It is well known that vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins and antioxidants, necessary for the health of our body and its protection against free radicals. They allow us to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes. Okra (Hibiscus Esculentus), also known as okra, is a vegetable of African origin that is no exception to the rule.
Baked or raw, Okra is a greenish vegetable, containing tiny seeds, and particularly rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. Its properties make this food a natural remedy to treat among others, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, as well as the proliferation of cancer cells.
Properties of okra
Okra contains antioxidant compounds, such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and quercetin, which give it the quality of a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it contains a high amount of soluble fiber that promotes the reduction of blood sugar. Thus okra is part of diet foods beneficial to the regulation of blood cholesterol.
Okra is a good source of vitamins, low calorie and energy. It is rich in water but also in vitamins (A, B2, B3, B6, B9, C and K). It also contains trace elements and essential minerals, such as calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese.
The benefits of okra for health
It’s a cure that prevents cancer
Antioxidants found in okra like quercetin can neutralize free radicals. Similarly, its high fiber content prevents colon and rectal cancer by facilitating intestinal transit and releasing the body of toxins.
It’s a cure for diabetes
Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of okra for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Thus, thanks to its high fiber content, it contributes to the reduction and stabilization of blood glucose. A study published in the journal Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry pointed out that okra can reduce blood glucose and lipid levels. To do this, okra inhibits a specific enzyme (alpha-glucosidase) that breaks down carbohydrates and improves insulin sensitivity.
It regulates the cholesterol level.
The richness of fiber okra allows it to normalize blood fat levels, according to a 2005 Canadian study. According to another study in Phytotherapy research, okra could reduce levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. Thus regular consumption of okra will prevent atherosclerosis and prevent cardiovascular disease.
It boosts the immune system
Okra is rich in vitamin A, an important nutrient that helps strengthen the immune system by increasing the rate of white blood cells. Similarly, its high content of antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids) and vitamin C, confers anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. This study was corroborated by the College of Agriculture and the Genetic Engineering Laboratory in China.
It prevents gastritis
Infection with H. pylori bacteria has become increasingly common. This bacterium, which normally lives in the intestinal lining, can cause inflammation that can cause gastritis. Okra juice is considered a powerful antibacterial remedy thanks to its antioxidant and vitamin C content. This study was published in Plosone and identified the effectiveness of polysaccharides contained in okra to inhibit the adhesion of H. Pylori with gastric tissue.
It stops the bleeding and strengthens the bones
The richness of okra vitamin K, helps promote better blood clotting. At the same time, this vegetable helps prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
It reduces the desire to nibble
Okra is rich in soluble fiber, which promotes satiation, reducing the urge to snack.
It helps fight fatigue
Okra contains seeds rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that can promote the storage of glycogen in the liver, which induces more energy in the cells.
It beautifies the skin
This vegetable is an excellent remedy for the skin, treating eczema and psoriasis and delaying the skin aging process thanks to its antioxidant power.
In conclusion: this vegetable rejected by some because of its sticky texture, has considerable therapeutic effects. Here is a simple recipe to use as a hot or cold salad, at your convenience.
1kg of okra
2 fresh tomatoes
Herbs of Provence
Pepper and salt
Fry the chopped onions in the olive oil and add the spices and herbs. When the onions are golden, add the diced tomatoes and cover by lowering the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Then add the okra with the garlic cloves. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring gently.