The 10 Health Benefits of Lady Finger (Okra)

Okra, also known as the ‘Lady Finger’ or ‘Gumbo’, is a highly nutritious green edible pod vegetable. It is low in calories with plenty of vitamins, Thiamin, B6, and C, folic acid, Riboflavin, Calcium, Zinc and dietary fiber.

In India, it is called bhindi and is very popular in the kitchen. Besides being the most popular vegetable among kids, okra is a nutritional feast too.

This green vegetable is packed with lots of beneficial nutrients and is tender in texture and mucilaginous in touch. Okra is also packed with some of the most important vitamins and minerals necessary for the body.

Lady finger contains high amount of fiber including both soluble and insoluble ones. And since it has many nutritional benefits it is used in many therapeutic recipes.

So, whether consumed cooked or raw, okra benefits one in numerous ways. Okra facilitates the propagation of good bacteria referred to as probiotics.

Protein and oil contained in the seeds of lady finger make it a source of first rate vegetable protein. It is enriched with amino acids the like tryptophan, cystine and other sulfur amino acids.

Nutritional Facts (Per 100 grams of Okra):

  • 33 kilo calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 7.05 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.1 grams fat
  • 9 grams fiber

This vegetable’s high fiber content makes it very beneficial for the body. Okra is also packed with some of the most important vitamins and minerals necessary for the body.

Vitamins present in this green vegetable include vitamin K, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E and vitamin K. minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc are also present.

It is fat free, cholesterol free, starch free and contains a negligible amount of sugar which makes it an ideal diet food.

Health Benefits of Okra

Health Benefits of Lady Finger:

1. Helps Control Diabetes: Okra helps stabilize blood sugar levels by regulating the rate of absorption of sugar from the digestive tract with the help of the high fibers present in this vegetable. It has number of health benefits.

Its high fiber content makes it a wonderful vegetable for diabetes. It enhances the production of insulin and thereby helps in the regeneration of beta cells of the pancreas to increase insulin production.


2. Good for the Heart: Okra contains pectin which is a soluble fiber and has the ability to lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart diseases.

Risk of blocking of arteries can also be reduced by regular consumption of lady finger as it has polyphenols which is an antioxidant that is good for the heart.


3. Helps Lose Weight: This green vegetable is extremely low in calories with only 33 kilo calories per 100 grams, making it an ideal food for those who want to shed extra kilos.

Okra is an ideal vegetable for weight loss. It provides numerous health benefits if cooked over low flame. This also ensures that the invaluable mucilage contained in it is not lost to high heat.


4. Good for the Brain: Folate and vitamin B 9 are two of the most important vitamins essential for good functioning of the brain. Lady’s finger is packed with these nutrients.


5. Boosts Immunity: Okra has high amounts of vitamin C which almost meets our daily requirement of the vitamin. Vitamin C helps boost your weak immune system and builds resistance against many infections and diseases.


6. Reduces Risk of Cancer: it has a higher concentration of antioxidants which prevent the damage of cells from free radicals and also reduces the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Its high fiber content also lowers the risk of colorectal cancer as well.


7. Gastrointestinal Health: Lady finger is an excellent laxative and helps treat irritable bowels, ulcers and soothes the gastrointestinal tract. It offer numerous health benefits, the fiber has many superior qualities for maintaining gastrointestinal health.

It helps re-absorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins and surplus bile in its mucilage and slips it out through the stool. Due to its high water content, conditions such as constipation, gas and bloating in the abdomen is prevented.


8. Good for Pregnancy: Okra is recommended for pregnant women and others because it’s rich in Folic acid, essential for the neural tube formation of the foetus during its four to twelve weeks of gestation period in the mother’s womb.


9. Health Benefits for Babies: Neurological birth defects in new born children can also be reduced by the consumption of lady which are essential for nerve development.


10. Hair Conditioner: For adding bounce to your hair, boil horizontally sliced okra till the brew becomes completely slimy. Cool and add a few drops of lemon. Use this as the last rinse and see your hair spring back to youthfulness.


Tips to Reduce Sliminess:

• Soak the okra in vinegar or lemon water before using it to minimize slime.

• Blanch the vegetable for three-four minutes and then add it to the dish, when it is almost cooked.

• Fry the vegetable in some oil and when it is fried properly, add salt and pepper.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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