Ladies finger is a vegetable which is used all over the world and is commonly known as Okra. It is medium-long, slender, green colored vegetable with tapered ridges. The inside of it is slimy and has many seeds. Okra yields best results when bought fresh.
Okra and its properties
Okra is known to be a low calorie vegetable and contains vitamin A, B6, C, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium. It is a good source of fiber as well and is generally recommended to be included in the diet for pregnant women since it is important in neural tube formation of the fetus as it contains folic acid. Ladies finger has properties like insulin and is known to adjust the blood sugar levels in the blood thus reducing the chances of Diabetes. It also maintains a healthy gastro intestinal tract and heals ulcers. It is one of the most important vegetable in controlling weight; helps prevent constipation, acidity and gas and prevents bloating in the abdomen. Okra helps in good bowel movements because of which skin health is improved by reducing acne and psoriasis. Okra or ladies finger however should be avoided by people having a history of kidney or gall bladder stones.
Important beneficial facts
Since Okra is a good source of fiber it helps improve the performance of one’s digestive system. It is important to have fiber rich diet to ensure digestion and disposal of waste works properly. Having Okra daily in a steamed form helps cure Jaundice and Hepatitis. It is considered as a good antioxidant since it contains phytonutrients and beta-carotene. Due to the fact that it is rich in antioxidants it prevents mutation of cells thus eliminating the chances of cancer. Its antioxidant properties helps prevent eye problems such as glaucoma and cataract. It helps build bone strength and reduces risk of osteoporosis. Ladies finger is also known to control asthma, prevents colon cancer, controls obesity and heart diseases by controlling cholesterol levels, improves immunity and avoids anemia.
Natural remedies of Okra
Ladies finger is used as a remedial treatment at home for dandruff and lice. Cut ladies finger horizontally and boil it in water, add half a lemon juice to this water and use it to rinse off your hair. Along with removing dandruff it also gives a bouncy look to your hair.
One can consume at least half a cup of Okra on a daily basis. Nutritional value obtained from half a cup of Okra is Fiber- 25 grams, Protein- 1.5 grams, Carbs- 5.8 grams, Vitamin A and C- 460 and 13 mg respectively, Folic acid- 36.5 micro grams, Calcium- 50 mg, Iron- 0.4 mg, Potassium- 256 mg and Magnesium- 46 mg. It should be cooked or steam quickly on a slow flame to maintain its nutritional properties and to benefit from it. Some people also wash and have it raw for best results.
While buying ladies finger choose slender looking ones and ones with a smooth skin. To know whether Okra is fresh trying breaking the narrow end with your thumb without any extra effort. You will find very few vegetables with multiple nutritional benefits. Ladies finger is one of them.
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