Okra is often used for cooking. Besides the delicious taste, okra also has many benefits for your health and beauty. Because okra contains a lot of important nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and fiber, it has the ability to enhance eyesight, reduce blood fat, treat constipation, etc. Because of these great effects, okra is frequently present in the diet of many families. If you do not know about this information, the article below is for you. You will definitely be amazed at what okra can do. But first of all, let's learn more about okra.
What Is Okra?
Okra is a flowering plant. The stem of this plant can be nearly 2.5m high. Its leaves are about 10-20 cm long. Its fruit has fiber and many white seeds. The name “okra” is derived from West Africa. Sometimes, okra is called by the old scientific name “Hibiscus esculentus L”. According to a study, okra is native to the Ethiopian highlands. In Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Greece, Turkey and other eastern Mediterranean areas, okra is used in stews with vegetables and meat. In Indian cuisine, it is fried or added in dishes based on meat sauce and is very popular in South India. It also became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine in the late 20th century. Okra is usually eaten with soy sauce and katsuobushi or tempura. Okra forms part of some typical dishes in some areas. Frango com quiabo (stew chicken with okra) is a dish in Brasil cuisine, particularly famous in the Minas Gerais area. Gumbo (stew meat with okra) is popular in the Gulf of Mexico.
Okra is grown in the tropical and temperate regions of the world. The fruit is harvested when it is young and eaten as a vegetable. Okra is a plant species which can withstand hot and dry drought. It also survives in nutrient-poor soils with thick clay and intermittent humidity. However, frost can harm the okra. It is a one year plant in the US. In sowing, the seed is soaked overnight before planting at a depth of 1-2 cm. The seeds will germinate within 6 days to 3 weeks. Okra fruits should be harvested for a week. Okra contains viscous cells, so people often bake it up or process it with foods that are sour, like lemon or tomato.
What Is Okra's Nutritional Content?
Okra is rich in nutrients. Each 100 grams of okra contains:
- Fiber: 2.5 grams – equal to 10% of the fiber your body needs every day.
- Vitamin C: 16.3 mg – equal to 27% of your daily intake of vitamin C.
- Folate: 46 mg – equal to 11% of the body's daily folate intake.
- Vitamin A: 283 mg – equal to 6% of your daily vitamin A intake.
- Vitamin K: 40 mg – equal to 50% of your daily K vitamin intake.
- Niacin (vitamin B3): 0.9 mg – equal to 4% of the amount of niacin your body needs every day.
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 0.1 mg – equal to 9% of the amount of thiamin the body needs every day.
- Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg – equal to 9% of your daily intake of vitamin B6.
- Magnesium: 36 mg – equal to 9% of the magnesium needed daily.
- Manganese: 0.3 mg – equal to 15% of the amount of manganese your body needs every day.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Okra?
According to the culinary experts, you should choose fresh okra and should only store them in 1-4 days. You should also wash them before slicing them into small pieces. Do not wash them after you've slice them. Here are some side effects of okra:
- Okra contains a lot of fructan – a form of carbohydrate that can cause diarrhea and bloating in patients with bowel problems. It is noteworthy that patients with irritable bowel syndrome and some intestinal diseases may experience uncomfortable symptoms when eating foods high in fructan like okra.
- Okra also has high levels of oxalate, while the most common form of kidney stones is calcium oxalate. According to Natinal Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases (NIDDK), foods rich in oxalate increase the risk of developing kidney stones in people who have had it.
- Okra contains solanine that is associated with joint pain, arthritis and prolonged inflammation in a small proportion of people sensitive to this ingredient. Solanine is also present in potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, strawberries and artichokes.
- Okra is rich in vitamin K. Eating more foods with high levels of vitamin K is counterproductive for patients taking anticoagulants such as warfarin- a drug that prevents thrombotic clotting that blocks blood flow to the heart or brain. Vitamin K is also known to cause thrombosis.
The above is the basic information about okra. Now is the time to learn about the benefits of okra to the body. Please take a look at TrueRemedies.com!
