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When a lady’s finger is stronger than others

  • Published at 07:47 am June 10th, 2013
When a lady’s finger is stronger than others

Okra, aka lady’s finger, is a highly nutritious, green pod vegetable. Okra is a very low calorie vegetable, and provides just 30 calories per 100g, besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins, and is often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programmes. It is also very helpful in controlling diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol.

Nutritionist Rehana Ferdousi Mili suggests some benefits  of Okra.

Relieves constipation

The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods help smoothen the peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation.

Provide better vision and glowing skin

The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A and flavonoid anti-oxidants, such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. Okra is one of the green vegetables with the highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin.

Protects from cough and cold

Fresh, raw okra is an excellent source of the anti-oxidant vitamin C, providing about 36% of the daily-recommended levels. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduces episodes of cold and cough and protects the body from harmful free radicals.

Secures oral health and enriches nerves

Okra is rich in B-complex vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.  Vitamin B-complex prevents oral ulcers and supplies nutrition to nerves. The okra pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K, a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes that is required for strengthening of bones.

Prevents cancer and birth defects

Consumption of okra, which is rich in flavonoids, helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Fresh okra pods are a good source of folates and provide about 22% of RDA per 100g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period, helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring. The lady’s finger is also a good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

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