Pregnancy is the most meaningful, beautiful, and important period for every woman. Not only taking care of herselves, pregnant moms around the world need to take care of their babies too, by providing enough nutrients that support the growth and health of the fetus.
Fruits and vegetables are always known to be the helpers for this, and today’s we’re gonna talk about a vegetable that you might not have heard before, the Okra.
Do you know the okra plant? Yes, okra is a flowering plant known for its edible seed pods, pretty much like the edible seeds in the benefits of passion fruit. It is usually cultivated in warm and tropical climates, such as those in Africa and South Asia.
There are two colors of okra, red and green. Both varieties have the same flavor, and the red one turns green when cooked. Although biologically classified as a fruit, okra is commonly used like a vegetable in cooking.
Okra also helps keep many infections and diseases at a certain distance, just like benefits of guava. Vitamins contained in okra help prevent some birth defects in your baby and promote your child’s healthy growth while in the womb.
You have to include these okra vegetables especially in the 4th and 12th weeks of pregnancy because that’s when the neural tube develops in the fetus. Consuming okra can help and support their development.
Consuming okra is always recommended since it brings a lot of useful benefits that are important for the life of the mom and the baby, such as :
Health Benefits of Okra in Pregnancy
1. Rich in Folic Acid
Mother is certainly familiar with not with this nutrient? Yes, folic acid becomes an important intake during pregnancy, alongside with the other nutrients that are obtained from benefits of pomelo, for example.
Folic acid is very important, especially to prevent the presence of problems in the growth of the fetus. Folic acid deficiency will cause problems in the growth of children in the future.
For pregnant women, it is advisable to consume 400 mcg of folic acid every day and mother can get this dose, one of which is from okra. With eating a good amount of okra regularly, you can get a needed amount of folic acid.
One of the important benefits of folic acid is that it helps in supporting brain development in the fetus. With a sufficient intake of folic acid in a day, the development of the brain in the fetus becomes better and can avoid the possibility of cases of disability at the time of birth.
Folic acid is one type of substance that can help in increasing the production of folic acid in the body. With the increase in the formation of red blood cells, pregnant women will be [prevented from the condition like Anemia, Fatigue (prohibition of pregnant women), and weakness in the body.
2. Provides Better Immune System
In addition to being rich in folic acid, okra also has an abundant content of vitamin C. The content of vitamin one is known to keep mother’s body healthy during pregnancy, as mentioned in the benefits of grapefruit.
Vitamin C in pregnant women has a very vital role so that its intake must be maintained. Based on animal studies, some researchers believe that vitamin C deficiency in newborns can interfere with mental development.
In addition, vitamin C can also help protect the body from harmful free radicals, so as to increase the production of white blood cells that fight foreign pathogens in the body.
In addition, there are also those who argue that its deficiency could increase the risk of preterm birth. Be aware of the signs of vitamin C deficiency while pregnant. Immediately fulfill your daily intake when experiencing fatigue, gingivitis, slow healing wounds, bruises, and dry and rough skin.
But always remember to take a recommended amount of Vitamin C. Keeping this in order is very important since the excess of vitamins can also interfere with health, especially the digestive organs. There are also reports babies born to mothers who take excessive vitamin C supplements during pregnancy can develop scabies.
3. Abundant Source of Antioxidants
This green vegetable is also rich in natural antioxidants, moms. Antioxidant content in okra is needed by pregnant women to maintain the health of the fetus.
Its content is known to make the fetus develop healthily. Not only that, taking it during pregnancy can help lower the risk of developing heart disease.
4. Provides Better Sleep
Does it feel really difficult to sleep at night? In addition to nausea and vomiting, apparently insomnia becomes another problem that pregnant women often complain about.
Just like the benefits of honey, okra intake can help overcome this by its unique contents. In okra there are various oil and protein content that will make you sleep better at night.
Consuming okra is also effective to overcome other inconvenient problems during pregnancy. Some of those that can be overcome, is to keep sugar levels stable and maintain the health of the skin and hair.
5. Lower Cholesterol Levels
No need to worry about consuming okra while pregnant, considering this vegetable does not contain any cholesterol and contains very low fat. Even better, the consumption of this vegetable can lower cholesterol levels in our body.
According to Harvard Health Publications, okra effectively binds to cholesterol so as to keep cholesterol levels stable. Of course this is very good for the health of the body during pregnancy because cholesterol levels during pregnancy tend to rise compared to the normal state.