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Top 11 Nutritional Quality And Health Benefits Of Okra
1. Health Benefits Of Okra – Enhance Your Vision
Enhancing your vision is the first benefit in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra. Vision is the ability to receive and interpret information from light into the eye. Vision is the foremost sense in the five senses of human. Thanks to the eyes, people can easily see the beauty of nature, walk, think and create. The poets often compare the eyes to the window of the soul. If vision is lost, all basic human activities will be delayed. Scientists have conducted a number of studies to understand how human eyes can make accurate impressions of the size, shape, location, depth, and color of an object. As a result, they were so impressed by the marvelous properties of human vision. Vision is an invaluable gift that our Creator gives us.
Unfortunately, the eye is also a very vulnerable organ. Only a few small agents can cause eye damage, reducing vision. Some common eye diseases are cataracts, retinal cancers, eye infections, macular degeneration, eye allergies, and myopia. Currently, the proportion of people with visual impairment and eye diseases is tending to increase markedly. Therefore, you need to raise awareness of yourself and those around you about the importance of the eyes, and ways to protect your eyes and enhance your vision. One of these ways is to eat okra regularly.
As you know, okra contains lots of vitamin A and vitamin C. These are two vitamins which are very good for the eyes. They help protect the eyes and repel eye diseases:
- Vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins of the body. It exists in many forms and it is believed to have been discovered in 1816 through scientific research. In addition to keeping other parts of the body healthy, vitamin A is also an important vitamin for vision. This vitamin helps the eyes become healthier and work better in unfavorable environments such as lacking of light. If you do not get enough vitamin A, your eyes will be very dry and tired. If this condition persists, vision loss and blindness may occur.
- Vitamin C protects the eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light and helps the cells resist the effects of oxidation. In particular, this vitamin has been shown to prevent and delay the development of cataracts, limiting conjunctival hemorrhage and bleeding in the eyeball.
Therefore, eat okra regularly to enhance your vision.
2. Health Benefits Of Okra – Lower Blood Fat Levels
This is one of little – known benefit in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra. High blood fat levels are disorders of the lipid metabolism. This is a condition in which blood fat levels (including total cholesterol, LDL – bad cholesterol and triglycerides) increase, and good cholesterol levels decrease. High blood fat levels will facilitate the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in the blood vessel wall, resulting in vascular stenosis, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and ischemia . In some serious cases, the plaque ruptures, leaving the blood vessels clogged. This condition can cause some serious consequences like myocardial infarction and disability. If not treated promptly, this condition can also cause death. Some of the main causes of high blood fat levels are overweight, obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, and high fat diets. In addition, high blood fat is also a complication of diseases such as diabetes, nephrotic syndrome, hyperuricemia, hypopituitarism, and liver disease. Whatever the cause is, the prevention or treatment of the disease still needs to be done soon.
According to research by scientists, okra has the ability to control blood fat levels. This is because okra's nutrients help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. The pectin in okra acts as a substance that reduces LDL cholesterol. In addition, okra has low calorie content and it is a good source of soluble fiber. These are all things that you need to prevent or treat high blood fat levels. Therefore, let’s regularly add okra to your family's menu.
3. Health Benefits Of Okra – Treat Constipation
Constipation is a disease that directly affects a person's life, from living to working. Constipation is not a disease, but just a symptom of digestive disorder. If this condition persists, it can lead to hemorrhoids. Constipation may be the initial symptom of a certain physical condition at the gastrointestinal tract such as hypercalcaemia or cramping. In addition, constipation can also be caused by a number of reasons: low fiber diets, low frequency of exercise, pressure, the use of certain drugs (antidepressants, antihypertensive medications, stomach medications, etc.), insomnia, cigarette smoking, and excessive drinking coffee and tea. Regardless of the cause, this condition needs to be treated early so that patients can balance their lives.
Okra is capable of supporting the treatment of constipation because it contains a lot of soluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B1:
- Okra is high in fiber (the amount of fiber in 100 grams of okra is equal to 10% of your daily fiber intake). Therefore, okra will assist the digestive system to work better. Fiber helps to remove waste from the body quickly and effectively by adding a bowel stimulant to the stool. This reduces the contact of the intestinal wall with potentially harmful substances. The presence of fiber in the gastrointestinal tract also helps the food to be mixed with water, so the digestive system works more efficiently and the feces are quickly removed from the body.
