Table of contents:
- Nutritional Content of Okra
- Various Benefits of Okra for He alth
- How to Turn Okra into a Delicious Dish
Some of us may still be unfamiliar with the okra plant. In fact, there are many benefits of okra that are a pity to miss. Behind its slimy texture, okra stores a myriad of nutrients that can bring many he alth benefits
Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus), otherwise known as “lady finger, is a plant that belongs to the same family as hibiscus and cotton. This plant is widely found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, including Indonesia.
Okra actually belongs to the fruit group. However, this plant is often considered a vegetable and is quite commonly processed into various dishes, ranging from fresh vegetables, stir-fries, or fried foods.
Nutritional Content of Okra
In a serving of raw okra (approximately 100 grams) contains about 33 calories and the following nutrients:
- 7–7.5 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of protein
- 3 grams of fiber
- 60 milligrams phosphorus
- 55–60 milligrams of magnesium
- 300 milligrams of potassium
- 700 IU vitamin A
- 23 milligrams of vitamin C
- 60 micrograms of folate
- 30 micrograms of vitamin K
In addition to the various nutrients above, okra also contains choline, zinc, selenium, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, as well as various antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, isoquercetin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Various Benefits of Okra for He alth
Okra is one of the cheap and nutritious foods that is good for he alth. Here are the benefits of okra that you shouldn't miss:
1. Lowering and controlling blood sugar levels
One of the well-known benefits of okra is to help lower and control blood sugar levels. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of okra appears to reduce the absorption rate of blood sugar in the intestines and increase insulin sensitivity.
Okra also includes foods that are rich in fiber with a low glycemic index. Therefore, okra is very suitable for diabetics because it does not make blood sugar levels spike quickly. Meanwhile, for he althy people, okra can be useful for preventing insulin resistance and diabetes.
2. Maintain digestive function and he alth
The next benefit of okra is to improve digestion and prevent and treat constipation. This is because the high fiber and water content can stimulate bowel movements and make stools softer and denser.
Okra is also known to have a prebiotic effect, so it is able to maintain a balance in the number of good bacteria in the intestines (probiotics) and prevent the growth of disease-causing germs in the digestive tract.
3. Maintain heart he alth
Okra is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that are good for reducing inflammation, preventing blood clots, controlling blood pressure, and reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels.
Thanks to the properties of okra, you can be protected from various cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
4. Reducing the risk of cancer
Okra extract is known to have anticancer and antioxidant properties that play an important role in preventing the growth of cancer cells.
Animal studies have shown that okra extract can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Even so, the benefits of this okra still require further research.
5. Help lose weight
Okra is one of the foods that are low in calories, but rich in fiber and various nutrients, such as protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, okra is good for consumption to support the success of the diet program.
However, so that you can get the benefits of okra optimally, you also need to exercise regularly and limit your calorie intake.
How to Turn Okra into a Delicious Dish
Okra is a plant that can be consumed until the seeds inside. To enjoy and get the benefits, there are many ways to process okra that you can choose, including:
- Roast okra in the oven to eat as a he althy snack
- Cooking okra with tomato sauce and served with pasta
- Stir-fried okra with garlic and other seasonings, such as shrimp paste or chili
- Adding okra to stir-fry vegetables
To get rid of the runny and gummy texture of okra, you can cook okra over high heat or preserve okra with s alt first.
Also, pay attention when you buy okra. Choose okra that is smooth without brown spots or dry edges. Then, store the okra in the refrigerator for about 4 days before cooking.
Although it has many potential benefits, it is recommended that you consume okra in moderation and not in excess. If you still have questions about the benefits of okra or want to determine whether this plant is good for treating certain diseases, try to consult a doctor.