Health benefits of okra

Health benefits of okra

  • Okra is a uniquely shaped vegetable, often called “lady fingers” because of its appearance. It is packed with vitamins and minerals for our health.
  • Let’s look at the health benefits of okra.
  • Antioxidant rich:
  • Okra is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin E, and manganese, which are known as potent antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the cells from the effects of oxidative stress. Dr. Andrew Weil defines oxidative stress as, “the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).”
  • Cancer fighter:
  • The anti-tumor effects of a newly-discovered lectin, isolated from okra, were recently investigated in human breast cancer and skin fibroblast cells. It was shown to kill 72% of human breast cancer cells (MCF7) in vitro. This is very promising.
  • Digestive health:
  • Okra is a good source of dietary fiber, providing 2 grams per 1/2 cup, which is 8% of the recommended daily value.
  • Dietary fiber is essential for making the digestive system healthy, preventing digestive conditions like constipation.
  • Rich in folate:
  • Okra is a good source of folate, providing 36.8 mcg per 1/2 cup, which is 9% of the recommended daily value.
  • Folate is an essential nutrient for the metabolism of protein, carbs, and fats. It is also important for healthy function of the nervous system and aids in the production of red blood cells and DNA.
  • Rich in vitamin C :
  • Okra contains 13 mg of vitamin C per 1/2 cup, which is 22% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin C has potent antioxidant properties and may help reduce the risk of disease such as macular degeneration, heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is also known as a potent immune system booster.
  • Weight loss:
  • Okra is low in calories and high in dietary fiber. It contains only 18 calories per 1/2 cup. Eating foods that are low in calories and high in dietary fiber make great additions to an effective weight loss diet.
  • Tip: Lightly steam, use in soups or add in your favorite smoothie or juice. Make sure it is organic.
  • For the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.
  • Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.
  • 1. Weil, Andrew, MD. “Stumped by Oxidative Stress?WEIL. Dr. Andrew Weil, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013.
  • 2. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Okra, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, without Salt.Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013.
  • 3. “Vitamin B9.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013.
  • 4. Monte LG, Reis LB, Santi-Gadelha T, Braganhol E, Prietsch RF, Dellagostin OA, E Lacerda RR, Gadelha CA, Conceição FR, and Pinto LS.Lectin of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) promotes selective antitumor effects in human breast cancer cells
  •  National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 June 2014.



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