Okra, also known as “lady’s finger,” or “bamia pod” is one of the favorite nutritious vegetables.
The plant cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions around the world for their phytonutrients rich pods. It grows best in a well-drained and manure rich soil.
The okra pods are among the very low-calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol.
The pods are one of the rich sources of mucilage substance that help in smooth peristalsis of digested food through the gut and ease constipation condition.
Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the newborn.
The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily recommended levels.
Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop immunity to combat infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect it from harmful free radicals.
They are rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin-K. Vitamin-K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
The pods are also a good source of many essential minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.