Okra is one of the most popular summer vegetables. The young tender pods of okra give a pleasant flavour when cooked as vegetable. Okra is also known as lady finger and in Hindi this vegetable is known as Bhindi. Young, tender, fresh clean pods of small to medium size usually are of good quality. Pods should snap or puncture easily. Pods that have passed their prime look dull and dry. They are usually woody and the seeds are hard. If held too long, they are likely to become shrivelled and discoloured and lack flavour. Okra is full of nutrition and within the reach of every individual.
- The important aspect of Okra is mucin, the gel like substance. This vegetable mucin in Okra gives a soothing effect to the stomach and relieves us of burning sensation in stomach, gastric problems and acidity.
- The sodium content of okra is very high. It also contains a vegetable mucin that is soothing to the irritated membranes of the intestinal tract. Okra has an alkaline reaction.
- This low calorie vegetable helps keep the joints limber. It helps to neutralise acids and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
- Okra is a good source of A, B, C and K vitamins and minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium.
- It is also a good source of anti oxidants that prevent heart diseases, cancer, premature aging.
- Drinking Okra decoction gives relief from fever. Cut the vegetable to small pieces and put them in boiling water. Let it boil for few minutes and put off the flame. On cooling give this water to person suffering from fever.Â Â This brings down the fever.
- The diuretic property in Okra helps in treating urinary tract infection. Regular consumption of Okra can even help prevent kidney disease.
- Cut the vegetable lengthwise from the middle and put it in water overnight. Take out the Okra and drink this water early in the morning for two weeks. This brings down the blood sugar levels.
- Okra is a good source of pectin and this reduces blood cholesterol.
- The dietary fibre in Okra helps in digestive and colon health. The fibre helps to clean out the gastrointestinal system allowing the colon to work more efficiently.
- Regular consumption of Okra significantly increases the total fibre intake. This fibre too can help to clear out excess cholesterol in the body and help maintain the blood sugar levels.
- Vitamin C in Okra helps in relieving the problems of common cold, asthma, wheezing and respiratory problems. Vitamin C helps keep the skin smooth and soft. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of body tissues.
- Vitamin K in Okra is good for bone strength. It is a co- factor for blood clotting enzymes.
Okra is made into tablets and they are valuable in replenishing a sodium deficiency in the body and in replacing sodium lost through excessive perspiration. The tablets are also good for the ulcers of the stomach.
Okra powder is very good to include in broths and soups. Because in contains a high amount of sodium which is good for the elderly people.So long as the vegetable is available fresh, grab it and avail its benefits.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna