The health benefits of this plant are wonderful. A study has it that a lectin isolated from okra instigated cell suicide in breast cancer cells.
Such is the richness of okra that is called the “perfect villagers vegetable.”
The usefulness of okra has made it popular around the world. It is packed with a lot of valuable nutrients that are of benefit to the human body.
Known to originate from northeastern Africa, the pods of okra compose healthy amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein; it is one of the vegetables with highest levels of these antioxidants.
5 Major Health Benefits of Okra
However, it is important to note that vitamin-A is essential for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin.
Be that as it may, studies have shown that okra and other natural vegetables and fruits, rich in flavonoids, help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Research findings have also shown that the Eugenol that is contained in okra helps fight against diabetes. And the fiber that is present in it also helps stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying sugar absorption from the intestines.
Let us now look into the wonderful health benefits of okra
1. Improvement of heart health condition
Studies have shown that okra helps lowers the chances of cardiovascular disease as a result of the soluble fiber contained in it, which naturally reduces cholesterol.
The fingernail plant is also known to be loaded with pectin, which has been shown to reduce high blood cholesterol by altering the creation of bile in the intestine.
2. Elimination of breast cancer cells
Breast cancer is fast becoming one of the deadliest illnesses that threaten the lives of women all over the world. As a matter of fact, it is believed that one in eight women is affected by breast cancer during their lifetime.
However, a study has it that a lectin isolated from okra instigated cell suicide in breast cancer cells. The end result of the study showed that the growth of the cancer was inhibited by 63 percent.
3. Prevention of liver disease
The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. With the help of vitamin K, it produces proteins that are important in blood clotting. It also helps in breaking down old or damaged blood cells; one of the many reasons why it is dubbed the body’s prime detox organ.
However, okra ensures that the liver which is very important to the human body is protected from disease. As shown in one study, chemically-induced liver disease in rats was efficiently counteracted by okra.
The study also goes further to state that pre-administration of okra extract help check the effects of damaging free radicals that cause liver disease.
4. Improvement of vision
Studies have shown that vitamin A and beta-carotene found in okra are essential nutrients for maintaining good eyesight.
In addition to the mentioned health benefit, vitamin A and beta-carotene are known to help prevent eye-related diseases such as cataracts. Vitamin A also helps protect against age-related eye disorders.
5. A rich source of calcium
Okra has been shown to provide ample calcium and magnesium; and by so doing, it helps in preventing both calcium deficiency and magnesium deficiency