Excess body fat elevates the risk of diabetes, cancer, depression, and other health conditions. But, the good news is that losing some weight can save you from these health conditions.
While there are multiple approaches to lose weight, health experts claim that taking nutritious meals with fewer calories and fats is one of the most sustainable approaches.
If you are planning to cut weight through the diet modification approach, then okra, a vegetable that stabilizes sugar, and detoxifies the body is one of the foods to consider.
Below is everything you would want to know before you incorporate this super nutritious weight loss veggie into your diet.
What is Okra (Ladies’ Fingers)?
Okra, scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus, is a nutritious “vegetable”- actually, okra is classified as a fruit– grown in some parts of Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and other warm regions in the world.
When mature, the plant produces green seed pods that are either eaten raw or cooked.
Nutritional value per 100g:
- 138 kJ Energy (33Kcal)
- 7.45g Carbohydrates
- 1.48g Sugars
- 3.2g Dietary Fiber
- 0.19g Fat
- 1.9g Protein
- 36 μg Vitamin A
- 0.2 mg Thiamine (B1)
- 31.3 μg Vitamin K
- 0.06 mg Riboflavin (B2)
- 1 mg Niacin (B3)
- 60 μg Folate (B9)
- 23 mg Vitamin C
- 0.27 mg Vitamin E
Minerals and water:
- 61 mg Phosphorus
- 0.62 mg Iron
- 57 mg Magnesium
- 82 mg Calcium
- 0.58 mg Zinc
- 299 mg Potassium
- 89.6g Water
Is Okra Good for Losing Weight?
Wellness experts say that okra’s fiber, low calories, and other nutrients aid the body shade excess body fat. Below are the different ways in which okra fuels fat loss.
1). Okra stabilizes your body’s sugar levels
A fluctuation in sugar is one of the causes of excess body fat. For instance, when blood sugar is excess, the liver converts it into fat which is then stored in body tissues.
Okra is a rich source of Eugenol, a soluble fiber that slows down digestion and absorption of blood sugar. The metabolic slow down prevents hunger, and it stabilizes blood sugar.
2). Okra is a perfect body cleanser
Okra is a rich source of mucilage, a gelatin-like coating that helps the body to get rid of toxins that could slow your metabolism. It also helps the liver to get rid of bad cholesterol.
Health experts say that detoxification is a sure way to lose excess body fat since it reduces carb cravings, and supports your body metabolism.
3). Okra is low in calories
High calorific intake is another cause of weight gain. This implies that cutting down the calorific intake would help one lose a substantial amount of unwanted body fat.
Incorporating okra into your routine diet help would help you cut down your calorific intake since it is low in calories.
Moreover, okra induces a feeling of satiety that could keep you away from taking those tasty high-calorie meals that could be the source of your weight gain.
4). Okra is low in fat
One gram of dietary fat yields nine calories. As such, consuming a high-fat diet is a sure way of gaining body fat.
Therefore, if you want to lose some body fat, then you ought to substitute your high-fat diet, with a low-fat diet like okra.
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Okra?
Yes, you can take raw okra leaves and pods as a salad. In fact, taking fresh okra could have a better nutritional value than cooked okra since high heat destroys some nutrients.
How to Make Okra Water?
If you are looking to make okra water for weight loss, take five okra pods and clean them. Cut them longitudinally into equal halves and soak them into a jar with water.
Cover the jar, and leave the pods to soak overnight. After an average of 24 hours, get the soaked pods and squeeze their sap into the water to make your juice.
Other Health Benefits of Okra
The following are other benefits of ladies finger, most of which would probably have never occurred to us.
1). Consumption of okra supports heart health
Okra has loads of soluble fiber and pectin. The two compounds help the body to eliminate harmful cholesterol, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
2). Okra keeps the intestinal tract healthy
Okra’s insoluble fiber helps the intestinal tract to get rid of toxins, prevent constipation, and it decreases the risk of colorectal cancer .
3). It promotes the skin’s health
Okra is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that prevents the skin’s cells from damage, boosts collagen formation, combats skin pigmentation, and rejuvenates damaged skin cells.
4). It is a remedy for kidney diseases
Regular consumption of okra can shield you from kidney diseases, more so those resulting from diabetes.
5). It supports pregnancy
Okra is a powerhouse of vitamin B and folate. These nutrients protect a fetus from congenital conditions like spina bifida. They also support the production of new cells.
So if you’re trying to shed some excess weight, be sure to include Okra in your diet. You will not only lose weight- you will also protect yourself against many health conditions.
- Abelmoschus esculentus. “Full report (all nutrients): 11278, Okra, raw”. ndb.nal.usda.gov
- Sheu SC1, Lai MH. “Composition analysis and immuno-modulatory effect of Abelmoschus esculentus extract.” 2012 Oct 15;134(4):1906-11.