Introduction to okra
Okra is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family. Scientifically called Abelmoschus esculentus. It is a tropical herb, originated in Ethiopia and the plateau in Eritrea and the upper eastern part of Sudan. It is 1-2m long, grows better in warm environments, is available all year round, but is more available in the summer season. It thrives in a warm tropical or subtropical climate and favors dry, light and heavy soils that include sandy loam or clay soils.
Okra content of nutrients
Okra is a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and C. It also contains many amino acids such as tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, lysine, these acids are very important for our health.
Amazing benefits of okra
- Okra is rich in folic acid, according to science reports. Folic acid (vitamin B9) is an important nutritional component for pregnant women. It helps reduce the risk of a neural tube defect, which affects the brain and spine of the fetus.
- Okra is a good source of fiber, and thus improves digestion, and makes you feel full for a long time. It is also rich in essential nutrients that boost metabolism in the body and strengthen muscles.
- Okra helps improve insulin sensitivity, and it also helps control blood sugar levels. Once it contains a substance called myricetin, this substance can help reduce high blood sugar levels.
- The fibers in the okra help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol in the body, as these fibers work to modify the production of bile in the intestine and thus reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Okra is also rich in magnesium and thus helps to regulate and maintain the level of blood pressure in the body.
- Okra contains a protein called lecithin, studies have shown that it helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells, especially by fighting breast cancer. The folic acid in okra is also an essential nutrient that helps prevent the risk of cancer.
- The fibers in the okra improve bowel movement and help get rid of constipation and even indigestion.
- Research has shown that fighting fatigue can be enhanced by using the okra plant, by adding okra to your diet with a proper healthy exercise routine, you may be able to exercise for a longer period and recover more quickly from exercise.
- Okra contains an amount of vitamin A that helps protect skin health and reduce the appearance of scars and acne and remove wrinkles, as well as a good amount of antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and eliminate free radicals that may have damaged skin cells. Antioxidants help reduce skin damage and slow down the aging process, giving you younger-looking skin.
- Okra contains a large amount of vitamin A, in addition to other antioxidant ingredients such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein. Since free radicals are dangerous to cellular metabolism, antioxidants destroy the free radicals that are actually responsible for the degradation of cells in the body including those responsible for vision. So adding enough okra in your diet is beneficial for eyesight health, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
- The okra contains many vitamins and minerals, including potassium, and they are an essential mineral for human health, because it is necessary to maintain fluid balance inside the body, as it balances sodium, and helps to relax blood vessels and arteries, which reduces blood pressure and pressure on the cardiovascular system, and thus It will reduce the risk of thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
- High vitamin C in okra works to boost the general immune system, because vitamin C works to stimulate the immune system to create more white blood cells, which can fight pathogens and other substances in the body that could harm the immune system.
Other traditional uses and benefits of okra
- Okra juice is used to treat a cough-related sore throat. It is also used to treat diarrhea with fever and abdominal pain, and it may relieve headaches and arthritis.
- Ripe seeds are roasted, ground, and used as a coffee substitute.
- Okra seeds provide good, edible oil that contains a high content of unsaturated fats such as oleic acid, linoleic acid and protein.
- In Indian medicine, glue is used to treat dysentery and diarrhea in acute infections, irritation of the stomach and intestine, nephritis, urinary itching, dysuria and gonorrhea.
- Glue can be used as a substitute for plasma in India.
- A decoction of unripe fruit, a diuretic, and moisturizer.
- It is said that the seeds are antispasmodics.
- Roots are used to treat syphilis.
- Root juice is used externally in Nepal to treat wounds and boils.
- A decoction of small okra fruit is used to treat mucositis, especially in the respiratory system when its secretions are excessive.
- A decoction of okra leaves, fruits, and leaves is used to treat urinary tract problems, such as painful urination and other urogenital problems, including gonorrhea and syphilis.
- Okra leaves and roots are used to sustain wounds.
- Okra juice is used to treat itchy skin and skin moisturizer.
- Okra leaves are used for inflammation.
- Roasted okra seeds are used to enhance sweating.
- Okra seeds are used to treat and prevent muscle cramps.
- Okra decoction is used to treat fever, headache and arthritis.
- Okra gum acts as a lubricant and laxative for the intestinal canal, which facilitates the passage of waste easily.
The USDA notes that copper or iron cooking utensils should not be used in okra preparation because the okra will absorb the decomposing metal during cooking and thus may become toxic. Okra must be cooked with porcelain or pottery.