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Health Benefits of Bhendi

Health Benefits of Okra (Lady’s Finger)

The mucilaginous content in okra sets it apart
from other vegetables for its extraordinary benefits.

 

 
Description

Okra is also known as “lady’s finger” in some parts of Asia. And various other names in other parts of the world. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

Okra is an edible pea pod and although can be eaten raw, I’ve never acquired the raw taste. You can lightly blanch, steam or give it a quick stir-fry to reduce the “green” taste.

Use when it’s tender, as it gets very fibrous when it’s older. In the okra pods, the white soft seeds (edible) are arranged in 5 to 10 vertical columns, giving it the angled appearance on the outside.

 
Nutritional Benefits

Okra is very low in calories and dense with nutrients. It is high in fiber, vitamin A, C, and folate content.

It is also a good source of the B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and traces of magnesium and manganese.

Okra is one of those few vegetables which have the highest content of phytonutrients and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein.

 

Health Benefits

Okra is one of the best medicinal vegetable although it is not everyone’s favorite. You may like to try it if you knew about its immense health benefits:

Anemia:  Helps red blood cells production and prevent anemia.

Anti-Cancer:  The high antioxidants in okra helps protect the immune system against harmful free radicals and prevent mutation of cells.

Asthma:  The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra useful for reducing asthmatic attacks.

Bone Strength:  Folate in okra builds strong bones and density, preventing osteoporosis.

Cholesterol:  The soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, thus also reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of heart diseases.

Constipation:  The rich fiber and mucilaginous (slimy) content in okra pods help increase bulk, bind to toxins and ensure easy bowel movements with its natural laxative properties. Regularly eating okra also reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Diabetes:  It has insulin-like properties that help to reduce blood sugar level.

Gut flora:  The fiber helps improve the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Immune Booster:  The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra a good immune booster food that reduce your catching the cough and cold.

Peptic Ulcers: The mucilaginous content provides a temporary coating to the digestive tract and stomach lining while healing the ulcers.

Pregnancy:  The rich folate content in okra can help decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in babies.

Skin Health:  With good bowel movements, skin health will improve. Helps reduce acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Vision Health: Okra contains beta-carotenes (precursor of vitamin A), xanthin and lutein, all antioxidant properties that are helpful for vision health, preventing eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.

 

Consumption Tips

Choose smaller-sized okra over the big ones.  The feel should be crisp and firm to be sure they are tender and not overly fibrous. Avoid those which color does not look fresh and are soft.

As with most vegetables, okra may be subject to insecticide/pesticides. Buy organic if possible. If not, soak okra in water with apple cider vinegar and seasalt for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Cut off the tops and cut okra into smaller pieces of 2-3 inches if desired. Lightly blanch, steam or quickly stir-fry to reduce the mucilage and the “green taste”. It can be added into your salad, or dipped into your home-made chilli sauce, or eat it just on its own.

Okra cannot be juiced due to its very fibrous texture and mucilaginous (slimy) content.

Caution

Like most vegetables, okra has a small amount of oxalic acid and does not generally bother. Avoid okra if you have a history of kidney stones.

 

