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Okra: The Green You've Been Missing

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A member of the mallow family, okra is a flowering plant. It bears edible green seed pods. Although we may think of it as a vegetable for cooking, biologically, it is a fruit. Okra comes in two colors – red and green. The red one turns green when cooked, and both taste the same.

Okra contains mucilage, which is a naturally occurring substance that people sometimes use as a thickening agent for stews or sauces. When we enjoy okra dishes, we also savor the benefits that come along with its slippery texture. Okra's mucilage coats the lining of our digestive tract and protects against pathogens from entering the bloodstream. It's also beneficial in safeguarding one from certain inflammatory gastric diseases.The mucilaginous fiber in okra is also responsible for other essential processes, such as intestinal detoxification and cholesterol regulation.

According to research, okra may aid diabetic individuals with poor glucose control and impaired pancreatic beta-cells, which produce and secrete insulin. In addition, a study published in Biotechnology Letters found that the protein lectin found in okra has been linked to the prevention of the proliferation of breast cancer cells.

Around 30 micrograms of vitamin K and 82 milligrams of calcium can be found in one cup, or 100 grams, of raw okra. These are essential nutrients linked to blood clotting and strong bones. Okra is also an excellent addition to your diet to help avoid developing osteoporosis. For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, eating okra is an ideal way to gain sufficient folate intake.

Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, and okra is no exception. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrients, okra has the ability to reduce physical fatigue, improve exercise endurance, and aid in recovery. Okra seeds dramatically reduced blood lactic acid and blood urea nitrogen levels after strenuous exercise, according to testing results. Hepatic glycogen levels also rose, allowing for better fuel usage.

Let's examine a few okra cooking methods. Boiling, steaming, sautéing, roasting, and frying are simple ways to enjoy it. Pickling is another way to turn okra into a crunchy and flavorful snack.

Try growing okra on your own throughout the spring if you have a sunny garden or balcony. Okra leaves can be utilized to make soup, be eaten raw, or be cooked like spinach. Your eyes will also be pleased by the okra's lovely pale-yellow flower with a deep scarlet heart.
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