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Benefits of Okra to the Body

Updated on February 14, 2013
Steamed okra - one of the simplest foods to prepare. Yummy, too!
Steamed okra - one of the simplest foods to prepare. Yummy, too!

Okra is the long green pod with the semblance of a closed umbrella. When cut open, okra emits a slimy gel-like substance which some people like; while others don’t.

Okra, as a vegetable has many health benefits. They’re not only nutritious, they’re quite tasty too.

Health benefits of okra

The benefits of okra come from its abundant vitamins and minerals. This includes:

  • Vitamin A
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin K
  • Several Vitamin-B complex
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Iron
  • Fiber
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Carotene and lutien
  • Flavonoids
  • and many, many more.


How do we enjoy the benefits of okra?

Here's how.

- Vitamin A promotes eye health.

- Folate (Vitamin B9) promotes cardiovascular health. It also aids in the development of a child’s brain during the early stages of pregnancy.

- Vitamin C, a form of anti-oxidant as well, promotes stronger immune system, eye health and cardiovascular health.

- Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, as well as it anti-inflammatory. Lower risk of heart ailments, cancer and eye problems are only some of the benefits of okra

- Calcium is good for our bones and teeth.

- Vitamin K helps us combat cancer cells. It an anti-oxidant, as well similar to the popular Vitamin C. It promotes blood clotting which is necessary to transport nutrients like calcium in our body. That being said, Vitamin K promotes bone health.

- The benefits of okra extend to our over-all health, including our digestive health. While others may hate the slime of this pod, the very property helps us move our bowels easily; thereby, relieving the pains of constipation.

- Like other vegetables, fiber is one of the benefits of okra. Aside from aiding with digestion, fiber helps regulate our blood sugar levels as well.

- Flavonoids are another form of anti-oxidant. They enhance the powers of Vitamin C in the body. They are anti-inflammatory, as well.

- Weight loss or weight maintenance is one of the benefits of okra, too. This vegetable is low on calories. It has zero fat and cholesterol contents. Get the benefits of okra in your weight loss by adding it often in your diet.

Benefits of okra to the tummy


If you need a quick meal or a light snack, okra can be a life-saver.

In a pot of boiling water, drop okra pods (cut in halves) for 3-5 minutes.

Cover the pot to cook faster. When the okra changes to a more vibrant green, they are ready.

Place the half-cooked okra on a small bowl.

Add lime and fish sauce to taste. If you want a spicy dish, add fresh chili, chopped.


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    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks for dropping by carmel! I hope you come back for more hubs.

    • profile image

      Carmel 5 years ago

      Thank you for the information you've shared we used to eat okra but we often disregard the benefits of it.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Hi prasetio! Perhaps, so. I hope you get to try them soon.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks peggy! I always enjoy your visits in my hubs!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I had never heard about okra, maybe I can found similar plants but with other name. Thanks for writing and I learn something new here. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I like cut up okra stewed with tomatoes and onions. It is also good adding it to soups. Good hub about a healthful vegetable! Up, interesting and will share.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      We also know them by ladyfinger in the Philippines, sweetie.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 5 years ago from India

      Even though it is very common vegetable available in North India but somehow I never liked it and that's why I always avoided eating ladyfinger as it is called here. But now after reading your hub I am going to eat it a lot now.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Hahahah! Good point, kathleen! That's why I prefer them just steamed or half-cooked. It still has its crunch, flavors and yes, the nutrients too.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks once again, rajan! Of course, I also like a bit of spice in my foods... that includes okra, too! :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I love the southern way of gooking okra too, but we have to be honest. By the time we're done with okra, there is no nutritional value left in the little suckers. I do like to add it to my vegetable soup in the winter and reap the benefits.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Useful information on my favorite vegetable though we make it a bit spicy and with a bit of oil. Voted up and shared.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks for dropping by sgbrown. I didn't know we can fry okra and make them crunchy. I enjoy them stir-fried, though... with eggplants, squash and string beans. Yum!!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You have lots of good information here on okra. Living in southern Oklahoma, my favorite way to eat okra is to toss with cornmeal and fry it until crunchy. I could eat it just like pop corn. I also like "pickled" okra. I have a recipe hub on how to make it if you would like to give that a try! I am adding a link to this hub in my "All About Okra" hub too. Thanks for sharing such good information on okra with us! Voting up and interesting! :)

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Ohhh!! I'd like to try that. I usually have them blanched.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I love okra. Where I live it is very popular to cut up okra and cover with cornmeal and fry until crunchy. It is a famous southern dish called "Fried Okra". I buy it frozen at the grocery store and use a little bit of olive oil and saute until crunchy. It makes a good meal.

    • beingwell profile image
      Author

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Oh goody! I was having second thoughts about that bit. :)

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      I love okra. One of my favorite ways to eat is like you suggested--steamed and then dip in a spicy sauce. Love your visuals. Rated up.