Okra, scientifically named “Hibiscus Esculentus”, is cultivated in the Philippines as an annual vegetable crop, for its green capsule or seed pod. It’s young and tender pods are used as ingredients in native dishes, cooked, boiled or fried. It is used as soup base or as stew.
HEATLH & NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
- Okra contains high amount of fiber, vitamins A,C,B6 (pyridoxide), B9, folic & pantothenic acid and is a good source of iron, zinc, manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
- Okra is a high alkalined (neutralizes acid) vegetable containing no cholesterol, saturated or trans fat and is considered to have the highest level of anti-oxidants.
- The soluble and insoluble fiber found in okra helps to maintaining blood sugar levels by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed & is very good in preventing diabetes.
- Okra’s mucilage (a thick substance the plant produces) binds excess cholesterol & bile acid which prevents irritable bowel syndrome, bloating or gas.
- Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria called “probiotics,” which contributes to a healthy intestinal tract; absorbs water & helps prevent and improve constipation.
- Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, suffering from depression, summer heat, heals ulcers, keeps joints limber & prevents stroke.
- Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat and is good for asthma due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Okra is good for atherosclerosis (an arterial disease characterized by deposit of plaque on heart’s inner walls) & supports the structure of capillaries.
- Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
- Okra aids in weight loss and is very low in calories. One half cup of okra has only 25 calories and is a rich source of minerals and vitamins.
- The seed of Okra contains oil and vegetable protein that are very rich in amino cid. The body needs certain amino acids such as cystine, tryptophan, and some sulfur amino cid.
- Okra and its compounds essential for clear vision & prevention of cataracts.