Okra have been very famous recently due to its amazing benefits. Besides green okra that you see mostly in the market, there is also red okra. Red okra are shaped like torpedo and two to five inches long.
They have unique taste and texture as they taste a bit like eggplant and asparagus. When the red okras are cooked, the red color disappears and the pods will turn green. Okra is amazing for everyone, including babies. Read more about it in health benefits of okra for Babies.
Just like the common okra, red okra also provide good nutrients for our body. They are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, folacin, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Besides, they are also fat-free, saturated-fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. No wonder, many people who are on diet favor okra. There are also a lot of health benefits of red okra that may make you start thinking of consume one. Let’s check all of these 6 health benefits of red okra.
- Lower Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is one of the important factors we should maintain to be in a good health. As we know, high blood sugar may lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, then you can also read health benefits of coconut oil for diabetes.
There was a research conducted in mice to find out the impact of eating okra. The result showed that eating red okra or okra extract may help decrease blood sugar level. There was also another study that found out rats which were given liquid sugar and purified okra experienced fewer blood sugar spikes than the other animals in the controlled group.
However, there is a caution of eating okra for those who have diabetes. Okra may interfere with some diabetes medications, such as metformin. It’s not recommended for people who are taking this drug to consume okra.
- Reduce the Risk of Getting Heart Disease
One of the causes of heart disease is high cholesterol level. The good news is eating red okra may help lower the risk of getting heart disease. It is because red okra contain a thick-gel-like substance which is called mucilage. This substance helps bind to cholesterol during the digestion process so that it will be excreted with stools instead of being absorbed into the body.
- Rich in Nutrients, but Low in Calories
Red okra have an impressive nutrient profile. In a cup of red okras, there are 33 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 2 grams of proteins, 0 gram of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 14% of the Daily Value (DV)of magnesium, 15% of the DV of vitamin A, 26% of the DV of vitamin C, 26% of the DV of vitamin K, and 14% of the DV of vitamin B6.
Moreover, red okra is low in calories and carbs and contains some protein and fiber. This what makes redokra unique as many fruits and vegetables are lack of protein.
Eating enough amount of red okra is also good for managing weight, controlling blood sugar, bone structure, and muscle mass.
- Rich in Beneficial Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds found in food that help fend off damage from harmful molecules, known as free radicals. Surprisingly, red okra is rich in many antioxidants that are beneficial for your health. It contains polyphenols, including flavonoids and isoquercetin, along with vitamin A and C.
There’s also a research showing that eating a diet rich in polyphenols may help improve heart health as it lowers the risk of blood clots and oxidative damage. Moreover, polyphenols also benefit brain health as they are able to enter your brain and protect against inflammation.
Taro root is also rich in antioxidants. You may read more about it in benefits of taro root for cancer.
- Good and Beneficial for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women need to have a good control of what is consumed. They have to include folate into their diet, which is very important to lower the risk of a neural tube defect. A neural tube defect affects the brain and spine of a developing fetus.
Red okra is a good source of folate. In 1 cup of okra (100 grams), there is 15% of woman’s daily needs for this nutrient. It is recommended for all women of childbearing age to consume 400 mcg of folate every day.
Pregnant women need lots of beneficial nutrients. If you’re pregnant, then you may read health benefits of lemon water while pregnant and health benefits of couscous for pregnant women to give you the idea of what to consume during pregnancy.
- Easy to Include in your Diet
Another health benefit of red okra is its easiness to include in your diet. When you buy red okra, make sure to choose the smooth and tender okra without any brown spots or dried ends. Then, you may keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days before cooking.
Red okra is commonly used in soups and stews. Its mucilage, the thick substance in okra, becomes gummy when it is heated.
Red okra is very nutritious as it has many health benefits. It contains rich nutrients, such as magnesium, folate, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Why don’t you consider having one at home?