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Is Okra a Superfood?

Updated on December 18, 2018
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people stay healthy. He believes that consuming nutritious food is the key to a long and healthy life.

Okra Is Healthy and Tasty

Ancient fruits and vegetables found in ancient religious and biblical texts have a special role to play in our diet. Most of them have special medicinal value and have proved their worth over millennia.

Okra Has Medicinal Value

Okra is one such vegetable. In fact okra is a perennial flowering plant that is grown throughout tropical, subtropical and warm regions. The pod is the edible part of the plant. Also known as ladies' finger, bhindi, okro, ochro, gumbo, bamia pod, this warm-season vegetable was a favorite food of Cleopatra.

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Okra Contains Plenty of Valuable Nutrients


Okra Is a Nutritional Powerhouse

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) contains potassium, fibre, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and many other essential nutrients that keep you strong and healthy.

Okra Nutrition

In Half Cup Of Sliced, Cooked Okra
25 kcal
1.5 g
5.8 g
Folic acid
37 mg
Vitamin C
13 mg
46 mg
2 g
257 mg

Make Okra a Common Ingredient in Your Soups and Stews


Okra Health Benefits

Here are okra benefits.

Good For the Brain

Okra keeps brain neurons healthy. Many experts are of the opinion that it is an excellent brain food. “Okra is popularly consumed by young students in the Middle East, Far East and South East Asia, where people believe that okra is good for brain function,” says Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue LLC. Shelke is also the spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).



Keeps Digestive System Healthy

Fiber in okra promotes a healthy digestive system. It vegetable prevents constipation. This therapeutic vegetable prevents many digestion related diseases.

Okra Cures Stomach Ulcer

Some experts are of the opinion that okra is more effective against stomach ulcers than conventional medicines. It is helping many people who are dealing with pain and discomfort associated with stomach ulcer.

What Is Stomach Ulcer?

Stomach ulcer is a sore or lesion that develops on the lining of the stomach. In the stomach of a healthy person a thick layer of mucous lines the inner walls. This mucous lining protects the stomach from the strong acids, which help to break down our food during digestion.

When a stomach ulcer develops, the mucous lining becomes thin. It does not protect the stomach from strong acids, thereby damaging the wall of the stomach.

Use of NSAIDs like aspirin and Advil, presence of a bacterium called H. pylori, smoking, consumption of irritating foods like caffeine, refined and processed items, trans fats, unhealthy oils and allergens contribute to the development of stomach ulcers.

Burning stomach ulcers cause at night or a few hours after eating compel many people to seek medical attention and medicines. The usual medical treatment is acid suppressing medicines like antacids or a proton pump inhibitor.

Although these treatments may provide relief from the symptoms, they do nothing to improve the health of the stomach lining. Unfortunately they further impair digestion, which only perpetuates the problem and leads to a whole host of other health complications, which are commonly known as side effects.

Instead of attempting to reduce stomach acid secretions, we need to increase our consumption of foods that heal the lining of the stomach, while reducing our consumption of foods that damage and further aggravate the lining of the stomach.

Consume food items that have a soothing effect on the stomach; foods that repair/heal the cells and provide relief from pain and inflammation; foods such as Okra. Antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese in okra work together against stomach ulcer. Also okra is an excellent demulcent. Isn't it a good idea to cook okra fry today?

Okra is known to improve digestion because of its fibre content.... Okra also helps prevent diarrhoea, because it adds bulk to watery stool. The fibre content helps to clear out excess cholesterol in the body and controls the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the body. This is therefore helpful in reducing blood sugar levels and hence controlling diabetes.

— Fausta Akech, a nutrionist at Healthy U

Prevents Gastritis

When there is bacteria in the stomach, inflammation usually leads to gastritis. Anti-adhesive compound in okra binds to the surface of the gut, thereby blocking the bacteria from attaching to the stomach lining. A study proves this fact.

Helps in Diabetes Management

Okra is a superfood for people with or at risk of diabetes. It has a positive effect on blood sugar control. Many Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies have confirmed okra as a potent blood glucose-lowering (or anti-diabetic) food.

