Okra is a tall growing green flowering plant which mostly cultivated in regions with a warm temperature around the world. It is usually harvested for its pods. The pods are often pickled, stir fried, stewed, boiled, eaten raw, or included in the salad.
Aside from the pods, its leaves are often cooked or eaten raw as a salad. Its bast fiber from the stem has industrial uses. Its seeds may also be roasted and grounded to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. Edible, fragrant, and delectable okra oil is pressed from okra seeds. This oil is high in unsaturated fats which are surely good for health. Even a study in 2009 shows that okra oil is suitable to be used as biofuel.
One of the most remarkable uses of this versatile plant is its natural ability to control diabetes. Okra is gaining its reputation quite fast, even some people call it a super food to lower the risk diabetes. This fact is already supported by many research. An experiment involving rats published in the Journal Of Pharmacy & Bio Allied Sciences found that the seeds and peel of okra have anti-diabetic agents. The results showed that okra succeeded in reducing the absorption of glucose and lowered blood sugar levels in rats.
The other study published in the International Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Chemistry supported this finding. Involving rabbits, the researchers found that okra extract had anti-diabetic effects. Over a ten-day period, the okra gradually reduced blood glucose levels among the experimental group of rabbits. This result is comparable to the reduction of blood glucose levels by the reputable diabetes drug, metformin. Important note, okra seems to block metformin in the intestines the same way it blocks glucose. So it is important to consult with your doctor first if you’re on metformin in treating your diabetes.
Soluble fiber, which is found in okra, forms a kind of gel inside the digestive system. This gel slows down the food absorption from the gut, preventing blood glucose to peak after meals. This same soluble fiber also draws in bile acid which increases the cholesterol, passing the acids out rather than reabsorbing them into the blood.
Some field observations and records also point out that many people with diabetes have decreased their blood sugar levels after drinking an overnight soaked okra pieces in the morning, while in Turkey okra seeds are usually roasted and have been used as a traditional diabetes treatment for generations.
After you read this, you probably want to switch from insulin injections to help you against your diabetic condition. Our nature also provides a remedy for diabetes. You can learn these entries below about how okra manages to cure diabetes provided by nature. Thus, here are health benefits of okra for diabetes treatments:
- Health Benefits of Okra
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- Health Benefits of Whole Grains
- Okra Is High In Fiber
Okra, which is a great source of fiber, is essential for dietary treatment for people suffering diabetes. Studies indicate that dietary fiber intake reinforces better glycemic control and improve insulin sensitivity. Two until three medium-sized pods of okra contain a gram of fiber. This fiber also aids in digestion and reducing appetite, as okra keeps our stomach full for longer period.
- Okra has Low GI
All diabetics are recommended to have food with low GI. The term GI stands for glycemic index. Okra has got 20 points for its glycemic index, which are categorized as very low GI according to medical standards. So, eating or drinking okra as snacks should have a positive effect towards the diabetics. Thus, that’s the health benefits of okra for diabetes treatments.
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- Okra Has Anti-Stress Effects
Controlling stress is recommended in treating diabetes. Blood sugar levels tend to spike when people are exposed to a long term or high level of stress. It is already proven that the seed extracts of okra have antioxidant properties and anti-stress effect in the bloodstream of rats.
- Okra Lowers Cholesterol
Okra which is high in fiber and possesses antioxidant properties will likely benefit people suffering diabetes since it can lower cholesterol. The American Heart Association concludes that people with diabetes usually have high cholesterol levels. Thus, it’s important to include okra in the dietary routine of people suffering diabetes.
- Okra Reduce Fatigue
Cardiovascular activity plays a major role in preventing and treating diabetes. When you include okra in your meal aside from regular exercises, you may be able to recover more quickly and consequently, do more exercises. Nevertheless, studies show that okra can improve fatigue levels, which means it can encourage you to be more active even productive.
- Ease Digestive Problems
Okra is a great source of mucilage, a laxative that helps digestive systems by smoothing the peristalsis which contributes in easing constipation. However, okra is also beneficial to treat diarrhea and to replenish the body after continuous defecation.
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- Lower The Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer
What’s more health benefits of okra for diabetes treatments? As okra have the ability to ease our digestive systems, it also correlates with cleaner and healthier colon and rectum, which also means lower risk of colon and rectal cancer.
- Prevent Neural Defects in Newborn
Okra is also high in folates. Each 100 grams of okra provide about 22% of our suggested daily intake. Consuming foods high in folates during preconception or pregnancy period is known to decrease the possibility of neural tube defects in newborn.
- Increase Immunity
As Okra is highly packed with vitamin C, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, it can help to protect the body from dangerous free radicals and also encourage the human body to develop immunity to fight against detrimental agents. This could mean fewer episodes of cold, fever, sore throat and cough.
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- Cure Anemia
Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium in okra can be very helpful in producing more red blood cells in the body. Thus people with anemia can, of course, derive the benefits of consuming this wonderful plant.
- Promote Beautiful Skin
As this plant is rich in vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants properties, consuming okra regularly will naturally improve our skin condition. This antioxidant purifies the blood, clears and rejuvenates the skin, as well as preventing acne and other skin diseases. Flavonoid also helps in preventing lung and oral cavity cancers.
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- Strengthening Bones
Good amount of Vitamin K, calcium, and folate contained in okra also offers great benefits in building stronger and healthier bones, as it increases the density of the bones. It also means a lower risk of osteoporosis.
- Reduces Asthma Attacks
Okra is also known to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. A study shows that after taking half a cup of cooked okra with 13 mg of vitamin C, the symptoms of wheezing or panting that cause the asthma attack of young children suffering from asthma critically decreased.
- Prevent Kidney Disease
A research suggested that consuming okra regularly can prevent kidney disease and reduce medical signs of kidney damage.
- Keep Dandruff Away
Okra can improve our overall scalp condition by moisturizing it thus keeping dandruff away.
- Prevent Weight Gain
As mentioned above, okra is one of many vegetables that has the lowest calorie. It contains no saturated fats and provides only about 30 calories per 100 grams. Moreover, this vegetable also contains a high amount of minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber which are suggested to control cholesterol and reduce body weight.
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- Health Benefits of Bitter Melon Fruit
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How to prepare Okra to treat Diabetes by yourself
Thus, to get health benefits of okra for diabetes treatments, here are the recipe:
- Choose younger okras and mince it.
- Soak in a glass of water, close it with a lid, and leave it for a night.
- Drink it every morning before breakfast.
- Do this every day for 2-3 months.
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Well, there are many health benefits of okra for diabetes treatments but these below are some important notes to keep in mind when consuming okra in any method as described above.
- You may find the water thick or slimy, you may strain it before drinking.
- The okra water does not smell and doesn’t have a taste.
- Okra may taste like cucumber, you may eat it raw if you like it that way.
- Check your blood sugar level every morning after drinking this okra water to know whether it is useful or not.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes and on medication, please do consult with your doctor to make sure that any natural remedies you add on your dietary and medication plan are safe and will not interfere the prescription medicines.
Consuming this amazing okra does not necessarily mean it is a free pass to consume more carbohydrates and sugary foods. Don’t get tempted with sugars when you find that okra helps in controlling your blood sugar levels and use it responsibly as a part of a healthy lifestyle.