African Herbs

Health benefits of Okra.

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When it comes to food, Africa is blessed with so much variety and richness. We’ll be talking about Okra, also known as Gumbo, and Lady’s fingers. It happens to be one of the healthiest vegetables out there.

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is incredibly nourishing; it contains a rare combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Eating okra is very good for your skin, hair, and general body!

Okra
Okra

Common names: Okro, Lady’s fingers, Gumbo, Bhindi.

African names:



  • Ghana – Nkruma.
  • Bantu – Ngumbo.
  • Congo – Dongodongo.
  • Middle Eastern countriesBamia.
  • Mozambique – Nhaguguzire.
  • Igbo – Okuru.
  • Yoruba – Ila Alasepo.
  • Hausa – Kubewa.
  • Swahili – Gumbo.
Okra soup
Okra soup 

Health benefits of Okra.

  • Rich in vitamins:

    Okra is a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, K. The green pods contain a healthy amount of Vitamin A, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein, which helps keep your skin fresh and healthy, Preserve good vision, prevent cataracts, and protect the body from oral and lung cancer. It also contains Vitamin k, which is essential for bone health and plays a significant role in blood clotting; and Vitamin C, which helps with the body’s immunity and is linked to cough & cold prevention.

 

  • Helps in Digestion:

    Okra is rich in dietary fiber, which feeds the good bacteria in the gut, maintains the pH of the digestive tract, and aids in digestion. It also contains mucilage, that thick slimy substance; it lubricates the large intestine, speeds up the healing of peptic ulcers, and helps with constipation.

 

  • Helps with weight loss:

    Okra is rich in dietary fiber and low in calories; this makes it great for people to lose weight. It also curbs appetite by making you feel full for a long time.

Okra plant
Okra plant
  • Reduces bad cholesterol :

    Okra contains pectin, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, lowers bad cholesterol in the body, and increases the good cholesterol.

 

  • Lowers blood sugar:

    Okra affects blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the blood, thereby keeping your blood sugar from rising too fast. Also, it reduces the chances of developing kidney disease as half of such ailments develop from diabetes.

 

  • Keeps the Liver healthy:

    Okra helps in liver-detox. The slimy substance of the okra binds with the cholesterol and bile acids, thereby enabling the liver to flush out toxins from the body.

 

  • Prevents stroke:

    Okra is rich in vitamin C and potassium, which are essential for keeping the blood vessels healthy, blood pressure under control, and preventing stroke.

 

  • Prevents cancer:

    Okra is packed with antioxidants that help the body fight off free radicals that can lead to cancer.

  • Boosts immunity:

    Okra is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C and antioxidants, strengthening our body’s immunity by fighting off free radicals in our body. Vitamin C also promotes the production of white blood cells, which protects the body from infections.

 

  • Improves Brain Health:

    Okra contains potassium, which is needed for the normal functioning of the brain. It also prevents brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  • Improves bone health:

    Okra is rich in minerals like Calcium, Folate, and Vitamin K, which helps the body prevent bone degradation and Osteoporosis.

 

  • Improves Eye Health:

    The high content of Vitamin A and Antioxidants in Okra helps our body defend itself from the dangerous effects of free radicals on the cells in the eyes. Okra helps prevent the onset of Macular degeneration and cataracts.

 

  • Asthma:

    It is recommended for people who have asthma to incorporate okra in their diet. The vitamin C in Okra has shown some to have some positive effects in the treatment of asthma.

 

  • Okra and Ovulation:

    Okra boosts the OVULATION, FERTILITY, and LIBIDO in women. Okra water and okra soup help with this.

  • Boosts libido:

    Okra is also called the Vegetable of LOVE because it boosts libido and is a natural relaxant. It’s rich in magnesium, iron, folate, vitamin B, and zinc; all the nutrients that keep your sex organs happy and Healthy.

 

  • Haircare:

    Okra adds and retains moisture, makes your hair softer, healthier, easier to manage, defines Curls, and is a leave-in conditioner. It can also be used as a gel; the best part is it doesn’t cause build-up or flakes on the hair.

 

  • Skincare:

    Eating okra keeps your skin looking healthy and glowing! It contains nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, calcium, and protein that promote healthy skin cells. You can also apply okra on your face as well! It pumps moisture into skin cells, leaving them soft and supple.

  • Side effects of okra:

    Okra seed can lead to infertility in men. It contains a chemical called gossypol, which inhibits sperm production.

  • Overeating okra can adversely affect some people. It can cause diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bloating in people with existing bowel problems.

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Cynthia Adeh Ekpong
My name is Cynthia Adeh Ekpong, and I'm a health writer.  It pains me that we Africans spend more money buying drugs for minor issues instead of using herbs that are around us for little or no amount. My goal in 54history is to bring more awareness to our African herbs.

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