Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a flowering plant and is also known as ladies’ fingers. Okra is highly valued for its mucilaginous nature and its medicinal seed pods.
The health benefits of okra include; improves digestive health, improves immunity, improves cardiovascular health, and balances cholesterol levels.
Okra Nutritional Facts
|Amount Per Serving (Serving Size Of 100g)|
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.2g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 7g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g
Vitamin A 14%
Vitamin C 38%
Below are various health benefits of okra;
1. Diabetes Control
Okra is used to help control blood sugar levels. This is particularly true for type 2 diabetes according to research carried out. Okra helps improve blood glucose in your body. For this health benefit, it is recommended to take okra juice. This can be prepared at home. Cut the ends of two okra pods and place them in a glass of water overnight. Leave the glass covered. Okra has a sticky liquid that will mix with the water. In the morning, your okra juice will be ready to take. The ingestion in your intestines is easier as compared to when prepared in soups. Use two okra pods so as to get sufficient sticky liquid for the okra juice.
2. Asthma Prevention And Control
Okra contains antioxidants such as vitamin C. This helps with the prevention of asthma as a deficiency in vitamin C could cause an imbalance that favors chronic inflammation and damage to the lungs. For the people who ail from asthma, okra could help prevent any serious attacks. Kindly note, however, okra is a supplement to any asthma medication you have. Your doctor’s counsel should be followed. Low content of vitamin C could trigger asthma hence including okra in the diet helps with providing vitamin C in the diet.
3. Prevents Obesity
Obesity is among today’s lifestyle diseases. People consume unhealthy diets and hence become obese. Okra is healthy in its nutrition and hence will help one stay healthy and in shape. Diabetics at times struggle with obesity, thus, okra is ideal to address both situations.
4. Cholesterol Control
Lady’s finger (okra) helps control the amount of cholesterol accumulated in one’s body. Including okra often in your diet would help you remain healthy and with minimal cholesterol in your body. When cholesterol levels in your body are high, they may affect blood flow. The cholesterol can be deposited in blood vessels hence making blood flow difficult. Consequently, this may result in heart attacks or heart strains as the heart works harder to pump blood through your body.
5. Beneficial During Pregnancy
Every mother’s desire is a pregnancy of minimal complications. Okra has folates that help with the fetal development. The mother and baby benefit from okra in the diet. The fetus particularly benefits with respect to neural tubes formation. Okra also helps with relieving stress and has a calming effect on the nerves. This helps keep the mother calm during the pregnancy.
6. Good Vision
Vitamin A is important for good vision. Okra has vitamin A and antioxidants like carotenes that help maintain good vision. During old age, cells degenerate and one may suffer poor vision. The inclusion of okra in one’s diet is highly beneficial. Okra also reduces the risk of suffering from cataracts in old age.
7. Improved Immunity
Our bodies immunity is always put to the test especially if you maintain a poor diet. Okra has vitamin C and minerals too that help boost the immune system. These minerals include magnesium, calcium manganese and iron. Healthy diets always guarantee better immunity and okra is certain to provide improved immunity.
8. Protection Against Anemia
Anemia is caused by the lack of iron in the body. Okra has iron which helps in the production of red blood cells and the formation of hemoglobin. Okra also has copper mineral and vitamin K that help prevent anemia. Moreover, okra helps in blood coagulation. Also, okra has vitamin K that helps with the clotting of blood.
9. Helps With Kidney Health
Diabetics often suffer with regards to kidney health. As lady’s finger helps diabetics with their glucose levels, it also plays in helping them keep their kidneys healthy.
10. Weight Loss
Previously mentioned was the benefit of okra for obesity control. Consequently, okra helps with weight loss. Okra has fiber hence resulting in a longer fill. Also, okra has low calories and has minerals and vitamins as well. It is highly beneficial if used for weight loss. When you take okra, you will not feel hungry until after a long while. You, therefore, can remain functional over a long period of time without over-eating.
11. Cancer Prevention
Okra has high-fiber content. This results in a thorough cleaning of the colon. With this, you reduce your risk of having colon cancer. Okra also has antioxidants that help protect you from harmful free radicals in the body that could act as contributory factors to the formation of cancer cells. The improvement of one’s immunity also facilitates the reduced risk of colon cancer. In women, okra helps fight breast cancer.
