B, C, folic acid, potassium and calcium. Being low in calorie and high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, Okra has been proven beneficial in managing diabetes.
Let’s look out for some of the top health benefits of okra
1. Controls blood sugar
The presence of high content of soluble and insoluble fibre and low glycaemic index of 20, makes it an ideal choice of vegetable to control blood sugar spikes. The fibre in Okra helps in stabilizing the blood sugars by delaying the gastric emptying of the sugars. It has been proven by studies conducted over the years in vitro and vivo, conforming okra has a potential blood glucose lowering vegetable.
2. Prevent Migraines
Okra turns out to be the best vegetable that can prevent migraines. A key nutrient to cope with migraines is to increase the magnesium intake, which many people find it as a difficult task. A 100-gram serving of okra provides about 9% of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, makes it a simpler goal to meet. Adequate hydration is another factor that helps in preventing migraine which okra can help with too, as the mucus forming fibre holds the water and keeps you hydrated throughout the day.
3. Promotes gut health
The richness of fibre in Okra is really appreciated factor that promotes the gut health. The fibre adds bulk to the food and helps it to move smoothly through the intestine. This promotes the regularity of the bowel and reduces gastrointestinal issues like -bloating, cramping, constipation and flatulence.
4. Promotes Vision
Okra the powerhouse of Vitamin A and antioxidants like beta carotenes, xanthein, and lutein are powerful compounds that destroy free radicals responsible for cell degradation and vision. A regular intake of Okra in your diet can protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
5. Good for the immune system
The goodness of antioxidants in Okra and the high Vitamin C content makes it very potent to ward off free radicals and boost the immunity. The vitamins can enhance the functioning of the immune system, to produce white blood cells and combat foreign pathogens that weaken the immune system.
6. Okra to boost memory
The goodness of essential nutrients in Okra that include phosphorus, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids helps to boost the memory. It is the best choice to improve the memory and brain health. Soak 3 to 4 chopped okra in a cup of water, drink this okra water first thing in the morning to improve your memory.
Okra is indeed a nutrient storehouse with spectrum of beneficial effects on health. It is very low in calorie, ease of availability, and varied ways it can be prepared, make it a real food to relish.