Okra is known as lady fingers or Gumbo. This vegetable is popular for its soluble and insoluble high fiber content, and as such it’s present in many nutritional diets. It is beneficial to our health, especially the heart. Here are some of the most important okra benefits.
Health benefits of okra (lady fingers):
The fibers are what makes the lady fingers so popular and recommended for the digestive abilities. The fibers will help the digestion in the body and also the bowel movements.
Okra can help with diabetes prevention, because of its fibers contents.
The folates in the okra can reduce the neural tube defects in babies. As such, it’s best to include it in your diet if you’re pregnant.
The blood-coating process requires vitamin K, which is found in okra. It also has a role in the strengthening of the bones.
Adding lady fingers in your diet will help with the treatment of asthma, so if you suffer from it, include it in your meal immediately.
Okra ensures proper water absorption, and its disposal by the body. That way it prevents constipation.
If you get sun strokes often, you should know that okra can prevent them.
As we all know, most of the diseases start in the colon. The fibers in the okra prevent colon diseases, and most importantly – colon cancer.
By eating okra regularly you can avoid obesity – it sometimes occurs due to lack of nutrients.
This vegetable reduces cholesterol absorption and prevents cholesterol related diseases. Cholesterol also triggers obesity and serious heart issues.
Now that we covered the health benefits of okra, let’s see the skin benefits it has.
Skin benefits of okra\lady fingers
- Dietary fiber for healthy skin
We already said that okra is full of fiber, which prevents digestion issues. Proper digestion leads to healthy and beautiful skin.
- Vitamin C for younger skin
The vitamin C in okra makes your skin younger and helps repair tissues. The skin looks more vibrant because of this.
- Prevents skin pigmentation
The rich nutrients in okra prevent the skin from pigmentation. Okra rejuvenates the skin and repairs the damage on it.
Hair benefits of okra
If you’re tired of your hair, okra can get the bounce back. Boil it in some water and apply it to your hair to get the bounce effect.
The same mix for the bouncy hair can be used as a hair conditioner. Massage it into your hair and rinse with water – and don’t buy a conditioner again!
If you have dry and itchy scalp, okra can help with it. It leaves your hair soft and doesn’t damage it like the cosmetics full of chemicals. It’s great for people who have curly or lifeless hair.
As we said, okra treats the scalp with care and improves the condition. It also reduces dandruff by keeping the scalp moist.
Rinse your hair with okra to give it shine. Don’t use your regular conditioner once in a while and try okra.
Apart from all these benefits, okra is effective in improving immunity, improving eyesight, weight loss, and avoiding anemia.
How to find good okra?
Although its topical use is great, okra is more beneficial if eaten raw or cooked. Here are some tips to select a good okra.
– Select smaller pods, which are tender and taste better than the big ones;
– Look for bright green colored pods. They are the best for use, but burgundy or deep red colored are good too;
– When looking for okra, try finding unblemished pods, which are fresh and not rotten inside;
– Check the firmness – smaller pods are more tender, but they shouldn’t be very soft.
How to store okra?
Okra should be stored unwashed, in a paper bag or a newspaper. It can be stored in a perforated plastic bag if you don’t have paper bags. Keep it in the warmest part of the fridge – it can be stored for 3 days max. If you put it in the cold part, it will start to decay. If you must keep it for a long time, bleach and freeze it.
Tips for usage
– Wash and rinse the okra with water
– Pat it with a towel after washing
– Store it in a zip bag and leave it in the fridge overnight. It can be used the next day. This will make it less slimy when cooking and stay solid
– Take it out of the fridge and immediately add it to your dish. Use it whole or chopped
– Trim the ends before use
– Don’t let it thaw or it will be slimy
Tips for cooking okra
– To avoid sliming, fry it a little in oil before spices. Take it out and add it towards the end of the prepared dish
– Soak it in vinegar or lemon before use, or add lemon or vinegar in the dish to reduce the slime
– Blanch the vegetable for 3-4 minutes to cut down the slime and add to the dish when done
We all have different recipes for okra. Here’s one that’s quick and tasty
Ingredients: okra, grape seed or olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
Prepare the charcoal grill. Trim the ends of the okra as we said before and toss it in oil. When that’s done, put it on the grill and cover with a lid. Let it sit like that until there are grill marks. It should be little charred on the edges. Turn it on the other side and let it grill there too. Once it’s done, remove it and sprinkle some salt and lemon on it. Enjoy the meal!