5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Okra You Must Know
Image Credit: Unsplash

Okra is a curious small green vegetable with a strange name. Okra is a small, spear-shaped green veggie with a moderate flavour that resembles a pepper and has been farmed for hundreds of years as a food source. Today, it can be found in a variety of dishes around the world. It can also be sliced into stir-fries or baked for a crisper dish. As the variety and nutritional spectrum of okra become more widely known, more people are getting creative with it. While okra may be easy to ignore in the produce department, it should not be overlooked in your health and weight-loss plan. Okra's small pods contain a surprising quantity of nutrients. Here are some of the best benefits of okra you should know about.

1. Rich In Antioxidants

Okra has a lot of antioxidants, which are beneficial to your health. Antioxidants are foods that protect the body from harmful substances known as free radicals. The primary antioxidants contained in okra are polyphenols, which include flavonoids and isoquercetin, as well as vitamins A and C. According to research, consuming a polyphenol-rich diet may boost heart health by lowering the risk of blood clots and oxidative damage. Polyphenols may also be beneficial to brain health because of their unique capacity to enter the brain and protect against inflammation. These defence mechanisms may help protect your brain from ageing symptoms while also improving cognition, learning, and memory.

2. Anti-Cancer Properties

In a 2014 study of breast cancer cells, a protein called lectin was found to suppress tumour growth. A recent scientific review emphasised how okra's antioxidants and lectin work together to fight cancer. However, the scientists stated a few paragraphs later that there haven't been enough studies on okra to establish how much okra could prevent cancer or how much you'd need to eat to obtain that advantage.

3. Readily Available And Can Be Added To Diet Easily

Though okra may not be a regular in your kitchen, it is simple to prepare. When purchasing okra, look for smooth, soft green pods with no brown stains or dry ends. Before cooking, store them in the refrigerator for up to four days. Okra is frequently used in soups and stews like gumbo. There is mucilage, a thick material that gets gummy when heated.

4. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

For overall health, it's important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels on a regular basis might lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Okra consumption or okra extract may help reduce blood sugar levels, according to animal research. The okra, according to the researchers, decreased the digestive tract's absorption of sugar, causing a more stable blood sugar response.

5. Aids Heart Health

An increased risk of heart disease has been associated with high cholesterol levels. Mucilage, a thick gel-like compound found in okra, can bind to cholesterol during digestion, leading it to be ejected with faeces rather than absorbed. The mice on the okra diet had reduced total blood cholesterol levels and excreted more cholesterol. Another potential benefit for the heart is the polyphenol content of okra. Those who had a diet high in polyphenols had fewer inflammatory markers linked to heart disease, according to a 4-year study of 1,100 individuals.