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Health Benefits of Okra

Published by Nanni on Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photo credit by Catsmint

While some people are not familiar with okra, and others either love it or hate it, it is usually based on personal tastes rather than its health benefits. In fact, whether you love or hate okra, you may not even be aware that it is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

As is the case with most vegetables and fruits, the optimum health benefits of okra are found in its original state. This means the less that is done to it by cooking, the better it is for you. The fiber content of okra is one example. It makes okra one of the best natural products for digestive health. In addition to providing bulk to act as a natural laxative, okra also improves the overall health of the digestive system. It will help in eliminating toxins, and assist in the effectiveness of probiotics. Probiotics, which are also known as good bacteria, promote good health in the intestines. The healthier your digestive tract, the healthier the entire body will be.

Okra is not only good for the digestive system, it has other health benefits. It will help regulate your blood sugar and your cholesterol. If consumed on a frequent basis, this means that okra can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Studies show that it can be effective in reducing the risk of some forms of cancer as well. Colo-rectal cancer is one example.

Okra is also chock-full of nutrients. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K are plentiful in okra, to name just a few. Minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous are all found in okra. It is also an excellent food for those who are watching their weight, as one half-cup of plain okra contains only eighteen calories. It can be a great low-calorie addition to a meal, or eaten as a snack.

Considering all of the health benefits of okra, it should be a standard part of everyone's diet. The only problem associated with okra is that many people refuse to eat it. This is often because they have tried it in only one form, and are not aware that there are many different ways to cook it. While raw okra will provide the optimum of health benefits, many people find this only second to boiled okra in terms of foods they do not wish to eat. The good news is that you can experiment with recipes until you find one that everyone in your family will enjoy. Okra can be breaded with cornmeal or flour and fried, or it can be baked. If that does not work, you can hide it in a casserole.

The health benefits of okra are simply too plentiful to avoid. You can surely find a dish made of okra which every member of your family will like. If you are lucky enough to live in a region where you can easily grow okra, it can make an excellent addition to your family's garden. You will always have plenty on hand.

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