Okra, Lady Finger or Bhindi, is a plant known worldwide for its many health benefits. It has a long history and the ancient Egyptians, used it to cure certain illnesses. Botanically, this perennial flowering plant belongs to the mallow family and named scientifically as Abelmoschus esculentus. With white or yellow flowers and the fruit is shaped like a pod which contains many seeds. The part of this plant which is used for food is the pod.
Low in calories and high in nutrients Okra are often called lady fingers or Bhindi and are a healthful addition to any diet. Okra is a nutritionally dense versatile food that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Appearing in an array of different types of cuisine recipes can be found to suit most tastes. The health benefits of okra are simply too plentiful to avoid. You can surely find a dish made of okra which every member of your family will like. If you are lucky enough to live in a region where you can easily grow okra, it can make an excellent addition to your family's garden. You will always have plenty on hand.
Okra is rich in vitamins A and C and in Iron and Calcium. It contains Starch, Ash, Fat, Thiamine and Riboflavin. It also contains Folate, Magnesium and Potassium. Lady Finger is a very useful versatile vegetable and inexpensive medicine, as it is available practically round the year. It is use to boost sexual vigour and reduce excess menstrual blood.
One cup of Okra contains 3.2 grams of fiber, which makes it very beneficial for people who have high sugar levels in serum, because this fiber decreases the rate of sugar absorption in the intestines. Okra also suitable for people who wish to lower their cholesterol levels because Okra mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid which carries the toxins to the liver.
Okra has a laxative effect thanks to its smooth texture, which, unlike wheat bran, does not irritate the walls of the intestines. It bulks the stool preventing constipation and problems related to constipation.
Fiber found in okra is an important food for the good bacteria that live in the intestines and contribute to normal functioning of gastrointestinal system, which is why okra is recommended for people who suffer from bacterial disbalance in the intestines, for example after taking antibiotics. Okra facilitates the propagation of good bacteria referred to as probiotics. These are similar to the ones proliferate by the yoghurt in the small intestine and helps biosynthesis of Vitamin B complex.
Okra can reduce inflammation, joint pain, sore throat, pneumonia, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. Okra is good for summer heat treatment and atherosclerosis. Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries. There has been some evidence that okra can prevent the expansion of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
People who feel exhausted, weak or depressed can benefit from this plant, which is also recommended for Asthma patients. Protein and oil contained in the seeds of okra serves as the source of first-rate vegetable protein. It is enriched with amino acids on the likes of tryptophan, cystine and other sulfur amino acids. Okra improves the structure and condition of blood vessels and it is believed to be able to prevent cataracts.
The skin can benefit from okra as well, because it contains important vitamins A and C and it is perfect for treatment and prevention of acne. Okra is an ideal vegetable for weight loss and is storehouse of health benefits provided it is cooked over low flame to retain its properties. This also to ensure that the invaluable mucilage contained in it is not lost to high heat. To retain most of okra's nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible. Some eat it raw.
One of the more unique okra health benefits is that it can add bounce and volume to your hair. All you need to do is boil okra that has been sliced horizontally until the contents become slimy. Let it cool and then add a couple of drops of lemon to it. Wash your hair like you normally would, and then use this mixture as a last rinse. Cover all of your hair and then rinse it off with water. You hair should have more volume and have a little more bounce to it.
Lady Finger for Diabetes: Okra, Bhindi for Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by excessive flow of urine containing sugar and increase of sugar level in blood. This disease develops gradually and the patient usually does not know for a long time that he is suffering from it.
It is more common in men than women. Fat persons usually suffer from diabetes mellitus. In the past, mostly people between 40-50 years of age or after it were liable to get diabetes but now even small children become diabetic. Hereditary factors are also responsible for this disease. There is no cure for diabetes, it can only be controlled. So use the following method to control your diabetes:
Wash and slit a lady finger from bottom towards the stalk. Do not make into two pieces; let it be joined at the top. Put the silted lady finger in a glass of water in the evening. In the morning mash the lady finger in the water by your hand, strain and drink the water first thing in the morning. No other food or drink for next 30 minutes. To be repeated daily for keeping your diabetes under control.
Bhindi - Vendaikkai - Lady's Finger - Okra (You can call it by any name)
A guy, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux didn't realize that the treatment could be as simple as eating Bhindi!
Some 2 months ago, he started eating 6 pieces of Bhindi and since then, has not taken any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.
From the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, Phd (Nutrition), University of Illinois. "Bhindi" is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and peptins.
Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of Heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked Bhindi. Bhindi is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid.
1. The superior fiber found in Ladies Finger (Bhindi) helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
2. Ladies Finger (Bhindi's) mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn't stop there.
3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all disease begins in the colon. The Okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation. Fiber in general is helpful for this but Ladies Finger (Bhindi) is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, Ladies Finger (Bhindi's) mucilage soothes, and Ladies Finger (Bhindi) facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor.
In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated, but also assures their easy passage from the body. The veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.
4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, Ladies Finger (Bhindi) fiber (as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
5. To retain most of Ladies Finger (Bhindi's) nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.