Okra is a green tropical vegetable native to Africa, having a specific shape, sticky texture and small grains. It is also recognized under the scientific names “hibiscus esculentus” or “abelmoschus esculentus”.
In its native Africa is used for various culinary purposes offering its unique flavor and taste. It is included in various salads, broths or stews. However, according to many studies this African veggie reveals extraordinary health virtues.
Okra is a great slimming agent since it is very low in calories, but high in nutrients, fibers, minerals, vitamins and water. It contains minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins like A, B, C and K. Thanks to its incredible nutritional value the okra can be used in the treatment of various health issues.
Health Virtues of Okra
- Regulates cholesterol levels
As per a 2015 study okra can reduce and prevent the occurrence of high cholesterol levels. Namely, it has the ability to prevent the build-up of fat in the blood and balance the cholesterol levels.
- Boosts immunity and vision
Thanks to the content of vitamin C the intake of okra can enhance the effectiveness of white blood cells by offering them the needed energy which in turn will make the immune defense system stronger. According to a conducted study the high percentage of antioxidants in okra like flavonoids, pectin, and amino acids can slow down the cell aging thereby lowering vision issues.
- Prevents gastritis
This veggie belongs to the mucilaginous food that can battle against gastritis issues. As per a performed 2014 study, okra has the ability to prevent the absorption of H-Pylon bacteria in the intestine, accountable for irritations and gastric inflammations. Other 2018 study shows that okra protects against gastric disturbances and thus lowers the risk of gastric ulcers.
- Controls diabetes
The use of okra will help in the control of the glycemic level in the blood by hampering alpha-glucosidase, the main reason for glucose absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. It has been revealed by a conducted 2013 study that the seeds of okra can lower blood sugar and because of that this veggie is considered to be an anti-diabetic food. Other study has emphasized the effectiveness of myricetin, a compound that regulates blood sugar levels, by changing them into muscles.
- Anti-fatigue food
If you experience fatigue, then it is most likely that your body is lacking energy. The intake of okra can boost energy levels in the blood as per a released study in the MDPI (Molecular Diversity Preservation International). Namely, the content of polyphenols and flavonoids are the ones offering the anti-fatigue effect of okra. These compounds lower the lactic acid level in the blood; provide the needed energy for the body, meanwhile ensuring the storage of glycogen in the liver.
- Helps with food cravings
Thanks to the content of fiber, okra can help you with the food cravings during the day. If you eat it on regular basis you will feel full and you will not experience cravings, which is very beneficial for the weight loss process.
- Clean skin
Your beauty will get enhanced by having clean skin thanks to the consumption of okra. The content of flavonoids will help in the fight against premature aging of skin cells and limit the harmful effects of UV-B rays. As a result of okra your skin will get substantially softer.
Therefore, make sure to have this African vegetable on your plate and enjoy all its amazing benefits.