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Okra - The Wonder Vegetable of Today

The world's most beautiful women, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei
of China loved to eat okra in their diets according to the history
record.

When we visited the world's most productive land of okra, Kami rural
area in Kowchi Prefecture, Japan, young and old are all in smile and
look very healthy. When we asked the secret of their beautiful smile
and good health in that area, their answers were great grace of okra.

The history of okra seems to be very old and it was cultivated in
Egypt before the time of Cleopatra. The okra plant spread to many
parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade. During WWII, the
shortage of coffee beans made them use okra seeds as a substitute for
coffee. This incident made the word "okra fever". Since then, okra's
popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores
throughout the world and throughout the year.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Okra contains vitamins A and C and is a good source of iron and
calcium. It also contains starch, fat, ash, thiamine and riboflavin.
No wonder, Cleopatra and Yang Guifei maintained their beauties.
Probably, you want to know more specifically. Here it is:

For 1/2 cup sliced, cooked okra
Calories 25
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Protein 1.52 grams
Carbohydrates 5.76 grams
Vitamin A 460 IU
Vitamin C 13.04 mg
Folic acid 36.5 micrograms
Calcium 50.4 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Potassium 256.6 mg
Magnesium 46 mg


For 1 cup raw okra
Calories: 33
Fiber: 3.2g
Total Fat: 0.1g
Protein: 2.0g
Carbohydrate: 7.6g
Vitamin A 660 IU
Vitamin C 21mg
Folate 87.8mcg
Magnesium 57mg


BENEFITS OF OKRA
1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood
sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the
intestinal tract.
2. Okra's mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins
dumped into it by the filtering liver.
3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative
qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools.
This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran,
which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage
soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its
slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in
bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health
problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body.
Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side
effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of
most unlike the OTC drugs.
4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria
(probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and
suffering from depression.
6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It
helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a
temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.
8. Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma
replacements.
9. Okra is good for summer heat treatment. Okra is a supreme
vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from
depression.
10. Okra is good for constipation.
11. Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol
level.
12. Okra is good for asthma. Okra's vitamin C is an antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
13. Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
14. Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion,
especially colorectal cancer.
15. Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
16. Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of
cataracts.
17. Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
18. Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful
skin. We understand the reason why Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved to
eat okra.

There are other medicinal uses of okra, like its protection against
trans fats.

I myself planted about 25 stems of okra in my backyard garden
throughout the year for over 20 years now. I can pick up about 20
pieces of okra pod every morning. All okra pods are consumed by my
family. There are hundreds of recipes that can be done. Cut it raw
and mix with vinegar and pepper; Cut it raw and mix with mayonnaise;
Steam, cut, with mayonnaise dressing; Cook with stew or soup. Okra
can keep you healthier.

Okra is easy to grow anywhere during summer season in cold countries
and throughout the year in tropical areas. You can even plant it in a
container garden at the terrace in condominium buildings.

To tell you the truth, I did not know that okra seed was used as a
substitute for coffee beans during WWII. I have about 500 grams of
okra seed, so I roasted one-half of it using an iron cast pan, and
pulverized it. I made okra coffee with it, and it tasted like real
coffee, although it was darker in color. When I offered the okra
coffee to my staffs and visitors who did not know the real thing,
they replied "Oh, you got a new blend of coffee, taste is good". I
blended it with real coffee, too. It tastes all right. We do not
know, however, what nutrients okra coffee gives.


30 comments:

  1. Very nice and helpful information, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Hello, I am a Indian American physician practicing Internal Medicine. Recently, my father had a kidney stone, and my mother gave him a broth of okra to sip. She said it was an old Indian remedy. In about a day, he passed his stone. Current allopathic thinking is that okra should be AVOIDED in people with kidney stones because it has high oxalate levels. How can we reconcile this? Could the broth extract have an oxalate enzyme?

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