Okra : nutrition, astonishing 3 medical uses & tips

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Okra Nutritional Profile ;

• Energy value (calories per serving): Low
• Protein: High
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium

How Many Nutrients in Okra

• Okra, the vegetable, is the unripe seed capsule of the okra plant, a starchy food high in soluble dietary fiber. It is a good source of vitamin A from deep yellow carotenes (plant pigments) hidden under its green chlorophyll, the B vitamin folate and vitamin C.

• A serving of eight cooked okra pods has two grams dietary fiber, 241 IU vitamin A (10 percent of the RDA for a woman, 8 percent of the RDA for a man), 39 mcg folate (10 percent of the RDA), and 13.9 mg vitamin C (19 percent of the RDA for a woman, 15 percent of the RDA for a man).

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How To Serve Nutritious okra food

• In a soup or stew.

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Young, green tender pods of okra no more than 4 inches long.

How To Storing This Food

• Keep okra in the refrigerator.

How To Preparing This Food

• Wash the okra under cold running water, then use it whole or sliced thickly.

What Happens When You Cook This Food

• When okra is heated in water, its starch granules absorb water molecules and swell. Eventually, they rupture, releasing amylose and amylopectin molecules as well as gums and pectic substances, all of which attract and immobilize water molecules, thickening the soup or stew.

okra food

How Other Kinds of Processing effect This Food

Canning and freezing.

Canned and frozen okra have less vitamin C per serving than fresh okra.

Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

Lower risk of some birth defects.

As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy.

• The current RDA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant.

• Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of the cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects.

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Possible lower risk of a heart attack.

In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supplements, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent.

• Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question.

• Researchers at Tulane University examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months.

• The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to prove that taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

To reduce the levels of serum cholesterol.

Eating foods rich in gums and pectins appears to lower the levels of serum cholesterol. There are currently two theories to explain how this may happen. The first theory is that the pectins form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and keep them from being absorbed by your body.

• The second is that bacteria in the gut feed on the gums and pectins, producing short-chain fatty acids that inhibit the production of cholesterol in your liver.


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