12 High Fiber Content
Foods that are rich in fiber content aid in digestion. Moreover, the fiber content helps with clearing the intestines of any wastes. Consequently, one is safe from constipation. The fiber also aids in bowel movement as well eases digestion. The high soluble fiber content in okra also has a benefit to the skin. When you have proper digestion, it is evident through a healthy skin.
13. Combat Depression
Depression can be addressed through the diet, not just counseling. Okra contains minerals that help with improving one’s mood. Lady’s finger contains magnesium that helps calm your nerves. Also, it helps combat fatigue, weakness as well as depression. A healthy diet means healthy moods and okra does that for you.
14. Sore Throat Reduction
When you have a sore throat, it can be a sign of a cold or flu coming. Sore throats make eating or drinking a difficult since it is painful when anything passes through your throat. Okra has an antibacterial effect that helps reduce a sore throat. Just like the water for diabetes, drink the same for your sore throat. Cut the okra pods at the ends and place it inside a glass of water overnight. Cover the glass of water and the sticky liquid in okra will have mixed well with the water in the morning. Drink the okra water and your sore throat should reduce. If you get to see your physician, it is recommendable that you follow their advice on medication. Mention your self-medication as well so that you can get the best medication on the same.
15. Treats Acne And Pimples
Okra is beneficial for a healthy and youthful skin. Acne affects a majority of the population and lady finger has mucilage that can be applied on the area of the skin with acne. Pimples are caused by skin inflammation. Applying mucilage on the affected area helps reduce inflammation and make the skin smooth and healthy. Acne can also be caused by stress hence one has breakouts on their skin. Okra has magnesium as a mineral that helps combat stress and helps you remain in good moods. You get to combat weakness and fatigue too courtesy of the magnesium.
16. Prevents Constipation
Okra can be termed as a natural laxative. It helps reduce, prevent and relieve constipation. Okra aids in the absorption of water by the body via the intestines. Also, okra has mucilage that is soothing and with its fiber content, bowel movement is not strained. Consequently, the high mucilage and fiber help prevent bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or cramping. The roughage aids in preventing constipation.
17. Aids Digestion
Okra has high fiber content hence aids in healthy digestion. The fiber is highly soluble and also helps increase sugar levels in your blood. This makes it ideal for digestion.
18. Source Of Protein
For the vegans, okra is an ideal source for plant protein. Okra seeds contain protein which has amino acids that are important for the body. The protein is ideal for both vegans and non-vegans. Plant protein is actually as beneficial as animal protein.
19. Healthy Skin
Lady’s finger has mucilage that can be applied on the skin similar to Aloe Vera. It is a great moisturizer. Okra has vitamin A which is beneficial to the skin as well. You attain a healthy skin that is free of wrinkles. Okra also has vitamin C as well that helps prevent skin pigmentation as it does tissue repair. This results in your skin looking younger and vibrant. With the mucilage, lady finger can be used as a detox for the skin.
20. Maintaining Strong Bones
Strong bones are important and are maintained with minerals such as calcium that okra has. Calcium helps the bone structure to remain dense. Okra also has vitamin K that is mainly used to aid in blood clotting. Furthermore, it helps with bone cell regeneration. It also prevents osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition whereby one has weak and brittle bones.
21. Treatment Of Ulcers
Ulcers are basically painful sores in the stomach lining or digestive tract. Okra has the sticky liquid that is alkaline in nature which helps soothe ulcerative symptoms. Okra also has a gastroprotective effect and can reduce gastric ulcer. When ingested, the digestive tract is lined by the sticky liquid. Consequently, the okra neutralizes the acidity of ulcers. Also, the magnesium mineral in lady’s finger helps reduce depression. Depression can also lead to stress and having ulcers. Okra, therefore, aids to inhibit ulcers via various means.
22. Healthy Blood Vessels
Okra has flavonoids, which are beneficial to blood vessels. Other than the flavonoids, lady’s finger helps reduce cholesterol by not allowing cholesterol stick on capillary walls and turning to a plaque. The reduction in cholesterol prevents one from suffering from atherosclerosis.
