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Okra is available all over the world. In different places this vegetable is called by different names. Ladies fingers, gombo, okoro, ochro, bendi, bhindi, etc. to name a few. Wondering, how to cook okra healthy? Making salads, sautéing okra with little oil on low flame, and making gumbo or stew are some ways. Thinking, is fried okra healthy? Fried okra contains more cholesterol and saturated fats, hence one should avoid eating it. However, you can always sauté it on low flame and add your favorite seasonings. Though, this vegetable is sticky, but when it is accompanied with something that is sour, it can become separated nicely and loses its sticky texture. Mostly, tomatoes or lemon juice is added to make okra lose its stickiness.

However, the sticky texture of okra is great for making gumbo, which can be made with your favorite vegetables, seasoned with spices, and added legumes and grains. Okra can be made by sautéing it with canola oil, and seasoning with salt and herbs. You can also add fresh and sliced okra pods to your salads containing favorite vegetables and dressing of olive oil or fresh lime juice, and add your favorite seasonings. There are many ways to cook okra, and it should be consumed regularly as the nutrients in it provide good percentage of daily value required of essential nutrients like folate, vitamin C, A, calcium, etc. Here are the okra nutrition facts and okra health benefits.

Okra Nutrition Facts
Listed below is the okra nutritional value for a serving of 100 grams of raw fresh pods of okra. And further mentioned below are the various okra health facts.
VitaminsAmount
Folates88 mcg
Niacin1 mg
Pantothenic Acid0.245 mg
Pyridoxine0.215 mg
Riboflavin0.060 mg
Thiamin0.200 mg
Vitamin C21.1 mg
Vitamin A375 IU
Vitamin E0.36 mg
Vitamin K53 mcg
MineralsAmount
Sodium8 mg
Potassium303 mg
Iron0.80 mg
Selenium0.7 mcg
Zinc0.60 mg
Magnesium57 mg
Manganese0.990 mg
Calcium81 mg
Copper0.094 mg
Phosphorus63 mg
NutrientsAmount
Energy1.5%
Carbohydrates7.03 g
Protein2 g
Dietary Fiber9%
Total Fat0.1
Cholesterol0 mg
Phyto-nutrientsAmount
Beta Carotene225 mcg
Crypto xanthin Beta0 mcg
Lutein Zeaxanthin516 mcg
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Health Benefits of Okra
Here is a list describing the various health benefits that okra offer.
  • The fiber content of okra has many beneficial qualities, it helps in maintaining the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Okra helps to reabsorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins, and excess bile in its mucilage and slips it out through stool. Because of the greater percentage of water in the bulk, it prevents constipation, gas, and bloating stomach problems.
  • This is a very good vegetable for weight loss, as it is a storehouse of health benefits, provided it is cooked on low flame, so that the okra nutrients are retained. This way the invaluable mucilage obtained from okra, is not lost due to high heat.
  • To add volume and bounce to your hair, you can use this hair care tip. Boil horizontally sliced okra, till the brew becomes slimy. Then let it cool, add few drops of lemon to it and use it as a last rinse. This will bring bounce and volume to your hair.
  • The mucilage and fiber present in okra, helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and regulating their absorption in small intestine.
  • Okra facilitates in propagation of good bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria are similar to the ones proliferated by yogurt in the small intestine, and helps in biosynthesis of vitamin B complex.
  • Okra helps in preventing zits, and maintain a smooth clear complexion.
  • Protein and oil found in the seeds of okra serves as a good source of high quality vegetable protein. It is rich in amino acids like tryptophan, cystine, and other sulfur amino acids.
  • Okra is a very good laxative, as it helps in treating irritable bowels, healing ulcers and soothing the gastrointestinal track.
  • Okra is good for summer heat and sun stroke treatment.
  • Okra is good for atherosclerosis , and is good for asthma.
  • It can help in prevention of diabetes.
Tips on Selecting Okra
It is important to choose the best quality of okra for cooking, because sometimes buying bad quality of okra can make the food difficult to cook and the dish unpleasant to taste.
  • Always go for okra pods which are crispy and immature.
  • Go for small pods, as they taste good and are tender.
  • Avoid large pods. Also, look for pods which have a deep green color.
  • Okra pods which are overripe, have cuts or spots should be avoided.
  • You can store okra in refrigerator for 2 days, after that the nutritional value of this vegetable will decrease.
So, choose immature and crispy fresh okra pods for cooking, and eat it regularly to gain all the above mentioned health benefits.