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7 Health Benefits of Okra

Written by andy

Find out why okra is so darn awesome!

Okra is one of those foods you’ll find everywhere in the South. It’s a very popular veggie in places like Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia, where it grows in abundance. You can find it in many different delicious recipes, and it makes for one delicious natural health food.

But did you know that the vegetable is more than just tasty? It’s also a surprisingly healthy food to add to your diet! If you want to be healthy, it may be time to add okra to your meals.

Here are a few of the health benefits of okra:

  1. Control Blood Sugar — Okra contains a lot of fiber, along with a thick, glue-like substance called mucilage. Together, these two things make okra the thick veggie that it is, and they make it very important for your health. The fiber and mucilage are effective at controlling your blood sugar levels, slowing down the rate at which your body absorbs carbs. By slowing down carb absorption, you reduce your risk of blood sugar spikes that can lead to diabetes.
  2. Promote Healthy Pregnancy –– Okra is rich in folate, a B vitamin that plays a huge role in the health of pregnant mothers and their babies.  Folate is needed to promote the production of new cells, ensuring that the baby can grow healthy and strong in the mother’s womb. It can help to reduce the risk of birth defects, promote healthy brain development, and ensure that the mother’s body stays healthy throughout the pregnancy. The Vitamin C in okra also contributes to having a healthy baby.
  3. Boost Colon Health –– The colon plays a very important role in overall health. It’s estimated that up to 80% of the immune activity takes place in your intestines, so keeping your colon healthy and strong ensures that your immune system is preventing infections and outside threats from making you sick. The fiber in the okra helps to keep your colon healthy, flushing out the GI tract and getting rid of toxins and clogged waste materials. By eating okra, you can promote healthy waste elimination and keep your intestines working well.

READ MORE: Winter Veggies to Keep the Cold Away

  1. Aid in Kidney Disease –– A 2005 study found that okra can help to prevent and even aid in the treatment of kidney disease. Participants in the study who consumed okra on a daily basis showed fewer signs of kidney damage than those who did not. The fact that okra can help to reduce diabetes problems means it’s effective at reducing diabetes-related kidney damage as well!
  2. Improve Skin Health — Okra is rich in Vitamin A, which is needed for healthy skin and hair cells. The Vitamin C in okra also helps your skin to produce more collagen, the nutrient that keeps your skin fresh and elastic. It can help to rejuvenate skin that has been damaged by pollution, injuries, or sunburn, and you’ll find that using okra as a topical treatment (boiled, mashed, and applied to the skin) can be a great way to soothe dry, chapped, and burned skin.
  3. Help With Asthma –– Okra is rich in Vitamin C, and you’ll find that Vitamin C is one of the best things to help you deal with asthma and other respiratory tract problems. Vitamin C can help to reduce the symptoms of wheezing, and can reduce your risk of developing the infections or inflammation that lead to asthma outbreaks.
  4. Promote Weight Loss –– Thanks to the high fiber content and low calorie count of okra, you can eat as much as you want to fill up without adding to your waistline. It makes for a great weight loss vegetable!

About the author

andy

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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