Did you know that okra has a similar nutritional profile to supergreens like broccoli and kale? Though not as well-known, okra shares their significant health benefits which are gradually being confirmed by peer-reviewed studies.
What most people know about okra is that it is mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked. Mmucilage contains a usable form of soluble fiber. For those of you who find the mucilage unappealing, there are ways to cook it goo free.
What Are The Health Benefits of Mucilage
Eating mucilaginous foods is one of the best things one can do as it has so many health benefits.
- antidiabetic properties
- digestive benefits
- potent natural laxative
- promotes healthy skin and blood
Tips on minimizing mucilage
- keep the pods intact and cook quickly
- add to a stir fry
- cook with acidic ingredients such as citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar
- thinly slice the pods and cook for a long time as in gumbo.
- for soups, stews and steaming, cook the pods whole without trimming the ends.
Studies have shown
- stabilizes blood sugar
- detoxify the liver
- prevent and improve constipation as okra is one of the best sources of high quality soluble fiber
- feeds the good bacteria (probiotics)
How to prepare
- To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible; with low heat or lightly steamed.
- it can be eaten raw.
- if you must fry, (undeniably a delicious way to prepare it, rolled in cornmeal and salt), only use extra virgin olive oil, or UNREFINED coconut butter
- Organic ghee is also excellent for frying okra (does not burn like butter)
Rich source of
- vitamin B6
- folic acid.
Nutritional breakdown for half-cup of cooked okra:
- Calories = 25
- Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
- Protein = 1.5 grams
- Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
- Vitamin A = 460 IU
- Vitamin C = 13 mg
- Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
- Calcium = 50 mg
- Iron = 0.4 mg
- Potassium = 256 mg
- Magnesium = 46 mg