A study on rats indicates that okra suppresses insulin resistance, thereby improving blood sugar levels. Many diabetics have reported decreasing blood sugar levels after soaking cut-up okra pieces in water overnight and then drinking the juice in the morning. In Turkey roasted okra seeds have been used as a traditional diabetes medicine for centuries.

What makes okra a diabetes friendly food? Insoluble fibre in okra stabilises blood sugar by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

Research scientists investigated okra polysaccharide's effect on metabolic disorders in mice. They found that OP lowers body weight and glucose levels, improves glucose tolerance, and decreases serum total cholesterol levels.

A team of experts tested hypoglycemic effect of the extract in normal, glucose loading and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. They observed that the Ethanolic extract of fruits of okra at a dose of 500mg/kg b.w. could produce a significant fall in blood glucose levels by about 76% in diabetic rats, after five hours of treatment.

Okra contains Eugenol, a dietary fibre which helps men affected by diabetes. Eugenol normalises blood sugar level and slows down sugar absorption.

Strengthens the Immune System

Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium and other nutrients, especially antioxidants in okra build a strong immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the immune system to produce more WBC, which fights pathogens in the body.

Used to Treat Asthma

Okra, which is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, curtails the development of asthma symptoms. It also reduces the frequency of asthma attacks.


Prevents Sunstroke

Okra keeps you strong and energetic and prevents sunstroke. It also helps you recover from this heatstroke quickly.

Okra and Heart

Is okra good for the heart? Yes it is. Cholesterol enhances the risk of many heart related diseases. Fiber in okra binds to cholesterol in the body and removes the same from the body. Vitamin C and phytosterols in okra reduce the levels of "bad cholesterol".

Helps You Maintain Healthy Eyes

Beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein promote excellent eye health. Okra prevents cataracts and macular degeneration.


Good For the Skin

Okra is used in treatment of various skin conditions, including dry skin, psoriasis, acne and dull skin. Anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti inflammatory and re-hydrating properties of okra make it a skin-friendly food.

Good For Babies

Okra is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for babies. It facilitates smooth bowel movement in your loved one. It is an excellentcure for dysentery and diarrhea. It keeps your baby's blood healthy.


Prevents Cancer

Various antioxidants in okra prevent many cancers. Lectin from okra was used in a research study to treat human breast cancer cells. The treatment decreased cancer cell growth by 63 percent and killed 72 percent of the human cancer cells.

Good For the Bones

Folate, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin K, phosphorus and other nutrients in okra keep your bones strong and healthy. They also prevent osteoporosis.

Removes Toxins

Okra detoxifies the body; it is an excellent diuretic. It also keeps your liver clean and healthy.

Cures Anemia

Anemia is caused by hemoglobin deficiency. Vitamins A and C, and magnesium in okra juice promote the production of hemoglobin, thereby curing anemia.

If you are a vegan and looking for plant proteins, then okra is just right for you. This amazing vegetable contains amino acids like sulfur, cysteine, and tryptophan.

Keeps You Energetic

A research study suggests that antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenols in okra increase glycogen in the liver, thereby preventing fatigue.

Prevents Atherosclerosis

Okra reduces the risk of atherosclerosis by relaxing blood vessels and arteries. Potassium in okra promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.

Good for pregnant women

Essential nutrients in okra make it an ideal vegetable for pregnant women. It reduces the risk of birth defects like spina bifida. It prevents constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy.

Cooking Okra

The easiest way to prepare okra is by steaming it, just like any other vegetable, by placing it in a steamer or in a pot of boiling water using a steaming basket.

This process takes about 5-8 minutes. Okra can also be stewed or baked alone or with other vegetables.


  • Okra is a warm season vegetable.
  • Half cup of sliced, cooked okra contains 5.8 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Okra prevents various cancers.
  • Okra keeps your bones and teeth strong.
  • Okra reduces the risk of heart disease.

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.

— Joyce Meyer


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    • borge_009 profile image


      2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Srikanth! I do agree with you that okra is a superfood. Okra's my favorite too. I hope you would take time to check my article on vegetable soup where okra is one of the ingredients. :)


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