Okra is usually available fresh year-round and can also be found frozen, pickled or canned.
When you are buying fresh okra, look for young pods that are bruise-free, tender and fresh. It is even best to get the ones that are no more than 4 inches long and has a bright green color.
To preserve its freshness and health benefits, it is best to store it inside a paper bag and place it in the refrigerator and not the freezer.
Here is a useful list of some main okra benefits:
1- An excellent promoter of a healthy pregnancy
Okra is rich in folate, which is considered as an important natural compound for the pregnant women to help grow and maintain new cells. And okra is rich in vitamin C, which is also essential for fetal development.
2- Helps prevent diabetes
The natural fiber is okra works effectively for the patient with high blood sugar, it normalizes and slows down sugar absorption to help to control diabetes.
3- Helps with kidney disease
A study found that regular consumption of okra can help prevent kidney disease. It has been proven that those who ate okra daily can reduce the medical signs of kidney damage.
4- Helps prevent asthma
A study has found that vitamin C in okra may help with respiratory issues like asthma, the study concluded that regular intake of okra may reduce wheezing symptoms in childhood, especially among already susceptible individuals.
5- Promotes glowing skin
Vitamin C is a crucial compound for healthy skin. It helps keep skin looking young and vibrant and rejuvenate damaged skin. When use it for this effect, it’s simple enough. Boil a handful of okra until soft, cooling off and mash it, then apply it to your face. After five minutes, you can feel your face smooth and rejuvenated.
6- Promotes digestion and weight loss
Okra contains plenty of fiber, take fiber rich foods regularly help to promote a healthy digestion. And okra is a good low-calorie, fat-free addition to any diet, especially weight loss diets. It has been proven that okra provides comparatively lower calories than standard calorie diet.
7- Rich in minerals and vitamins
Okra is a rich source of many important minerals and vitamins. Here are some prominent vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in okra that deserve some spotlight. Each figure is based on 1 cup (100g) of okra.
•Fiber – 2.5 grams. 10% of RDA (recommended daily value)
•Vitamin C – 16.3 milligrams. 27% RDA.
•Folate – 46 micrograms. 11% RDA.
•Vitamin A – 283 international units. 6% RDA.
•Vitamin K – 40 micrograms. 50% RDA. The vitamin K found in okra is known as vitamin K1, one of two beneficial forms. The other beneficial form is K2; K3 is synthetic and should be avoided.
•Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 0.9 mg. 4% RDA.
•Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg. 9% RDA.
•Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg. 9% RDA.
•Magnesium – 36 mg. 9% RDA.
•Manganese – 0.3 mg. 15% RDA.
•Beta carotene – 225 mcg.
•Lutein, Zeaxanthin – 516 mcg.
8- Improves eyesight
The pods of okra contain large amount of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, xanthine and lutein. All of these are essential for good vision. It can help prevent eye problems like glaucoma and cataract.
9- Scalp moisturiser:
Okra is an excellent moisturizer for your dry and itchy scalp, especially good for people with unruly, curly and lifeless hair. It also keeps dandruff away and isn’t harmful like other cosmetics available in the market.
10- Promotes hair growth
Here are instructions of how to use okra for hair growth:
Prepare 3-5 fresh okra and cut into pieces. Boil in water till it is slim, and cool it off. Add few drops of lemon juice to it.
When washing hair, apply the mixture to your hair and gently spread and rub it into the scalp. Let it dry in your hair, and then comb through and style as usual. Do not wash your hair for 2-3 weeks.
You will see that your hair will grow in length and will have more volume.
If you are looking for a new way to use your homegrown herbs, this information will help: Infusing Herbs in Different Mediums: Oil, Water, Alcohol or Honey