Health: These 3 scientifically proven health benefits of eating okra will surprise you
Okra, also known as "lady's finger," or "bamia pod" is one of the many nutritious vegetables of North-East African origin. It is also widely used in Brazilian cuisine, and is is packed with nutrition. But, these 3 scientifically proven health benefits of eating okra will surprise you.
Before we get 3 scientifically proven health benefits of eating okra. Let’s get some nutritional facts of this vegetable.
One of the most nutritional benefits of eating Okra is that we only need 100 grams of the vegetable, to consume 36% of the daily recommended levels of vitamin-C, which helps with boosting immunity. . The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin-K, which is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones. They are also a good source of iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.
But, the health benefits of consuming okra do not stop there. These 3 scientifically proven health benefits of eating okra will surprise you
1) Anti- diabetic
Okra polysaccharide (OP) was investigated on metabolic disorders in mice. It was reported that OP lowered body weight and glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance, and decreased serum total cholesterol levels in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice. More recently, the hypoglycemic effect of the extract was tested in normal, glucose loading and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Scientists observed that the Ethanolic extract of fruits of okra at a dose of 500mg/kg b.w. could produce a significant fall in blood glucose levels by about 76% in diabetic rats, after 5 h of treatment. But none of these extracts could produce any hypoglycemic effect in normal rats.
A 2016 review article of various studies, on okra’s anti- diabetic capability, has established that okra’s extract has a hypoglycemic effect that helps decrease blood glucose level. In addition, it leads to inhibition of cholesterol absorption and subsequently decreases the level of lipid and fat in the blood.
2) May improve eye sight
It is well established that Vitamin A deficient is associated with eye-sight problems. . But, Okra may improve eye - sight because it is packed vitamin A, which has been reported to reduce respiratory and gastro intestinal issues. Okra also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are necessary for eye health and have been proven to halt the development diabetic retinopathy, and slow the progression of macular degeneration.
3) anti- cancer
Pectin and pH- or heat-modified pectin have demonstrated chemopreventive and antitumoral activities against some aggressive and recurrent cancers. Okra contains pectin, and it has been tested against melanoma cells, which induced in vitro melanoma cancer cells to suffer apoptosis ( they died).
In another study, the anti-tumor effects of a newly-discovered lectin, isolated from okra were observed, as Okra lectin induced significant cell growth inhibition (63 %) in breast cancer cells. Flow cytometry also indicated that cell death (72 %) predominantly occurred through apoptosis.
With some many health benefits, this might be a vegetable that you want to eat more frequently and reap the health benefits it offers.