Okra is packed with nutritional goodness, but it’s more than just a splash of color in your veggie tray. Native to West Africa, okra has been cultivated for centuries due to its many health benefits and delicious taste. This hardy pod offers an array of health-promoting characteristics that make it a must-have addition to any diet, no matter what type of cuisine you prefer! Whether you’re incorporating okra into traditional African dishes or finding creative ways to enjoy modern meals, discovering the powerful benefits of okra will help you live healthier every day.

Okra: nutritional value

For a 100 g serving, okra contains:

  • 87.5g of water.
  • 4.69g of carbohydrates.
  • 4.8g of fiber.
  • 61 mg of magnesium.
  • 374mg of potassium.
  • 107 mg of vitamin B9.
  • 1.8g of protein.

The health benefits of okra:

Reduce cholesterol levels.

Okra contains high amounts of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol in the body by binding to it and preventing it from being absorbed by the digestive system. Additionally, okra also contains essential components such as polyunsaturated fatty acid derivatives that can aid in better digestion and lipid metabolism.

Okra has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels without having a significant effect on HDL cholesterol levels in the body. The best way to reap the cholesterol-lowering benefits of okra is to eat 75g of raw or cooked okra each day. Combined with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, okra can be an important part of a balanced lifestyle to reduce high cholesterol levels.

Strengthen immunity.

Okra is an edible vegetable with a unique nutritional profile that can support the body’s defenses against disease. Rich in vitamins and minerals, regular consumption of okra can help boost the immune system by stimulating antioxidant activity, which improves the body’s ability to fight infections.

Apart from its antioxidant properties, okra also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. As such, it can protect cells from foreign body damage, helping them recover quickly from minor illnesses like colds or flu. Let’s not forget that okra contains fiber that aids digestion, which helps the body fight infections, as a healthy digestive system reduces inflammation. With all of these benefits, okra is definitely a great way to give your immune system a powerful boost when you need it throughout the year.

Facilitate digestion.

Okra is a vegetable rich in dietary fiber, which plays an essential role in digestion. Without sufficient fiber intake, our digestive system cannot function effectively. Consuming okra can improve the body’s natural balance of gut bacteria – known as the microbiome – and regulate bowel movement.

When cooked, okra also creates a gel-like substance that helps absorb toxins from the colon, aiding digestion and restoring normalcy to the gastrointestinal tract. High-fiber foods like okra also produce short-chain fatty acids that boost the body’s “good” bacteria and prevent the growth of disease-causing “bad” bacteria. All of these positive benefits make okra an excellent food for supporting healthy digestion.

Reduce inflammation.

Okra is particularly notable for its potential role in reducing inflammation. Studies indicate that okra’s potential in this area is due to the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants that are said to be effective in countering free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and regulating inflammatory responses.

Additionally, since okra also contains vitamins A and C along with minerals like potassium and magnesium, it may also help protect tissues or organs in the body from certain environmental contaminants. Those wishing to put these benefits into practice should consider eating okra raw or lightly cooked, adding it to stews or soups, or even juicing it.

Bring shine to dry hair and elasticity to the skin.

Okra has been used topically for centuries in beauty treatments. Pulped or mixed with other natural ingredients like honey or yogurt, okra can be applied directly to the scalp or face for nourishing results.

This nutrient-rich vegetable even contains high levels of antioxidants that can help fight environmental damage caused by sun exposure or other factors that could potentially damage hair or skin over time.

With so many benefits offered by consuming okra internally and externally, it’s no wonder this amazing plant continues to be used around the world today!

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.