Aside from being used to prepare a delicious soup that can be eaten with a variety of dishes, did you know that okra has numerous nutritional benefits that it delivers to the body? Also known as lady’s finger, okra is a vegetable that is grown in most tropical and temperate regions of the world as it grows well on a well-drained and humus-rich soil. In case you were wondering what the scientific name of this wonderful vegetable is, the answer is Abelmoschus esculentus. Okra has a good amount of folic acid, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, folic acid and mucilaginous fibre present in it. As a result of the abundant nutrients okra possesses, it can perform a lot of beneficial roles in the body system, some of these are:
- Aids digestion: Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloating and passing of excess gas can be reduced by consuming okra. The high amount of mucilaginous fibre present in it aids bowel movement and adds bulk to watery stools, thereby preventing diarrhoea. It also helps in moving food through the digestive tract and speeding up digestion.
- Maintains skin: Okra contains antioxidants that help in reversing the damages done to the skin cells by free radicals. Because okra also contains some amount of vitamin A antioxidants, they protect the skin and help it heal faster and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and pimples.
- Useful for weight loss: Okra contains very little calories and cholesterol, thereby making it very useful in weight reduction and cholesterol-controlling programs. If you are on a weight loss diet and you still need to treat yourself to a delicious soup, try making a pot of okra soup instead of all the ones that contain high calories and fat.
- Strengthens the immune system: Okra contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that help boost the immunity and aid the body in fighting off infections and diseases. The B-complex vitamins and varieties of minerals in okra perform a lot of duties in the body such as activating blood clotting enzymes, strengthening the bones and protecting the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Credit: Connect Nigeria.