According to Sylvia W. Zook,
Ph.D. (nutritionist) Okra has several benefits.
1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize 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
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. In India, okra has been used successfully in experimental blood
To retain most of okra's nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should
be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed.
Some eat it raw.
Acid Reflux and
A person, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently
from acid reflux, started eating 6 pieces of Okra. Since then, has not taken
any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and
his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This
anti-inflammatory activity may curtail the development of asthma symptoms. A
large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience
significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in
vitamin C. 1/2 cup of cooked Okra contains over 13 mg of vitamin C.
Diets high in insoluble fiber, such as those containing okra, are associated
with protection against heart disease in both men and women.
The insoluble fiber found in Okra helps to keep the intestinal tract
healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal
Eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such
as okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
1/2 cup of cooked okra contains 460 IU of vitamin A. Some studies have
reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was
associated with a lower risk of cataracts.
A study (JAMA July 23, 2003) showed that consuming a "dietary portfolio" of
vegetarian foods lowered cholesterol nearly as well as the prescription drug
lovastatin (Mevacor). The diet was rich in soluble fiber from oats, barley,
psyllium, eggplant and okra. It used soy substitutes instead of meat and
milk and included almonds and cholesterol-lowering margarine (such as Take
Control) every day.
Depression and Lack of
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering
A controlled trial showed that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
containing folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C effectively lowered
homocysteine levels. Healthy people were assigned to either a diet
containing a pound of fruits and vegetables per day, or to a diet containing
3 1/2 ounces (99g) of fruits and vegetables per day. After four weeks, those
eating the higher amount of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower
homocysteine level compared to those eating the lower amount of fruits and
vegetables. Okra is a storehouse of vitamins and folic acid.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half
with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein,
fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and
potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.