- Vitamin A in okra helps the mucous membranes in the colon to function well, so the constipation will gradually improve.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so it can be absorbed into your digestive tract. It puts water into the intestines, helping to soften your stool.
- Vitamin B1 or thiamine helps the digestive system to function better. When the thiamine level is low, the digestive system becomes ineffective. This causes constipation.
Therefore, to prevent or support the treatment of constipation, do not forget to add okra to your meals.
4. Health Benefits Of Okra – Prevent Birth Defects In The Fetus
The next one in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra is preventing birth defects in the fetus. Birth defects in the fetus occur when a child develops in the uterus. Approximately one in three US-born babies is born with this condition. It affects the appearance and the function of the internal organs or brain development of the newborn. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, when fetal organs are forming. Some birth defects are not harmful but others require long-term treatment. Severe birth defects can cause death, accounting for 20 percent of all child deaths in the United States. At present, more than 4,000 types of birth defects are known. In particular, they are classified based on structure or function as well as physical development.
Birth defects in the fetus are what no one expected. The health of the fetus depends a lot on the condition of the mother before and during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women must pay attention to the addition of essential nutrients for their body. There are many causes for this condition. Here are some of the main reasons:
- Stress for a long time
- Cigarette smoke
- Abuse of alcohol
- Take medicine without consulting your doctor
- Get pregnant when you are sick
Ultrasound can be used to diagnose certain birth defects in the fetus. More intensive screening methods such as blood tests and amniocentesis may also be used. Treatment of this condition is not simple. Therefore, it is best to take measures to prevent it.
Okra is rich in folic acid that is essential for many body functions. Folic acid is a vitamin B that is commonly found in foods such as okra, peas, lentils, oranges, pasta, liver, asparagus, radishes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. The effect of folic acid is to help your body produce and maintain new cells and also help prevent changes in DNA. Folic acid is used as a medication for the treatment of folic acid deficiency and for certain types of anemia (deficiency of red blood cells). It is sometimes used in combination with other drugs to treat malignant anemia. In particular, for pregnant women, folic acid is important because it helps prevent neural tube defects and other birth defects in the fetus. It is one of the B vitamins needed in the production of new cells in the body, especially red blood cells. If given enough folic acid, the organs of the fetus will develop normally. Therefore, besides taking folic acid for your body through medication, you should also eat okra regularly.
5. Health Benefits Of Okra – Enhance Male Physiology
The next benefit in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra is enhancing male physiology. Physiologic weakness in men is one of the most common diseases. It is a condition in which men experience many difficulties during sexual intercourse. Men may experience conditions such as premature ejaculation, ejaculation disorder, erectile dysfunction, or impotence. Some of the main causes of this condition are:
- Age: Physiologic weakness is usually caused by a decrease in testosterone levels with the common symptoms of premature ejaculation. This usually occurs in men over the age of 40. However, with the lifestyle of modern life, many men encounter this condition when they are under 40 years old.
- Complications of the disease: Complications of some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure can cause men to face physiologic weaknesses. Even so, many people suffer from this condition because of their innate ability.
- Side effects of certain medications: Side effects of certain medications, such as antidepressants, can also cause symptoms of physiologic weakness.
- Effects of stimulants such as alcohol, beer, and cigarettes.
Physiologic weakness in men causes a lot of negative impact on their lives. Therefore, prevention or treatment of this condition is always concerned by many people. Recent studies have shown that soybeans contain complex glucose, polysaccharides and other nutrients, which help boost blood flow to the genitals.
Recent research has shown that okra contains a complex of glucose, polysaccharide and other nutrients, which boosts blood flow to the genital area. Dr. Kantha Shelke of the Institute of Food Technology in California also conducted numerous studies and concluded that okra is capable of enhancing male physiology. Therefore, Americans often call okra “Viagra” and the Japanese often call it “green ginseng”.
6. Health Benefits Of Okra – Prevent Cancer
This sounds strange when it comes to this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra, but it is true. Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases. It is a disease of the cell. The cause of cancer is the failure of DNA, making mutations in the essential genes. One or more mutations will accumulate and cause uncontrolled proliferation, forming tumors. The causes of cancer that most people would not expect are:
- High sugar consumption: This can be one of the causes of breast cancer. A study has shown that excess sugar causes inflammation, which increases cancerous tumors in the body.
