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Control Diabetes, Combat Hunger & Fight High Cholesterol With Okra, A Medicine Powerhouse

May 14th, 2018

Ever heard of Okra? If you’ve ever been to the South you have!

Okra is a plant believed to have originated in Northeast Africa, according to Harvesting History, where the plants can still be found in their wild state, growing along riverbanks.

Often grown as an ornamental, Okra (Hibiscus esculentus) is related to both Hibiscus and Hollyhock. Okra also produces the celebrated huge, showy flowers these plants put off each Summer.

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Flikr/Scott Sherrill-Mix Source: Flikr/Scott Sherrill-Mix

While Okra has been naturalized to grow in regions all over the world, it maintains its warm-weathered preferences and does best in hot, humid climes.

Once they flower, the plants produce small, claw-shaped “fruits” or seed-pods. This is the vegetable used in culinary recipes.

Famously known as the superstar veggie Gumbo, they are also called lady fingers, after the thin and curvaceous shape of the fruit.

The seed pods are valued as a thickening agent in soups and stews, where their slimy-when-cooked texture is a welcomed attribute.

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Flikr/Jerome Decq Source: Flikr/Jerome Decq

It is these fascinating fruits that have gained recent attention in medical studies for their health benefits.

Nutrient dense, Okra packs quite the punch medically speaking. According to Healthline, Okra contains:

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins B and C
  • Folic Acid
  • High content of Dietary Fiber

As if that weren’t enough, it is also extremely low in calories, Making it a dietary rock-star super-food.

Below is a list of some of the known benefits of consuming Okra.

Stave Off Hunger

Ever had a big meal, only to find yourself starving after a short while? Chances are your meal didn’t have much soluble fiber in it, which is what gives you that satisfyingly full feeling.

Add Okra to your dish and you will cut your hunger cravings instantly.

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Flikr/George Wesley & Bonita Dannells Source: Flikr/George Wesley & Bonita Dannells

Wake Up!

A recent study published in Nutrients, found that Okra seeds, contain a rich combination of flavonoids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, and antioxidants that do in fact promote energy.

In essence,the liver uses these constituents to create storage space for glycogen, a material the liver turns into a sugar the body can use as energy. According to the study,

These doses can be reached by a human serving of the vegetable

Treat And Prevent Diabetes

Okra helps regulate blood sugars due to the high amount of insoluble fibers in the super-food.

At 9% recommended daily value, Okra has enough fiber not only to keep you feeling full, but also, according to Diabetes.co.uk,

stabilise blood glucose by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

Regulates Cholesterol

Much like it regulates diabetes, the fiber in Okra stimulates the production of bile to keep your digestive tract healthy.

Meaning you eliminate more fats and toxins from your body, keeping cholesterol levels healthy and decreasing your chances of heart attack.

Prevent Excessive Blood Loss

Okra contains significant amounts of Vitamin K, which WebMd says,

plays a key role in helping the blood clot, preventing excessive bleeding.

Vitamin K is also important for maintaining healthy bone structure, and can help prevent fractures and other ailments related to bone-disease.

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Flikr/Tahoe Fire Man Source: Flikr/Tahoe Fire Man

Improve Immune System and Eye Sight

Keep your white blood cell count up to fight of infections with a healthy dose of Vitamin A.

Okra is rich in this nutrient and it will also keep your eyesight on target, too! According to BlackDoctor.org,

the green pods contain beta-carotene, lutein and xanthine, which together with vitamin A help preserve good vision and keep your skin fresh and healthy.

Stop Your Bellyaching

On top these amazing benefits, Okra can also cure ailments associated with gastritis.

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Flikr/Gypsy and the Fool Source: Flikr/Gypsy and the Fool

Gastritis is caused by bacteria called H.pylori, which burrows into your stomach lining, causing inflammation and erosion. Food NDTV notes:

Okra juice consists of anti-adhesive compounds that bind to the surface of free floating bacteria in the gut.

This keeps the bacteria from entering the stomach lining, so gastritis never becomes an issue.

What a powerful medicine! I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll go grab some Gumbo!

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H/T: Alternative Health Universe