Okra also has many other names such as zucchini, yellow cotton, popcorn or coffee beans, okra (UK), with the old scientific name called Hibicus enculentus L. (Albelmoschus enculentus Wight et Arn) belonging to the Eastern family (Malvaceae ). The plant is native to West Africa, can withstand the heat and dry well, is grown in tropical or temperate regions, commonly found in the Southern United States. In our country, okra is grown in many places, but concentrated in the southern provinces.
This species is a perennial or multi-year tree, up to 2.5 m tall. The leaves are long and wide, about 10 – 20cm, split into the propeller lobe with 5-7. Flowers 4 – 8cm diameter, with 5 white or yellow petals, often with red or purple spots at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule up to 20cm long, containing many seeds.
Okra contains a lot of nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium … Those are nutrients that help enhance digestive function, improve immune system, prevent oxidation … Okra is used as an ingredient in many delicious dishes every day. Here are some of the effects of okra for health that few people know!
1. Help you feel full
Okra contains fiber like melon, so it can help you feel full for longer. When you eat okra, you will reduce the risk of snacking, especially snacking at dinner. Therefore, you will not have to worry about the possibility of overeating calories.
2. Good for digestion
Again the fiber in okra “scores”. With the high fiber content, your digestive process is also more favorable, making it easier to have regular bowel movements without constipation. This not only helps to keep your weight steady, but also makes you healthier.
3. Contains low calories
Always looking for low-calorie foods to add to your meals, then choose okra. Although low in calories, it still helps you satisfy your hunger, thanks to not worrying about gaining weight.
4. Good for the kidneys
With the diuretic effect, if you eat okra every day will help the body detoxify and help you lose weight by eliminating an excess of water. This is also a great “weapon” that you can use to get rid of bloating.
5. Helps control cholesterol levels
The pectins in okra act as substances that reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), thereby contributing to improving heart function.
Thanks to its antioxidant-rich properties, okra can provide the support cells need in their fight against free radicals, which can lead to cancer.
7. Strengthen the immune system
The fiber in okra helps to “feed” the healthy bacteria, which are essential in our intestines, thereby building the body’s immunity against viruses and infections very effectively.
8. Support fertility and health during pregnancy
The high folate content of okra is particularly important when considering a supplement to your pre-conception diet as it “reduces the incidence of neural tube defects in children”. Likewise, eating plenty of folate during pregnancy helps support a healthy mother and baby.
9. Helps stabilize blood sugar
The fiber content in okra is also responsible for slowing the rate of sugar absorption in the digestive tract. Therefore, this food is very friendly with people with diabetes.
10. Help to reduce asthma symptoms
Okra is very high in vitamin C, which has been linked with its ability to alleviate respiratory problems like asthma.
11. Good for eye health
Nutrients of okra such as vitamins C and A are effective in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
12. Supports strong bones
Thanks to vitamin K and folate, okra is also considered a savior in preventing bone loss and fighting osteoporosis.
13. Good for the skin
The high content of vitamin C helps the development and rejuvenation of skin cells and collagen, and okra is rich in vitamin C. So there is no reason to deny the effects of okra in making skin look smoother, younger and healthier
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