- Hot drinks: can lead to abnormal changes in the throat and esophagus, causing cancer.
- Processed meats: Consuming too much processed meats can lead to colon cancer in some people.
- Drink too much alcohol: Alcohol also causes cancer because it can kill healthy gut bacteria.
- Oral sex: HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. This virus is usually spread by oral sex. It can cause cancer of the mouth, throat or neck.
- Vitamin supplements: These drugs can stimulate the growth of cancer cells in the body if you drink too much. Therefore, you should check the health after using the first dose.
- Lipstick: Some types of lipstick contain toxic chemicals that cause cancer when the users accidentally swallow them.
Cancer can cause many different symptoms depending on the location, characteristics and the ability of the tumor to spread. If left untreated, most cancers can be fatal. Therefore, to protect your health, you need to eat healthy and regularly check your health to take reasonable precautions.
Due to its antioxidant properties, okra can provide vital support to cells, helping them fight free radicals – which can lead to cancer. An antioxidant is a chemical that helps prevent or slow down other chemical oxidation. Oxidation is the chemical reaction in which the electron is converted to an oxidant. Oxidants are capable of generating free radicals that produce chain reactions to destroy healthy cells. Therefore, antioxidants play a very important role in our health. Let’s eat okra regularly to get this wonderful substance.
7. Health Benefits Of Okra – Detoxify Kidneys
The kidneys are an organ in the urinary system. They perform the following important functions:
- Hemodialysis: Only protein and blood cells are retained in the blood while other wastes are excreted into the filtrate to form urine .
- Control extracellular mass: Kidneys play an important role in controlling the extracellular mass in the body by producing more or less urine. When drinking plenty of water, the amount of urine increases and vice versa.
- Regulate blood-soluble substances: kidneys help regulate the concentration of ions in the blood.
- Regulate the pH of the extracellular fluid.
- Regulate the synthesis of blood cells.
- Synthesize vitamin D: the kidneys play an important role in controlling the level of calcium ions in the blood through the regulation of vitamin D synthesis.
Some common habits that cause kidney damage are:
- Abuse of painkillers: The abuse of painkillers, such as indomethacin, acetaminophen and aspirin, will greatly damage the kidneys.
- Drink too much soda and carbonated water: The normal pH level of the human body is 7.2 while soda and carbonated water have high acidity. As a result, the pH level of the body changes dramatically after you drink these drinks. The kidneys are the main organ for regulating the pH of the body. Consequently, these drinks cause a lot of burden on the kidneys, making the kidneys very vulnerable.
- Eat too many sweet breads: There is a kind of food additive called potassium bromate in bread and cakes that make the cake more tender and tasty. However, eating too much of this substance can cause damage to the central nervous system, blood and kidneys.
- Abuse of salt: A salty diet can lead to high blood pressure. Blood in the kidneys cannot maintain normal circulation, so the kidneys are very vulnerable.
If the kidneys are damaged, all other organs in the body will be affected. Therefore, do not neglect the measures to help protect the kidneys. One of these measures is to eat okra regularly. With diuretic effect, okra helps to detoxify the kidneys and promote the kidneys to efficiently discharge excess water. It is also a great “weapon” to help you get rid of kidney stones.
8. Health Benefits Of Okra – Boost The Immune System
The next one in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra is boosting the immune system. The immune system is the system of structural and biological processes in one body. It protects the body by destructing strange antigens and killing strange organisms and abnormal cells. This is a very complex network of cells, tissues and organs that protect the human body from invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, as well as cellular disorders. In other words, the immune system is the plate that protects people from disease. Therefore, boosting the immune system is what you need to stay healthy. There are several factors that negatively affect the immune system:
- Nutrition is the foundation for having a proper immune response. An under-nutrition diet leads to immune deficiency due to lack of T lymphocytes.
- Do not exercise regularly.
- Injuries, especially burns and head injuries.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Cigarette smoke.
- The use of sedatives, steroid drugs, and some antibiotics for a long time.
