The very name of this vegetable is more or less irritating and jarring to the ear, but it has another soft name called “Bhendi” and also in english a sweet name as “Ladies finger“. It can be one of your best companions if you make use of it daily. Here is a copy an e-mail I received from a friend of mine some time back from abroad which is self-explanatory.
A friend of mine has been suffering from irregular and insufficient movement of bowels for the last many years, All the medical treatments he took were of no avail.
He didn’t realize that the treatment for his problem could be so simple, till one of his friends suggested to him to eat OKRA ( Bendi ) daily. Lady’s finger is the other name by which okra is called.
He started eating Okra for about 2 months and since then has never taken medication again. All he did was to consume 6 pieces of OKRA everyday. He’s now regular and even his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98, with his cholesterol and acid reflux also brought under control.
Here are some facts on okra (from the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, PH.D /nutrition, University of Illinois .
“Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer.
Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B 6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra.
Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B 6 and folic acid. He got the following numbers from the University of Illinois Extension.
Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)
* Calories = 25
* Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
* Protein = 1.5 grams
* Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
* Vitamin A = 460 IU
* Vitamin C = 13 mg
* Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
* Calcium = 50 mg
* Iron = 0.4 mg
* Potassium = 256 mg
* Magnesium = 46 mg
These numbers should be used as a guideline only, and if you are on a medically-restricted diet, please do consult your physician and /or dietitian.
Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindly provided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable. They are well worth reading:- :
- The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
- Okra’s mucilage not only binds cholesterol but also bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn’t stop there…
- Many alternative health practitioners believe all disease begins in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation. Fiber in general is helpful for this, but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor. In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated, but also assures their easy passage from the body. The veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.
- Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber (as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
- To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.
So try and see if you can make OKRA as a daily companion of yours for a comfortable day.