A gummy green vegetable that is often overlooked at the grocery store but, nevertheless, is a healthy food for better vision and general health is the Okra vegetable. The Okra is a vegetable popular in the Caribbean, China and especially the South. It is chock full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium and Iron to name a few. Additionally, it is very low in calories and fat. This eye food spans a wide range of health benefits including cholesterol reduction, diabetes prevention, better digestive health, Cancer prevention, Brain health, and weight control to boot. Therefore, if you are interested in foods for better eyesight and general health, that are different from traditional vegetables, here are a series of reasons why adding Okra to your diet is a wise nutritional choice:
Eye Health: When it comes to vision improvement, Okra consists of the following eye promoting nutrients that help to support the healthy functioning of the visual system: Vitamin A, C, Lutein, and Beta Carotene. Vitamin A and C helps to support healthy tissues in the eyes, the mucous membranes, as well as the skin, thereby guarding against health problems associated with eye infections. Vitamin A and Beta- Carotene are antioxidants useful in the prevention of age- related vision disorders such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.
Okra consists of Lutein which is a potent Carotenoid credited in research studies with providing vision protection from harmful blue light and preserving sharper eyesight. It has also been shown to contribute to a reduction in the risks for Cataracts and Macular Degeneration by staving off free radicals that damage healthy eye cells.
Here are a series of the general health benefits of Okra:
Heart Health: This nutritious vegetable with its Pectin and fiber content helps in the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) levels thereby improving heart health.
Diabetes Prevention: Okra is known for its ability to absorb sugar efficiently in the digestive tract. Therefore, it is helpful in regulating healthy normal blood sugar levels. For example, a 2011 study published by the Journal of Pharmacy and Bio Allied Sciences, involving participants who ate dried and ground Okra peels and seeds, revealed an interesting health benefit: a reduction in the blood sugar levels of the test subjects. In Turkey roasted Okra seeds have been utilized as an effective natural home remedy to aid in the treatment of Diabetes.
Boosted Immune system and Better Digestion: there is a link between a properly working digestive system and good immunity. Therefore, Okra produces the good bacteria which is vital to improving the function of the digestive tract thereby also boosting our immune health.
Cancer Fighting Properties: With its rich antioxidant content it strengthens the body's immune system defenses against damaging free radicals. This aids in the body's protection from harmful cells that works in the prevention of diseases like cancer.
If you are not particularly thrilled about the taste of this nutritious food you can make it more appetizing by slicing it and adding it to gumbo, soups, or stews.
Even though Okra may not be the most popular vegetable on the planet, due to its rich vitamin and mineral content, you cannot underestimate the nutritional value of this healthy food. With health benefits ranging from better eye health, to numerous general health benefits, in addition to the advantage that comes with consuming a food very low in calories and fat, ultimately, Okra is an appealing addition to your diet.