Do you know that Okro or Okra is a vegetable?

Do you know that Okro, also known as Okra is a vegetable that is known all over the world?

It is always included in many diets and enjoyed as a  healthy green delicacy.

Try as often as possible to relish this vegetable in your kitchen. This is because of its numerous health benefits!

Also popularly known as Kidney Vetch, Okro is used mostly as a thickener for soups and stews. It can also be cooked as a vegetable and used as an ingredient in various stews and sauces. It can also be sautéed, pickled, fried or steamed.

Okro is usually sold in abundance and at affordable prices during rainy seasons in many tropical regions, but in other temperate clime, it is available all year round.

All you need do is buy as much and prepare any of these delicacies. Mind you, it must be fresh.

How do we know the fresh okro? You may ask! Once you pick up your okro, break off the tip, if it cuts off immediately, it means it is very fresh! If the tip is strong and unbreakable, it means it is not very fresh.

Whether one calls it okro or okra, the name is still the same. It is equally known as ladies’ finger, kidney vetch or gumbo.

Okro is native to Africa, but it is cultivated widely, and, extensively in many parts of the United States and West Indies.

Classified as hibiscus escenlentus or abelmoschus esculentus, okro is a yearly plant of the mallow family that is cultivated for its edible pods.

It can be comfortably called a green vegetable, because of its green attractive colour. Okro contains a large amount of mucilage – a gelatinous substance that makes it useful as a thickener.

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Okro

. Okro is rich in Vitamin C and this high Vitamin C content helps fight colds and coughs as well as encourages a healthy immune system.

. Vitamin C and many essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron in okro also fight against harmful free radicals and help to promote an overall healthy immune system.

. It stabilizes blood sugar

. It prevents and improves constipation

. Okro is rich in iron and this is good for pregnant women as it helps to build a healthy blood supply to the body of the woman and her unborn baby. 

. The iron content of okra forms haemoglobin in the blood and prevents anaemia.

It is rich in  Vitamin K  and this helps in blood coagulation.

. It neutralizes acid

. The dietary fibre in okro helps those who are on a weight loss program to cut down their weight. This is because it has a very low caloric value and is thus, a great addition when losing weight.

. It is one of the best vegetable sources of dietary fibre and this is essential for the digestive system.

. The dietary fibre in okro helps prevent and relieve constipation.

. The fibre in okro helps stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.

. It prevents diabetes

. It helps lubricate the large intestines, this is owing to its bulk laxative qualities.

. It has Vitamin A and beta carotene and these are essential nutrients for maintaining good eyesight.

. These essential nutrients also help prevent eye-related diseases such as cataracts.

. Okro promotes good eye health and protects against age-related disorders.

. It helps to maintain a smooth and beautiful skin and even help prevent pimples

. It’s a good anti-oxidant for the body

. Okro juice can be used to treat sore throat associated with coughing

. The juice can also be used to treat diarrhoea with fever and some abdominal-related pains

.

. Eating okro helps to prevent Colon Cancer, by cleaning out the intestinal tract,

. Okro can improve colon health by allowing the organ to work at a higher rate of efficiency, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer.

. The soluble fibre absorbs water and adds bulk to the stool thus preventing constipation. 

. The presence of Eugenol in Okra helps fight against diabetes.

. This green vegetable is also good for children from six months and above. Due to its slimy nature, children find it easy to swallow any soup prepared with it and there’s hardly any child that abhors okro soup.

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