Okra, lady's finger or bhindi, as it is popularly known in India, has always been an amazing accompaniment to various delicacies. If you haven't tried the kurkuri bhindi then you sure have missed out on something delicious. Okra is a flowering plant that is known to be used in various culinary preparations across the world. This includes pickles, snacks, soups and sometimes curries too. Apart from having a special place in the kitchen, okra is believed to have innumerable health benefits as well. It is known to be a rich source of essential minerals, vitamins and high levels of fiber that are great to keep your body healthy and sound.
Let us look at some important benefits okra has to offer:
1. Boosts digestion
Adding okra to your diet will ensure a strengthened digestive system. It is due to the presence of fiber content in okra that helps move food through the digestive tract by adding bulk. This further ensures faster bowel movements and reduced gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, constipation, cramping, et al.
Adding okra to your diet will ensure a strengthened digestive systemâ€‹
2. Takes care of your blood pressure
Okra is an excellent source of potassium which is essential for keeping your blood circulation in check. Potassium is basically necessary to maintain proper fluid balance in the body as it balances sodium. Moreover, it helps to relax the blood vessels and arteries which further reduces blood pressure and in turn strengthens the cardiovascular system.
Okra is an excellent source of potassium which is essential for keeping your blood circulation
3. Keeps you away from hunger pangs
It is due to the presence of soluble fiber that okra makes you feel full for longer, resulting in lesser hunger pangs through the day. So if you are looking at losing weight, you may want to consume more and more okra regularly.
It is due to the presence of soluble fiber that okra makes you feel full for longer
4. Improves your immunity system
The abundance of antioxidants makes okra a beneficial vegetable that can help fight free radicals, which are known to destroy body cells. Also, the presence of high amounts of vitamin C helps boost immunity as it helps create white blood cells in the body. White blood cells help combat infection and help build immunity.
The abundance of antioxidants makes okra a beneficial vegetable that can help fight free radicalsâ€‹
5. Ensures healthy vision
Okra is a rich source of vitamin A and other antioxidants like beta-carotene, xanthein and lutein that prevent macular degeneration and could help delay onset of cataracts.
Okra is a rich source of vitamin A and other antioxidants like beta-caroteneâ€‹Okra's peel and seeds are known to lower the blood glucose levelsâ€‹
6. A perfect veggie for diabetics
Okra's peel and seeds are known to lower the blood glucose levels, hence making it safe for consumption by diabetics. They do so by inhibiting carb-breaking enzymes, increasing sensitivity to insulin and ensuring there are sufficient insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
7. Known to treat gastric issues
Bacteria known as H.pylori bacteria tend to infect the stomach lining and cause inflammation condition known as gastritis. Okra juice consists of anti-adhesive compounds that bind to the surface of free floating bacteria in the gut. This binding inhibits the bacteria from causing havoc on the stomach lining, preventing any inflammation and gastritis in the stomach.
Bacteria known as H.pylori bacteria tend to infect the stomach lining and cause inflammation
It is time we give this green veggie all the attention it deserves and make the best out of it to stay healthy and fit.
Talk about ghar ka khana and the classic trio of dal, chawal and bhindi comes to mind. A perfect combination indeed.