Okra or lady’s fingers as it’s known in many countries around the world, is a green tropical plant that has been praised for its medicinal properties for centuries. Okra dates back 3500 years ago and it has been commonly used by Ancient Egyptians. Today, it’s a part of numerous dishes thanks to its fine taste as well as its health benefits.

The plant is similar to kiwi in its properties as well as its nutrient density. Okra is rich in vitamin C and K, folate and fiber which will improve your digestion, regulate your blood sugar levels and control the sugar absorption rate.

Here’s the nutritional value of okra:

Vitamin C – 16.3 milligrams (27% of the recommended daily allowance)

Folate – 46 micrograms(11% of the RDA)

Vitamin K – 40 micrograms(50% of the RDA)

Vitamin A – 283 international units (6% of the RDA)

Fiber – 2.5 gr.(10% of the RDA)

Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg.(9% of the RDA)

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg. (9% of the RDA)

Beta carotene – 225 mcg.

Lutein, zeaxanthin – 516 mcg.

Magnesium – 36 mg.(9% of the RDA)

Manganese – 0.3 mg. (15% of the RDA)

Here are the 6 most important okra health benefits:

Supports colon health

As we mentioned before, okra is rich in fiber which is vital for proper gut health. Fiber will clean your gastrointestinal system and improve the function of your colon. Thanks to the high vitamin A content, consuming okra regularly will also allow your digestive track to function properly.

Helps with respiratory problems such as asthma

Okra is rich in vitamin C which can help you in cases of asthma. According to a study, “the consumption of fruit rich in vitamin C, even at a low level of intake, may reduce wheezing symptoms in childhood, especially among already susceptible individuals.”

Prevents diabetes

Thanks to the fiber and other nutrients, okra will regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.

Treats kidney disease

The Jilin Medical Journal published a study in 2005 which showed that regular consumption of Okra can prevent kidney disease. As the study pointed out, “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” This is connected to diabetes, as almost half of the cases of kidney disease are caused by diabetes.

Promotes healthy pregnancy

Okra is rich in folate and vitamin C which are vital for healthy pregnancy. Folate is especially important for production of new cells, while vitamin C supports proper fetal development and prevents birth defects.

Promotes healthy skin

Vitamin C can rejuvenate your skin and refresh your body tissues. It stimulates collagen production and revitalizes damaged skin. Boil a handful of okra until it softens, then mash it once it’s cooled down and apply the mask on your face for 5 minutes to make your skin smooth and soft.

Here’s a list of the most important health benefits of the plant:

Improves the digestive system;

Promotes a healthy pregnancy;

Fights constipation and other digestive problems;

Prevents the damage done by free radicals;

Prevents diabetes;

Aids weight loss;

Promotes eye health;

Soothes asthma, cough or other respiratory problems;

Promotes skin health;

Improves your mood.