Commonly referred to as lady’s finger, okra is consumed in a variety of ways – from fried okra to pickled okra, and more. But, have you ever wondered just what it is that small, green vegetable does to your body?
Here are a few things that happen when you consume the famed lady’s finger:
Okra and Cancer: From breast cancer to pancreatic cancer, this is the “c” word that nobody wants to hear when they visit their doctor… But, okra has been found to act against breast cancer cells in various preliminary lab studies.
Okra and Diabetes: Okra has been found by several studies to be a food which contains potent blood glucose-lowering abilities. Traditionally used as an alternative treatment for diabetes, it is believed that a large amount of soluble dietary fiber found in okra is what gives it this ability. Basically, the blood glucose-lowering agent in the okra delays the glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.
Okra and Depression: Depression affects millions of adults in the United States alone, and oftentimes, there is no direct cure. However, okra might sustain the ability to fight this chronic illness. It has been shown that a healthy diet improves your mood, especially when it consists of fruits and vegetables that contain mood-elevating antioxidants such as quercetin and flavonoids. While there is no known record of okra’s antidepressant ability, it does have a high antioxidant content. Researchers have extracted the high concentrations of antioxidants and found that it contains the same levels as blackberries and blueberries, the most powerful fruits, and berries.
Of course, okra is not just a cure-all vegetable, but it does show many signs of being a valuable item in our diet and in our health.
After a few studies on diabetic mice, the results showed that okra seed extract acted as a powerful mood-elevating agent and performed as effective as imipramine, the anti-depression drug, in fighting chronic depression.
Because of the difficulties and complications related to diabetes, many patients who suffer from diabetes also go on to suffer from depression as well. So, okra appears to be a powerful vegetable that could not only improve a patient’s physical well-being but also their mental well-being.
But, even without diabetes, okra is a great, healthy snack to be munching on to help increase that “happy hormone.” It can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol, among the other benefits it offers.