Okra – also know as lady fingers, bamia and bhindi – is a nutrition packed flowery plant, favoured for it’s seed pods, but it’s flown relatively under the radar when it comes to all it’s good for.
Although it’s origins aren’t clear it’s rich content of vitamins and minerals is. It’s not only loaded with the likes of calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium, but also vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K – not to mention it’s high levels of fibre!
So we think it’s about time to shine some light on this underrated green veggie and inform you on all it can do for your body.
If you want to reduce wrinkles, fade scars and get rid of acne then anti-ageing okra is your man! The vitamins and anti-oxidants it contains protects skin against free radicals and triggers faster healing.
Literally, look out! Here comes okra. The vitamin A and antioxidant components like beta carotenes, xanthene and lutein in this vegetable add protection to eyesight and can lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
If you’ve ever had a cold or flu – lets face it who hasn’t – you’ve probably reached for the orange juice or vitamin C tablets. Okra contains high levels of this vitamin which boosts immunity and helps the body fight some immune bashing diseases.
Okra plant contains a lot of soluble fibre which helps lower cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is linked to cardiovascular disease, drinking okra water on a regular basis can help protect your heart.
In addition to that it relaxes blood vessels and arteries and lowers blood pressure.
The same soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol also eases bowel movements and gas. Okra is rich in mucilage, which is a thick, gooey substance – sounds a little unpleasant we know – that lubricates the entire digestive system. So drinking or eating it can ensure regular and smooth bowel movements.
Ironically okra can also help diarrhea by adding bulk to watery stools.
Okra possesses some anti-diabetic properties and can help regulate blood sugar levels. But note that just because it can even out these rollercoaster levels it is by no means a cure for diabetes.
1. Wash 4 or 5 medium-sized okra pods.
2. Snip both ends off the pods and split the pods in half or pierce each side of with a knife.
3. Place the pods in a large jar and then cover them with water.
4. Soak the pods overnight for at least eight hours and up to 24 hours.
5. In the morning, squeeze the pods into the water to release any leftover sap.
6. Throw the pods away and drink the water.