- Some chronic diseases.
To protect the body from diseases, we need to take measures to boost the immune system. One of these measures is to add okra regularly to your meals. The fiber in okra helps to “nourish” healthy bacteria which are essential for our intestinal tract. This helps build the body's immunity, helping the body fight the virus and infection very effectively.
9. Health Benefits Of Okra – Support Diabetes Treatment
No wonder, this is definitely one that should be mentioned in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism in the body because the pancreas cannot produce insulin. If the insulin is produced but they do not work properly, you will also have diabetes. Insulin is a hormone which transports blood sugar to the cells . Without this hormone, the sugar is not transported to the cells so they are excreted in the urine. There are 3 main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. It is often caused by genetic factors. People under 30 years of age are more likely to get this type of diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: This type is usually caused by overweight, obesity and not exercising regularly. People over 40 are more likely to get this type of diabetes.
- Diabetes in pregnancy: This condition usually occurs in pregnant women from 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If not treated promptly, it will affect both mother and fetus.
Currently, more and more people are suffering from diabetes. This is mainly due to their lack of understanding of this disease. In order to prevent or support diabetes treatment, it is essential to set up a proper diet.Do not forget to add okra to your menu.Fiber content in okra is responsible for reducing the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to absorb sugar. Many studies have shown that soluble fiber causes the starch to stay long in the intestine. This causes the blood sugar levels not to rise dramatically.Starch slows down the digestive process so it creates a feeling of fullness, contributing to reducing the need for sugar of the body.Therefore, this food is very friendly to people with diabetes.
10. Health Benefits Of Okra – Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bone continues to thin and the density of bone in the body decreases gradually.This makes the bones very easy to break. Common signs of osteoporosis are weight loss and back pain. Osteoporosis is the main cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly.Osteoporosis is a silent disease that is only detected until the bone is broken. Many people think that osteoporosis is a natural and unavoidable part of old age. However, health professionals now believe that osteoporosis can be prevented. In addition, people who have osteoporosis can still take steps to prevent or slow the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of fractures in the future.
Bones need calcium and phosphate to form. If the body does not get enough calcium from the diet, the formation of bone and bone tissue may be affected.The main causes of osteoporosis include aging, estrogen depletion in postmenopausal women, and testosterone depletion in men.The bones are a constantly renewed organ, the new bone is constantly forming and the old bone is broken. Therefore, a diet full of nutrients is essential for the development of bone. Okra has long been known as a very good food for bones. Thanks to vitamin K and folate, okra is also considered to help prevent osteoporosisand fractures:
- While the role of vitamin K in blood coagulation is well known, current studies have shown vitamin K is also important for bone health.Clinical studies have shown that vitamin K deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, especially in people over 40 years of age.
- Folate is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B9. It helps increase bone density and strengthen bones.
Therefore, do not skip okra if you want to have healthy skeletal system.
11. Support For Treatment Of Asthma
Supporting for the treatment of asthma is the last one in this list of nutritional quality and health benefits of okra. Asthma is a common chronic disease. It affects about 26 million people in the United States. This is the most common chronic illness in children, affecting about 7 million children. Asthma is a disease of the respiratory tract. It is characterized by sudden onset of dyspnea with a trigger factor. Factors which cause asthma are allergenic stimulants such as odor, animal hair, insects, physical activity, etc. We cannot completely cure asthma. Current therapies are only aimed at controlling asthma with two main goals: to reduce the number of recurrences and to prevent the disease from becoming worse.
Nutrition experts advise that during the treatment of asthma, you should regularly eat okra. Okra contains a lot of vitamin C. This vitamin has the potential to improve respiratory problems such as asthma. Clinically, asthma patients have a higher need for vitamin C than others in the community. Since 1973, researchers have conducted 11 clinical studies of the role of vitamin C in asthma. Seven of them demonstrated that vitamin C significantly improved respiratory parameters and asthma symptoms. For that reason, okra is a good food for patients with asthma.
Above are the health benefits of okra for our health. You may still feel surprised, but to make the above conclusions, we have based on the results of many studies. So please do not ignore this nutritious food. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “Top11 nutritional quality, beauty and health benefits of okra” introduced in Superfoods Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.