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  • 12/16/2012

Okra the Super Food

okra the super food

While some people are not familiar with okra, and others either love it or hate it, it is usually based on personal tastes rather than its health benefits. In fact, whether you love or hate okra, you may not even be aware that it is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

Okra health benefits are outstanding and it has been called a 'super food' because of the array of nutrients it provides. As is the case with most vegetables and fruits, the optimum health benefits of okra are found in its original state. This means the less that is done to it by cooking; the better it is for you.

Okra is grown throughout the warm temperate and tropical regions of the world. The plants yield an abundance of fibrous fruits or 'pods'. It grows best in rich and well-drained soil. The light to dark green pods are about 5-15 cm in length, and appear after growing for about 45 days. The pods are harvested while they are immature and are eaten as vegetable.

Health benefits of Okra

The pods are among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods help in smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.

The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the green vegetables with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g.

The okra pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily-recommended levels. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.

Okra is good to help fight against asthma by using the Vitamin C that is in this vegetable as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which prevents the symptoms of asthma from happening.

Okra is a good vegetable for whoever is feeling weak, exhausted, and depressed.

It helps to treat lung inflammation, sore throats, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.

The pods are an also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.


Sources:

totorus.blogspot.com

janderson99.hubpages.com

nutrition-and-you.com

whyfoods.com


Other links:

Beans Should Called Healthy People’s Meat (Part 1)

Beans Should Called Healthy People’s Meat (Part 2)

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