Health benefits of Bhendi or Lady’s Finger or Okra

  • Diabetes: Bhindi helps to fight against diabetes. The fiber it contains aids in stabilizing blood sugar level by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.
  •  Stops Anemia: The iron content in okra helps the to hemoglobin in the body and stops anemia. Vitamin K assists in body-fluid coagulation.
  • Constipation: Okra or lady finger’s  is one of the best vegetable sources of dietary fiber which is absolutely vital for the digestive system. Dietary fibers in okra help avert and ease constipation. The soluble fiber in okra absorbs water and adds mass to the body thereby preventing constipation.
  • Weight decrease: The dietary fibers contained in this  vegetable are best for those who are on their weight reduction regime. Lady’s finger comprises of no calories, therefore is good for weight loss.
  • Colon Cancer: By cleansing out the intestinal tract, Lady’s Finger is able to advance colon health by permitting the organ to work at a higher rate of effectiveness and decrease the risk of colon cancer.
  •  Heart Disease: Soluble fiber in lady’s finger or okra helps to reduce serum cholesterol therby reducing the risk of heart disease. Having okra helps to effectively control the body’s high cholesterol level. Okra is furthermore high in pectin that helps in lowering high body-fluid cholesterol by changing the output of bile in the intestines.
  • Good for Immune system: The high Vitamin content in Lady’s finger helps battle cold and improves the overall functioning of the immune system. The Vitamins and numerous minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron in lady’s finger fights against hurtful free radicals and enhances the functionality of the  immune system.
  •  Hair Problems: Okra or lady’s  finger can furthermore help get your hair back to its original state, free from dandruff. For bouncy hair, boil water and add okra in it, allow it to get to room temperature, squeeze half a lemon and use this solution as a hair rinse. Professionals say that it can even help in getting rid of lice.
  • Good for Eyesight: Vitamin A and beta carotene discovered in okra’s are absolutely vital nutrients for sustaining good eyesight. In supplement, these essential nutrients furthermore help stops eye associated problems such as cataracts. The Vitamin A promotes health of the eyes and defends against age associated eye disorders.
  •  Fetus Development: The high allowance of folate contained in lady’s finger or okra is beneficial for the fetus during pregnancy. Folate is an essential nutrient which advances the development of the fetus body. The high allowance of folic acid in lady’s finger or okra plays a significant role in the neural tube formation of the fetus through the fourth to twelveth week of pregnancy.

 

Top 10 Benefits of Lady Finger (Bhindi) in Weight loss, Health

Top 10 Benefits of Lady Finger (Bhindi) in Weight loss, Health

Lady finger (Okra) has been a part of Indian cuisine for ages. Its rich fibre content is what mainly contributes to its benefits. Scroll down to know more about the nutrients and health benefits of lady finger.

Nutrients in Lady finger : -

Following are the nutrients that contribute to the benefits of lady finger.

Dietary fiber (9 % ), folate , pyridoxine , thiamine, Vit C, Vit A, Vit K , copper, calcium , potassium , iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.

Benefits of Lady Finger –

1] Weight Loss - The low calorie content of Okra (30 kcal / 100 gm) and its high fibre content make it a suitable food for weight loss. It provides minimum calories and its high fibre levels help in keeping you full for longer.

2] Heart disease - Okra contains soluble fibre pectin. Pectin helps in lowering bad cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis by helping in elimination of deposited cholesterol and clots.

3] Controls blood sugar levels – This benefit of lady finger may be attributed to its fibre content. Eugenol a type of fibre, helps in slowing down digestion and absorption of sugar from the blood stream. Hence it helps in avoiding sugar spikes after meal and stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Its fibre further helps in lowering blood sugar levels.

4] Improves digestion – The fibre content of lady finger helps in better digestion, and regularization of bowels. Pectin swells up in the intestine and helps in easier elimination of waste from the intestine. People suffering from constipation benefit from regular consumption of lady finger.

5] Conception and pregnancy – Lady finger is an absolutely essential food for ladies who are trying to conceive. Okra contains folic acid / folate. Folate helps not only in conceiving, but also helps in the development of fetus and prevention of miscarriage. Folate helps in the formation of neural tubes of the fetus.

6] Improves immunity – Another important benefit of lady finger is that it contains Vitamin C which helps in improving immunity.

7] Anemia – Lady finger contains iron and folate and Vitamin K, nutrients that help in treating and avoiding anaemia.

8] Prevention of colon cancer – Like all other high fibre foods, lady finger too helps in prevention of colon cancer by keeping the digestive system intact and functioning properly.

9] Improves eyesight – The Vitamin A and beta carotene present in lady finger may be helpful in improving eyesight.

10 ] Treatment of dandruff and lice – Okra is used as home remedy for dandruff and lice. Cut okra horizontally and boil in water, add lemon to this water and use this water for rinsing hair.

As you can see that most of the benefits of lady finger are attributed to its rich fibre content. Hence dietitians advise everyone to eat as many veggies with your meal as possible

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