Okra is what you may also know as ‘lady fingers’. This is a somewhat exotic type of vegetable that is enjoyed for numerous medicinal properties. It can be used as a thickening agent in soups thanks to a somewhat thick and gooey texture and this way you can add a tone of extra vitamins and other nutrients to your meals.
One cup of raw okra will provide you with just more than 30 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and 7.6 for carbohydrates.
It also provides vitamin C, folate and magnesium in quantities of 21 milligrams, 88 micrograms and 57 milligrams. There’s also a bit of iron, calcium and manganese in here.
Okay, so it’s not quite a superfood but it’s certainly no harm to add to your smoothie!
These micro and macronutrients offer okra some useful benefits. Vitamin C for instance will strengthen the immune system, improve the mood and help to fend off free radicals. Meanwhile, the fiber content is great for slowing the release of sugar (thereby making it useful for those with diabetes) as well as for lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and encouraging healthy bowel movements. Several studies have shown Okra to be potentially useful for managing blood sugar in particular (1) – though you should always consult a doctor before attempting to manage your own sugar levels if you are diabetic.
Folate meanwhile can help improve lung health while also being a useful nutrient during pregnancy and pre-conception.
In conclusion then, okra isn’t really one of the big heavy hitters when it comes to its micronutrients but as a great source of fiber and various minerals, it is a very good addition to any healthy home-made soup or smoothie. Add it to your shopping list!