Why Add Okra In Your Diet? 6 Health Benefits To Explore
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Okra is a warm-season annual vegetable that belongs to the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon, and hibiscus. It's also called lady's finger in India, and gumbo is the Swahili name for okra.

The vegetable is a staple in many Asian recipes, including Indian and Southern cooking. Okra emits a gelatinous material while it cooks, which thickens soups, curries, stews, and gumbos. Okra that has been boiled has the texture of zucchini or aubergine, but it tastes harsh. When fried, it will not have a slimy texture and will be crisp like green beans.

Okra has a tonne of nutrients! According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is abundant in soluble and insoluble fibre, supporting healthy gut flora and cholesterol regulation. 

The antioxidants epicatechin, quercetin, rutin, procyanidin B1 and B2, and catechin are abundant in the pulp and seeds of this plant. These antioxidants aid in preventing environmental factors and stress from damaging cells. Okra also has calcium, folic acid, and vitamin B6.

Okra is a mainstay of Southern American cuisine, along with Indian food. The most common preparation method is fried okra. Additionally, the typical Louisiana Creole meal gumbo is too made of okra.

However, okra's essence is slowly vanishing in the USA. Here are six scientifically supported reasons to include okra in your diet. 

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1. Okra Helps In Digestive Health And Gut Lining

Like all other vegetables, Okra is high in fibre, essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system. A cup of the vegetable has three grams of fibre. It benefits the stomach for other reasons as well, though. Consuming okra might be slippery; this particular slippery substance helps coat the lining of your stomach. Eating okra can assist with leaky stomachs since it strengthens the gut lining.

2. Provides A Healthy Amount Of Vitamin A

Okra provides nearly all the daily required vitamin A in only one serving. It carries 716 microunits. This is beneficial to the immune system as well as eye health. Okra is a great vegetable to include in your meals if you spend your days in front of a computer. USDA confirms the vitamin A content for daily intake.

3. Assistance With IBS And Treatment

Okra is a fantastic food for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Therefore, if you are experiencing digestive problems from cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, try increasing your intake of okra until a certified dietitian can assist you in returning to a more varied diet. The NIH also confirmed this. 

4. Provide Healthy Iron Intake

Many people might be unaware that okra also contains iron. Like calcium, it doesn't contribute enough to be considered a critical mineral source. However, it's still essential, particularly for those who must be especially aware of their intake since they follow a primarily plant-based diet. The USDA attests to okra's beneficial iron content.

5. Okra Helps Builds Immunity

A serving of okra has 23 milligrams of vitamin C. This indicates a connection to immune system benefits. It's important to remember that cooking okra releases some of its vitamin C, so the quantity you get may be less than you need. But mindfully eating it can definitely help with the daily intake.

6. Helps Breastfeeding And Pregnant Women 

Folate is folacin and vitamin B9. Your body transforms the folic acid into folate, which is utilised in food fortification and as a dietary supplement. Now, a cup of okra provides roughly 15% of the daily required amount of folate. Furthermore, this nutrient is crucial for expectant mothers since it lessens neural tube abnormalities, which can harm the development of the foetus's spine and brain.

Never forget your roots. Now that you know the benefits of okra, try out new recipes, too. Keep adding okra to your diet for a healthier you.