About the Vegetable
Okra/Lady Finger is grown in warm, tropical regions like Africa and South Asia. Although okra is technically a fruit, it is commonly used in cooking as a vegetable. It’s a popular component of gumbo and is commonly used in Southern American and Indian cuisine. However, it might have a slimy texture that some people dislike. But Okra, despite its lack of popularity, is a nutrient-dense vegetable and has many benefits.
How to take care of the “Lady Finger.”
In India, ladies finger is a highly popular vegetable. Bhindi, as it is often known, grows nicely in the summer. When in full bloom, the plant’s blooms are stunning and light up the yard. One of the primary reasons why many farmers like to cultivate okra is that it requires minimal maintenance. When one pod is plucked, another grows in its place. Though summer is the optimum time to produce ladies’ fingers, it may also be grown in the winter. Seeds can be started indoors and transferred outside when the weather permits. The entire crop may be susceptible to cold damage if the temperature goes below 15 degrees.
Your okra harvest will benefit from picking a sunny place in the garden, as the pods can be ruined by being in a shady area. It’s good to check the soil before planting the seeds because ladies finger grows best in acidic soils. You may raise the pH by adding lime to the soil. Plants and pods of okra are covered with small thorns that hurt the skin. So it is advisable to cover your hands with gloves when tending for the plants or selecting the pods to avoid irritation.
Also Read, Wondrous Benefits of guava you never knew
Small Trivia on Ladies Finger
We can prepare the Okra leaves in the same manner as cooking vegetables or make a wonderful salad with young okra leaves. Okra seeds can also be roasted and crushed to provide a caffeine-free alternative for coffee.
This slimy green vegetable is both adored and despised for its flavor and texture. Yet, it is high in fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin A, B, and C and minerals. Continue reading to learn more.
What are the Benefits of Lady Finger?
Okra is high in antioxidants, which are good for your health. Antioxidants are dietary components that protect the body from dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. Polyphenols, including flavonoids and Isoquercetin, and vitamins A and C, are the major antioxidants found in okra. According to research, consuming a polyphenol-rich diet may enhance heart health by decreasing your risk of blood clots and oxidative damage. Polyphenols may also benefit brain health because of their unique capacity to penetrate the brain and guard off inflammation. Such defensive systems may help protect your brain from aging symptoms while also improving cognition, learning, and memory.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Because the ladyfinger has a lot of fiber, it has a lot of health advantages. This vegetable includes the fiber eugenol, which aids in the slowing of digestion and, as a result, reduces the absorption of sugar from circulation. In effect, following a meal, this mechanism prevents blood sugar levels from rising and stabilizes them. It is critical to maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels for your general health. High blood sugar levels regularly might lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes as well.
According to animal studies, eating okra or okra extract may help lower blood sugar levels. In one research, rats fed liquid sugar and purified okra had less blood sugar increases than control animals. According to the researchers, the okra resulted in a more consistent blood sugar response. This is one of the most useful health benefits of Lady Finger.
Prevents Heart Diseases
Apart from being delicious, ladies finger includes a fiber called pectin. By decreasing cholesterol absorption by the stomach and eliminating any deposits and clots, this fiber aids in maintaining cholesterol levels low (particularly bad cholesterol). High cholesterol is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Okra/Lady Finger contains mucilage, a thick gel-like material that can attach to cholesterol during digestion, causing it to be expelled with feces rather than absorbed.
In one 8-week research, mice were split into three groups and fed either a high-fat diet with 1% or 2% okra powder or a high-fat diet without okra powder. The mice fed okra removed more cholesterol from their feces and had lower overall blood cholesterol levels than the control group. Okra’s polyphenol content may also be beneficial to the heart. A four-year study of 1,100 adults found that those who ate a polyphenol-rich diet had lower levels of inflammatory markers linked to heart disease.
Good for Pregnant Women
One of the benefits of Lady Finger includes the presence of Folate, which aids the health of pregnant women. Folate (vitamin B9) is crucial nutrition for expecting mothers. It lowers the chance of a neural tube defect, damaging a growing fetus’s brain and spine. Every day, all women of reproductive age should ingest 400 micrograms of folate. In short, Folate is a necessary mineral that aids in fertilization and embryo development, and Ladyfinger has a considerable quantity of folate, which ensures the baby’s optimal neurodevelopment.
A study of 12,000 healthy adult women revealed that the majority ingested just 245 micrograms of folate per day on average when the body needs more. Another research tracked 6,000 non-pregnant women for five years. It showed that 23% of them had insufficient folate levels in their blood, and Okra is a rich source of folate, as it supplies 15% of a woman’s daily folate needs in just one cup (100 grams).
Here are some more health benefits of ladyfinger that aren’t too detailed or researched upon but are equally as important
Helps in losing weight and Stomach Health
The Lady Finger has a low-calorie content of just 30 kcal per 100 gm, making it an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight. Because of its high fiber content is also known to make you feel full quickly and keep you full for longer. The high fiber content of ladies fingers aids digestion and helps to keep bowel motions regular. The fiber pectin expands in size in the gut after digestion and so facilitates waste evacuation.
Helps Anaemia and Boosts Immunity!
Because ladies’ finger includes iron, folate, and vitamin K, it boosts the body’s iron and folic acid content naturally, which aids in the fight against anemia. Ladyfinger has 40% vitamin C per 100 gms, which improves your immune system and protects you from common infections.
There are a variety of methods to incorporate ladyfinger into your diet. Ladyfinger can be cooked, roasted, or grilled with sauces or simply with salt and black pepper. Although it tastes good, we don’t recommend eating fried ladyfinger since the oil will raise your cholesterol levels!