Okra, also known as lady’s finger or bamia pod, is an edible green is a flowering plant in the mallow family. 

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In Nigeria, it is called okwuru in the Igbo language, ila in Yoruba, and kubewa in Hausa.

It can be used as a pickled vegetable, an ingredient in soups, side dishes, and also utilised for its oil, which can be extracted and used as vegetable oil.

It is also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and zinc.

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Below are seven reasons okra is good for your health.

Aids weight management

It is low in calories, containing only 30 calories per 100 grams. It is often recommended when embarking on a weight-loss program. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.

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Relieves constipation

It contains a lot of dietary fibre and acts as a natural laxative which can help to naturally get rid of constipation.

The pods are rich in mucilage substance that lubricates the large intestine and helps with elimination.

The fibre content of okra also feeds the gut’s beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and helps maintain the pH balance of your digestive tract.

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Boosts immunity to infections

Okra is a rich source of vitamin C, which helps with the body’s immunity. This vitamin can stimulate the immune system to create more white blood cells, which can combat the other foreign pathogens and materials in the body that can compromise the immune system.

Good for pregnant women

Okra contains folates. 100 grams of okra provides about 22% of the recommended daily amount.

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Folates (folic acid) are particularly important in the pre-conception period and during early gestation as they help prevent birth defects.

Promotes better vision

The green pods contain beta-carotene, lutein, and xanthine, which together with vitamin A help preserve good vision and keep your eyes and skin healthy.

Lowers blood pressure

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Okra is a good source of potassium, which is necessary to maintain proper fluid balance in the body.

Potassium helps to relax the blood vessels and arteries, therefore reducing blood pressure and lessening the strain on the cardiovascular system.

Good for strong bones and teeth

Okra is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

The pods contain good amounts of vitamin-K; a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes that is required for strengthening of bones.

Okra also contains calcium which is important for bone health.



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