23. Healthy Hair
Okra can be used for hair care as well. It helps keep your hair healthy. Boil okra in water and use the water to wash your hair. The mucilage helps rejuvenate the look in your hair resulting in having shiny hair. You can also use it for hair conditioning. Use the same boiled water but this time massage your hair using the mucilage. In case of a dry scalp, okra is an ideal moisturizer. Rub it on your scalp and massage for maximum benefits. This scalp massage helps keep dandruff away. The benefits derived are comparable to other hair cosmetic products. Okra is kind to your hair, scalp, and skin as it is natural.
24. Detoxifies The Liver
Okra helps in liver detoxification courtesy of the fiber contents. Furthermore, the mucilage nature of okra binds both cholesterol and bile juice hence cleansing the liver. Okra also has antioxidants, especially glutathione, that helps in liver detoxification.
25. Blood Pressure Reduction
Among the minerals present in okra is potassium which is important to balance sodium in the blood. Also, blood vessels are relaxed courtesy of potassium. This, hence, results in reduced blood pressure. Furthermore, the blood vessels relaxing reduces the chances of vasoconstriction or vasodilation of the blood vessels. Chances of blood clots are also significantly reduced.
26. Prevents Neurodegenerative Disorders
Just like in the fetal development during pregnancy, okra helps with brain formation in the fetus. In adults, it reduces the chances of suffering from ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Oxidative stress can result in damage in your brain. Okra helps reduce such damage and the chances of further ailment. This is a benefit that is helpful also for people who suffer from depression or are ailing from ulcers. These three benefits help reduce stress in general.
27. Helps Control Involuntary Semen Discharge (Spermatorrhea)
In some males, they suffer from an involuntary discharge of semen. Research carried out has suggested that okra can help curb the semen being discharged involuntarily. In some men, premature ejaculation causes them to suffer low self-esteem. This is, however, close to but is not premature ejaculation.
28. Rich In Antioxidants
Lady’s finger has lots of antioxidants that help with the various aforementioned benefits. The antioxidants help with heart disease, digestion, cholesterol reduction amongst a myriad of other benefits mentioned above. With regards to heart disease, you improve your heart condition with okra in your diet. With regards to cholesterol reduction, lady’s finger reduces the cholesterol levels in the body. Your blood flow is also well catered for. With regards to digestion, okra has high fiber and antioxidant content hence your digestion is free of numerous mishaps. Your bowel movement is smooth and it prevents constipation as well.
29. Cold And Flu Remedy
Okra can be used as a remedy for sore throats. A sore throat is a sign of a possible cold or flu. Okra can as well be used as a remedy for cold and flu courtesy of its antioxidants. In the case of severe colds that lead to bronchitis or pneumonia, it can be used as an adjunct remedy. However, ensure you consult your doctor for appropriate advice.
30. Treatment Of Lung Inflammation
Okra contains antioxidants that help with preventing inflamed lungs. With inflamed lungs, breathing becomes a challenge but lady’s finger helps to address this.
31. Maintaining A Healthy Heart
Okra helps with cholesterol reduction in the body. A body with high cholesterol may result in a heart disease. Okra contains potassium which helps the heart in running its function — pumping blood. At the same time, it helps keep the capillaries and blood vessels healthy. The blood pumped through your body, with potassium and sodium levels in check, results in a healthy body. In case you are taking other medications that affect your blood, such as blood thinners, it is not recommended to take okra.
32 Protection From Heat Strokes
During the summer, people suffer from sun strokes. Having okra will keep you healthy even through summer. Your body remains healthy as you will not suffer from exhaustion, weakness or fatigue. You remain well rejuvenated all through. You can apply the mucilage from okra to your skin as a moisturizer during summer to prevent sunburns. Include okra in your diet over a long period of time so that you can get to see the benefits with time.
33. Healthy Bacteria (Probiotics)
Okra possesses healthy bacteria to the gut. These bacteria, called probiotics, are infused into the intestines through biosynthesis of vitamin B. These probiotics help with digestion in the small intestines. Such bacteria, in conjunction with vitamin B, help in supporting normal metabolism in the body.
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