Okra (Abelmoshcus esculentus) aka: Gumbo, Lady's Fingers, Bhindi, Bendakaya, and Bandakka, is a long green pod vegetable with a green furry outer skin, thin green flesh, and small edible white seeds.
Health Benefits of Okra
Increased Protection from Bacterial and Viral Infections
Increased Immune Function
Reduced Cancer Risk
Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer
Protection Against Heart Disease
DNA Repair and Protection
Alleviation of Cardiovascular Disease
Alleviation of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Reduced Risk of Type II Diabetes
Reduced Frequency of Migraine Headaches
Alleviation of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Prevention of Epileptic Seizures
Prevention of Alopecia (Spot Baldness)
The mucilage from Okra is used to sooth inflammation. Infusions of the pods have been used to treat urogenital problems and chest infections in India. *Some of these health benefits are due to the nutrients highly
concentrated in Okra, and may not necessarily be related to Okra.
Look for vibrantly colored pods that are firm to the touch. Avoid any discolorations or withered pods.
Climate and origin
Okra is thought to have originated in Egypt and North Africa, then spreading to the Middle East and India. Okra does well in warm temperate to tropical climates. (Zones 4-11 in the U.S.)
Okra has a lightly pungent flavor and a mushy to gooey texture. The gooey texture comes about when the okra is over cooked, as is sure to happen in a stew or gumbo. If you are averse to the gooey texture then it can be mitigated by adding lemon juice or another acidic liquid (like vinegar).
Extracts from Okra are added to artificial blood plasma products. Over 5 million metric tons of Okra are grown annually, with production in India accounting for more than half of world production.
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