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5 Potential Health Benefits of Okra According to Studies

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Discover the potential health benefits of okra for conditions such as diabetes. As a popular dish in most African communities, you can use it as a sauce to thicken soups and stews. Others eat it as a stand-alone vegetable.

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Okra is popular in the Southern United States among black Americans. Apart from being a delicacy, it has health benefits you need to know. You may have read or heard about it’s weight loss potential over social media. But that isn’t my focus here, though it could be a positive side effect ( one you might be hoping to achieve for health-related issues).

Read about Okra’s potential benefits such as minerals based on studies including the National Library of Medicine, and Research Gate.

Please note that the information provided here shouldn’t be substituted for medical advice. This article is solely for educational purposes.  

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5 Health Benefits of Okra

Some of Okra’s health benefits can be seen below.

5 Potential Health Benefits of Okra According to StudiesOkra health benefits. Source: National Library of Medicine

Helps Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a genetic disease, specifically type 2. But, it can also be a product of your eating habits, for instance eating food with very high calories. Keeping your blood sugar levels within the recommended ranges by health professionals can help prevent the development of prediabetes.

One study links diabetes to obesity. It further adds that Okra can help reduce sugar levels thus securing your kidneys from damage- high sugars in your blood can destroy the nephrons and blood vessels rendering your kidneys dysfunctional.

Pregnancy

Carrying a baby in your womb isn’t a walk in the park for most women. Furthermore, despite nausea or loathing for specific foods, Okra gives pregnant moms folate which helps prevent defects of the baby’s neural tube. And to ensure your baby’s development goes as expected, medical professionals will give you folic acid supplements.

You can incorporate Okra, also known as gumbo, into your diet by adding to stews and salads. Furthermore, it’ll give you the fiber needed to prevent constipation.  

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Acts as an Antioxidant

With its origin in Africa, okra is an antioxidant and has compounds such as flavonoid derivatives and phenolic compounds. 

As an antioxidant, it neutralizes the free radicals that:

  • trigger the growth of cancerous cells leading to cancer
  • increases the risk of heart disease
  • affects bone health and the occurrence of cataracts.

But, if you have kidney stones you should go slow on okra as it’s a high-oxalate vegetable. 

One study on mice showed that okra can help reduce breast cancer cells. Another research on a human breast showed that lectin protein from Okra could inhibit cancer cell growth by 63%.

Manages Cholesterol Levels

5 Potential Health Benefits of Okra According to Studies
Sections of a heart. Image source: Wikimedia. Licenced under CC BY 2.0

Researchers determined in a study using mice that the gel-like substance in okra seeds, mucilage, helps control cholesterol levels thus improving heart health. The lady’s fingers in combination with an overall healthy lifestyle, can be the key to keeping your heart functioning normally.

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Rich in Nutrients

Okra pods and the leaves have lots to offer. Apart from antioxidants, they’re rich in vitamins C and A. This African vegetable is also rich in:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin k 1
  • Zinc, and more

Boosts Immunity

Having good immunity means your body can fight illnesses. Okra isn’t a high-fat diet, the reason it’s healthy. Research shows it boosts your immunity thus helping your body fight infections that can hinder your normal body functions.

Your nutrition is one of the keys to good health. And okra is a vegetable among many that can provide you with the health benefits mentioned in this article. Whether you’re using okra powder or the vegetable itself, try today.

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Beatrice Maina
Beatrice Maina
Beatrice Maina is a proficient writer and content manager who crafts high-quality, optimized articles that are helpful to readers. She listens to your brand voice and incorporates it into her writing. With a rich background in SEO writing and keyword research, she understands the need to write content that search engines and readers will love. Thus, she emphasizes the need for articles to meet readers' needs and are Google-friendly.

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