Okra (botanically named Abelmoschus esculentus) is a vegetable that is found mainly in certain places of Africa as well as the Middle East and South America. It is widely renowned as a warm-weather crop and bears a fresh corn husk color. It is nicknamed as lady’s fingers’ thanks to its the spiky shape. Okra pods are roughly 2 to 3 inches in size and bear a grooved cucumber-like texture.
♦ Okra Water and Weight loss
Okra is a very useful tool in the quest towards losing weight, especially when taken in water form. The primary reasons for this are that it is high in fiber and consists of a low-calorie count. Foods with a low-calorie count are generally good for weight loss because it means more of them can be consumed, hence they lead to early satiety without the consumption of a high amount of calories. Fiber has the ability to bind with foods in the stomach and have a slowing effect upon gastric emptying. Diminishing the speed at which digestion occurs heightens the balance of blood glucose which makes it easier for metabolism regulation.
Another great quality of Okra is that it is very efficient at reabsorbing water. This enables it to be able to trap certain substances such as excess toxins, cholesterol, and bile. If these substances are trapped, they can then be more easily excreted out of the body through stool removal. Okra’s water-absorbing quality also makes it a preventative tool against bloating, gas, and constipation, all things which can increase weight.
♦ How to prepare Okra water?
In order to prepare Okra water, the first step is to take 4 or 5 okra pods and wash them. Secondly, both ends of all the pods must be clipped and then chopped in half with the use of a knife. Thirdly, the pods must be placed in a large mason jar and then covered in water. Fourthly, the pods must be left to soak overnight for a minimum of eight hours. Step five is to thoroughly squeeze the Okra pods into the covering water in order to use all available sap. Lastly, dispose of the pods and consume the water.
♦ Okra and Health
Other than weight loss, Okra has other health benefits. Okra consists of a protein known as Lectin. There is evidence present that Lectin extracted from Okra has the potential to slow down the growth of and even kill breast cancer cells. In addition, a Pharmaceutical Journal showed that flavonoids, tannins, sterols, and triterpenes were present in okra. Flavonoids have strong antioxidant properties vital in fighting dangerous inflammation which helps in the growth of cancer cells. Antioxidants can also be instrumental in reducing stress levels in the blood. High-stress levels in the blood can cause spikes in blood sugar level, hence this antioxidant effect of Okra flavenoids can be used to fight diabetes.
Okra is also a very good source of vitamin C, a substance very important for the body to preserve it’s immunity. This means that Okra can also be utilized as a preventative against common colds and the flu. It also consists of vitamin K, which is important in blood clotting.
The numerous benefits of Okra, especially it’s potential in aiding weight loss, make it a highly recommended vegetable to include in one’s diet.