Health Benefits of Okra (and How to Consume It)
Okra, also known as gumbo or lady’s fingers is actually a green flowering plant. It belongs to the same plant family as cotton and hibiscus. Okra as a term refers to its edible seed pods.
It is abundant in calcium, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B. Also, okra has a high content of dietary fiber, and it is low in calories. It is said that okra can aid manage glucose in gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
There are different recipes online in which you can include okra. It actually among the veggies which have underrated value regarding its health benefits.
The Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences published a 2011 study which says that its extracts might be turned into a phytomedicinal plant. This phytomedicinal plant can aid fight diabetes mellitus.
The 3 Benefits of Okra
1. Lowers Cholesterol
The American Heart Association says that usually, people with diabetes have unhealthy levels of cholesterol. According to one study made on rodents, okra might control the cholesterol levels.
This is possible due to its content of antioxidants and high fiber.
2. High in Dietary Fiber
Okra is abundant in fiber. As a matter of fact, eight pods of medium size contains 3 g of this nutrient. The fiber comes with many benefits such as the fact it gives that feeling of fullness for a longer period, helps with digestion and cuts the hunger cravings.
Foods which are abundant in fiber are vital in the diets of people with diabetes. This is like that because according to science this nutrient can help improve the glycemic control and at the same time promote insulin sensitivity.
If you think that stress has nothing to do with diabetes, you are wrong. Stress has a big role in the progress of diabetes. The seed extracts of okra have antioxidants which might make anti-stress effects.
Bear in mind, being under stress for a longer period can increase your blood sugar levels. That is why the mental health is equally important when it comes to people with diabetes and their treatment plan.
Other Benefits of Okra
You should know that okra can also improve overall health. It might prove useful for treating diabetic nephropathy as study claims. Okra is abundant in calcium, which might boost teeth and bone health.
In addition, thanks to its high content of vitamin C it enhances the immune system.
How to Consume Okra
You can consume Okra raw, cook it or simply soak it in water and consume only the water. Also, you can eat it as a snack. You need to buy it small around a ¾ inch in diameter and around 4 inches long.
You can also make okra water. You need to take 2 to 4 pods, remove the slice of the sides, tips and puncture and soak okra overnight in around 8 ounces of water. After that, you need to take the pods and squeeze the goop into a cup and add water.
You should see this as a medicine. Consume it for at least once a day for one month.
Word of Caution
Before you make any changes to your treatment plan, such as include okra, make sure first to consult your doctor. According to one study, okra can block metformin and its absorption.
Metformin is a medication which is usually used to manage blood glucose levels. In case you are taking metformin, do not use okra. To stay on the safe side, consult your doctor.
It is crucial to understand that although okra is very useful and beneficial, it is not a replacement of insulin. If your doctor agrees to take it, it is great to try it as a traditional treatment.
Always make sure to inform your doctor about any addition to your usual diabetes treatment plan.