Okra is a very common vegetable rich in calcium. It’s basically a green pod shaped like a spear head. The pod usually contains its seeds. Because of the shape of the okra pod, it is often called ‘lady finger’.
Okra is commonly used for making soups in West Africa, for example, okro soup is a popular Nigerian soup. In many other parts of the world, okra is often fried, steamed or used in making juice. In whatever form, okra offers numerous health benefits with lots of calcium for stronger bones.
In the past few years many reports have emerged which claimed that okra water is the new cure for diabetes. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bio-allied Sciences showed that the seeds and peel of okra plant have anti-diabetic properties. The study revealed that a solution of water with okra soaked can bring down the blood sugar levels in diabetic rats used for the experiment.
No medical evidence have suggested that okra water can treat diabetes in humans, but many people with diabetes have claimed to have decreased blood sugar levels after drinking okra water. This shoes that there are many health benefits of okra water. Let’s find out how to make okra water and the health benefits of drinking okra water.
How to Make Okra Water
The ingredients used to make okra water include:
- 4 to 7 okra pods
- 1 cup of clean water
- salt (optional).
- Wash the okra pods, cut both ends of the pods and chop it into three or four pieces each.
- Put the chopped okra pods in a bowl and pour a cup of water inside
- You can choose to add add salt inside the mixture
- Leave the okra soaked in the water for eight hours or overnight if you prefer.
- After soaking it, squeeze the leftover sap into the water from the okra pods and remove the pods.
- Pour the okra water into a glass cup and drink the healthy drink.
- You can alternatively choose to boil the chopped okra and blend it with water.
Health Benefits of Okra Water
Now that you’ve learned how to prepare okra water, what are the health benefits of okra water? Read on to find out.
1. Treats anemia
A person suffering from anemia can benefit a lot from eating okra on a daily basis. Anemia is a condition which occurs due to inadequate supply of red blood cells in the body. This often leads to the inadequate circulation of oxygen round the body since it is the red blood cells that are responsible for the circulation of oxygen.
Okra juice helps in the synthesis of red blood cells in the bone marrow and as such, can help treat anemia. Okra juice is also a rich source of vitamin A and magnesium, which the body needs to produce red blood cells.
2. Improves heart health
A high cholesterol level is the leading cause of most heart failures. With increased cholesterol in the blood, there will eventually be a buildup in either an artery or a vein which can cause a blockage. This will eventually overwork the heart.
Studies have shown that okra contains a very high amount of fibers, which is effective for reducing bad cholesterol molecules in the body. The fiber in okra found to be responsible for this is called pectin. Also, being rich in magnesium okra is also capable of reducing your chances of ever having a stroke.
3. Destroy cancerous cells
A study has shown that okra contains lectin, a type of protein which has been shown to fight cancerous cells. Another study have also shown that okra can suppress cancer cell and reduce your chances of developing them up to 63%
Taking in okra regularly will significantly reduce a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer, cervix or pancreas cancer as it contains folate – a compound that suppresses the growth of cancerous cells.
4. Improves vision
The retina needs vitamin A to synthesis the pigments used for vision. Okra is a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene – two of the compounds needed for proper vision.
5. Rich source of calcium
Okra is a rich source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Calcium is the building block of the bones in our body. By consuming okra on a regular basis, you provide your body with lots of building materials for developing stronger and healthier bones and teeth.
6. Improves skin health
Regular consumption of okra can help improve skin health and significantly reduce skin problems such as acne and eczema. This is because okra contains a number of antioxidants which are effective in neutralizing free radicals and keeping the body clean of impurities. Drinking okra water can immensely improve the texture of your skin.
7. Good for preventing constipation
Okra is rich in fiber. This singular content is effective for preventing constipation. Constipation is a condition where one finds it difficult to have a bowel movement. The condition is often accompanied by stomach pains and a feeling of bloating.
Fiber helps to improve bowel movement. Okra being a rich source of fiber can help prevent constipation from ever occurring. It also aids digestion
8. Helps prevent diabetes
Okra water has been shown to have insulin like properties and as such an effective remedy for balancing blood sugar levels.
Diabetes often occurs as a result of the pancreas to secret insulin – the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar level or the body cells become resistant to the actions of insulin. In either case, the blood sugar level will rise to a dangerously high level, which can put the sufferer at risk.
By taking in more okra, its insulin like properties can help balance your sugar levels and reduce your chances of developing diabetes. Okra water has been particularly said to reduce blood sugar levels, how does it work? Since okra contains many insoluble fibre, it aids in stabilizing blood glucose by reducing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract, thus reducing the blood sugar levels.
9. Improves the immune system
The immune system helps the body fight against various types of disease virus and pathogens. Okra contains a good amount of vitamin C and antioxidants which the body requires to build up a strong defence mechanism against invading disease pathogens.
Other significant health benefits of okra water:
- It reduces symptoms of asthma
- It nourishes the hair
- It aids ulcer healing
- Good for memory
- It supports fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
- Reduces cholesterol.
Okra water has numerous health benefits, and as such, it is always a good idea to drink it as often as you can. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to shed off some weight or trying to eat healthier, adding okra to your meal plan or drinking okra water will always be a wise decision.