The usefulness of okra has made it popular around the world. It is packed with a lot of valuable nutrients that are of benefit to the human body.
Known to originate from northeastern Africa, the pods of okra compose healthy amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein; it is one of the vegetables with highest levels of these antioxidants.
However, it is important to note that vitamin-A is essential for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin.
Be that as it may, studies have shown that okra and other natural vegetables and fruits, rich in flavonoids, help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Research findings have also shown that the Eugenol that is contained in okra helps fight against diabetes. And the fibre that is present in it also helps stabilize blood sugar level by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.
Here are some of the wonderful health benefits of okra
1. It improves heart health condition
Studies have shown that okra helps lowers the chances cardiovascular disease as a result of the soluble fibre contained in it, which naturally reduce cholesterol.
The finger nail plant is also known to be loaded with pectin, which has been shown to reduce high blood cholesterol by altering the creation of bile in the intestine.
2. It kills breast cancer cells
Breast cancer is fast becoming one of the deadliest illnesses that threaten the lives of women all over the world. As a matter of fact, it is believed that one in eight women are affected by breast cancer during their lifetime.
However, a study has it that a lectin isolated from okra instigated cell suicide in breast cancer cells. The end result of the study showed that the growth of the cancer was inhibited by 63 percent.
3. Okra helps to prevent liver disease
The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. With the help of vitamin K, it produces proteins that are important in blood clotting. It also helps in breaking down old or damaged blood cells; one of the many reasons why it is dubbed the body’s prime detox organ.
However, okra ensures that the liver which is very important to the human body is protected from disease. As shown in one study, a chemically-induced liver disease in rats was efficiently counteracted by okra.
The study also goes further to state that pre-administration of okra extract help check the effects of damaging free radicals that cause liver disease.
4. Okra helps improve eyesight
Studies have shown that vitamin A and beta-carotene found in okra are essential nutrients for maintaining good eyesight.
In addition to the mentioned health benefit, vitamin A and beta-carotene are known to help prevent eye-related diseases such as cataracts. Vitamin A also helps protect against age-related eye disorders.
5. Okra is a rich source of calcium
Okra has been shown to provide ample calcium and magnesium; and by so doing, it helps in preventing both calcium deficiency and magnesium deficiency.