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Superfoods: Lady’s Fingers/Okra

Lady’s Finger: Smooth Operator

Lady’s fingers is another name for okra or gumbo. Its scientific name is “Abelmoschus esculentus” and also “Hibiscus esculentus” – a flowering plant in the mallow family related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock. Lady’s fingers is valued for its edible green seed pods. Originating in Africa, the plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

  • A supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression
  • Okra is rich in vitamins A, B6 and C, Iron, Calcium and Folic Acid. It contains Starch, Ash, Fat, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate, Magnesium and Potassium
  • The superior fibre found in Okra helps to stabilise blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract
  • The okra fibre, by absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, help prevent constipation
  • Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver
  • Okra fibre is excellent for feeding good bacteria (probiotics) contributing to the health of the intestinal tract thus decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer
  • Can reduce inflammation, joint pain, sore throat, pneumonia, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers
  • Being very alkaline, it helps to neutralise acids and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract
  • Okra helps to treat lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel
  • Okra is an ideal vegetable for weight loss
  • It is used to boost sexual vigour and reduce excess menstrual blood
  • Okra improves the structure and condition of blood vessels and it is believed to be able to prevent cataracts
  • Okra’s soluble fibre in the form of gums and pectins help to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease

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