Okra (also known as Abelmoschus esculentus, Hibiscus esculentus, and lady’s finger) is a flowering plant that is grown for its nutritious stringy fruits or “pods”. It is one of the most medicinal vegetables due to its high vitamin C, folate, and fiber content. Moreover, okra is also high in antioxidants. In this article, we will share a few research findings which have shown that this amazing vegetable has an array of healing properties.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF OKRA:
A 2005 study published in Jilin Medical Journey has shown that people who consumed okra showed improvement in nephropathy or kidney disease. There were two groups for the study. One group was treated with okra while the other was treated with a traditional medical therapy for six months. The results showed that there were no changes in the group that participated in traditional therapy. But on the other hand, the people who were treated with okra had experienced a decrease in uric acid and urine protein.
According to a study published by Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal in 2011, okra has the ability to protect against liver disease due to its strong antioxidant properties.
In another study, the researchers have found that a newly discovered lectin (a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes) in okra, called Abelmoschus esculentus (AEL), actually causes cell death in human breast cancer cells, in vitro – 72 percent to be exact.
Note – These tests are only in preliminary stages.
A rat study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences has shown that okra extracts can reduce the blood sugar levels, which is very helpful in the protection against diabetes.
Okra’s high phenol and flavonoid content may be very helpful in the battle with depression. According to a research conducted by the Mazandaran University of Medical Science, okra seed extracts have the ability to elevate mood.