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Many people have never heard of okra, so this vegetable is often overlooked, but it is actually quite impressive.
Okra is a vegetable that is native to Africa and has some impressive health benefits. Okra is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium and there are many other reasons to include this green vegetable in your daily diet.
Okra, also known as ladyfingers in various countries across the world, is an edible seed pod that has been cultivated in Africa since ancient times. It was first brought to the Americas by African slaves and became popular during slavery because it could be grown easily on plantations without much attention from owners or overseers. Even though okra pods look like green vegetables, they are classified as fruit and are especially well known for their antioxidants and several vitamins which have proven to be beneficial in curing cancer as well. Interestingly, this vegetable is nicknamed ladyfinger for its physical attributes which include the slender style and the long pods. Scroll down to know more amazing facts about this nutrient-rich green vegetable.
Okra is frequently grown in warmer places of the world such as in Southern Asia and Africa. Okra isn't among the most popular vegetables of all the world but it is a vegetable that is laden with nutrients offering various health benefits.
Studies have shown that eating cooked okra can lead to better treatment and management of diabetes.
At the same time, eating an okra pod can also help in the reduction of cholesterol levels.
Several studies advocate for the consumption of okra during weight loss.
It helps lower blood sugar levels and provides essential vitamins to the body as well.
Green vegetables like okra contain considerable amounts of fiber, which has proven to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and helps in the improvement of the health of the colon.
It has also been proven that eating okra pods can lead to cell repair after damage from oxidative stress.
Thus, it also prevents disease formation and reduces inflammation.
If you eat cooked okra you will be improving your bone metabolism.
One can also protect themselves from blood clotting owing to the Vitamin K present in okra pods.
Okra can prove to be highly beneficial when suffering from immune deficiencies or scurvy, owing to its high vitamin K and vitamin C content.
Since okra helps in improving and increasing immunity, it is recommended to kids and teenagers.
Okra contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant which is known to improve brain health and protect it from inflammation.
Most importantly, several pieces of research have shown that eating cooked okra can prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body of a human owing to the lectin content in okra. However, it is not proven yet.
Pregnant women often eat okra as it helps them minimize the risk of neural tube defect which can harm the fetus.
This mallow family plant is beneficial in maintaining the digestive system of a person.
It also helps in the prevention of constipation.
Okra is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious vegetables, it has an impressive nutrient-rich profile providing a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Unsurprisingly, the nutrient content differs on the basis of whether okra is eaten raw or cooked. Let's take a closer look at the nutrient content of okra pods.
There are around 33 calories in 3.52 oz (100 g) of raw okra along with 0.24 oz (7 g) of carbs and absolutely no fat.
Upon consumption of 3.52 oz (100 g) of raw okra, one intakes around 0.07 oz (2 g) of protein and 0.10 oz (3 g) of dietary fiber.
Raw okra pods also contain various kinds of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.
Consuming 3.52 oz (100 g) of raw okra pods would lead to an intake of 0.0011 oz (31.3 mg) of vitamin K and 0.00081 oz (23 mg) of vitamin C.
It also has some small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin B6.
Okra pods are also rich in sodium and potassium.
3.52 oz (100 g) of raw okra pods provide around 0.01 oz (299 mg) of potassium and 0.00024 oz (7 mg) of sodium.
Okra pods also contain small amounts of copper, niacin, iron, and phosphorus.
However, despite such rich nutritional content, okra pods can be harmful too. Excess okra consumption can lead to kidney stones and gastrointestinal issues. This might happen due to the presence of oxalates and fructans in okra pods.
Okra is a perennial plant that can usually be found in parts of the world that have a tropical climate. In the warm parts of the world such as Southern Asia and Africa, the okra plant is well known for its pods which contain white-colored seeds.
One of the most striking features of okra plants is that they can even grow in soils that have a large amount of clay and can tolerate drought-like conditions as well.
The okra seeds seem to germinate best when planted in soil that has a temperature of around 68 F (20 C).
The process of germination usually takes a time period ranging from six days to three weeks.
Under ideal conditions, the pH level of the soil should be in the range of 5.8-7.
At the same time, these okra plants require a considerable amount of sunlight to grow.
Did you know, the okra plant is closely related to hibiscus, cocoa, and cotton species of plants?
The flowers of an okra plant resemble a hibiscus plant.
Okra first originated in the Abyssinian center which encompasses the areas of Ethiopia, Eritrea and parts of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
Okra is now popular in South America, Africa, the Southern United States, India, and the Middle East.
There are multiple ways of preparing okra, you can eat it roasted or fried or various other ways. Let's take a look at some of the common ways you can prepare okra.
Did you know, if you roast okra along with garlic and olive oil, the resultant dish is one of the healthiest and tastiest okra preparations?
Sauteed okra is another common recipe.
Okra sauteed along with garlic and onion is widely eaten in various parts of the world.
One of the tastiest okra recipes is fried okra.
This delicacy can be cooked in less than 25 minutes using only vegetable oil, cornmeal, okra, and flour.
What is okra known for?
Okra is one of the most health-benefiting vegetables and is well known for its edible pod seeds and the nutritional value they provide.
Why is okra not good?
At times it has been observed that okra consumption has led to gas, diarrhea, and formation of kidney stones, primarily due to the presence of fructans and oxalates in the vegetable.
Where does okra originally come from?
The origin of okra traces back to the regions of Eritrea, Ethiopia.
Where is okra popular?
Okra is quite popular in multiple continents and in various countries including the likes of Turkey, Greece, India, parts of Eastern Asia, the southern U.S., and South America.
What is the okra plant used for?
The okra plant provides pods which are a common vegetable ingredient in various parts of the world. These pods have several health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels, improving bone metabolism, controlling blood sugar levels, and prohibiting the growth of cancer cells in the body along with various other benefits. However, these are not medically proven.
Why is okra called ladyfingers?
It is the physical characteristics of an okra pod that have led to it being called ladyfingers. The elegant shape and the long, slender look are responsible for okra being known as ladyfingers.
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