Health and Wellbeing

6 amazing health benefits of okra

Okra is packed with vitamins and minerals. But if that’s not enough to get this super veggie into your diet, here are six more reasons!

By Leah C. Eriguel

Okra or ladies’ fingers, as it is known in other parts of the world, is a vegetable rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium. These nutritional benefits should be reason enough to try this super veggie, but just to convince you, here are six other reasons why you need okra in your diet.

  1. It fights fatigue
    Given the demands of our daily lives—from work stress, relationship dramas, down to Metro Manila traffic—physical (and emotional) fatigue can sometimes get the better of us. If you find that at the end of the day, you’re tired to the bone, you badly need okra in your life.
    Eating okra regularly can delay fatigue. Okra seeds contain antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids that help glycogen storage in your liver. Glycogen is a body fuel reserve; and having more of it, thanks to okra, can keep you from tiring easily.

  2. It fights depression
    Feeling depressed lately? Because of its high phenol and flavonoid content, eating okra daily can help you fight the blues. Research show that okra seed extracts are potent agents for elevating mood.

  3. It lowers blood pressure
    Like bananas, okra is a good source of potassium. Potassium, as you and I know, is essential to good health. You need it to maintain the right fluid and sodium balance in your body.
    Potassium also helps relax blood vessels and arteries, which then reduces blood pressure and eases up the strain on our cardiovascular system. So, if you must gorge on lechon and crispy pata, make sure to balance it with okra and other high-potassium foods.

  4. It manages diabetes
    Take note, diabetics. The peel and seeds of okra can lower blood glucose levels. Okra helps manage diabetes by inhibiting carb-breaking enzymes, leveling up sensitivity to insulin, and ensuring sufficient insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The more insulin produced and the less carbs broken down into glucose result in lower blood sugar.

  5. It helps curb your hunger
    Okra is packed with easily dissolved or soluble fibers that make you feel full faster and longer. For people who have weight goals, eating okra can help keep your calorie intake in check. You are less likely to binge with the long-lasting feeling of being sated that okra brings.

  6. It takes care of your skin
    The Schweiger Dermatology Group based in New York City says that due to okra’s high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C and many other antioxidants, eating a daily dose of okra reduces wrinkles, acne and acne scars, as well as skin.