Okra, known for its slimy but delicious taste, is a plant that belongs to the Mallow family. Popularly known as lady’s finger in some countries it is prized for its edible green seed pods that is commonly used to thicken soups and stews and also serves as a side dish especially with sea foods like fish in many Caribbean countries.
Okra pronounced ‘okro’ in some parts of the world is said to have been originated in Africa and is packed with nutrition and was also used for its medicinal properties.
Okra is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin A, niacin, magnesium, magnanese, thiamin, zinc, potassium, protein, water, riboflavin, calcium, iron and anti-oxidants.
Okra is useful in many ways, it is popularly used in many countries in different ways, it is even said to be a part of the Barbados national dish called coucou or turned cornmeal.
The leaves of the okra can be cooked or eaten raw in salads, the seeds can be roasted and grounded into a caffeine free substitute for coffee.
Its rich folic acid content makes okra an excellent vegetable for pregnant women as it prevents birth defects especially in the early stages of pregnancy, also excellent for weight loss, fibre helps to make you feel full and thus makes you eat less, it is known to prevent constipation, depression, treats lung inflammations, sore throat, asthma, lowers the risk of eye diseases like cataracts, prevents diabetes, controls blood sugar, strengthens the immune system, studies have also shown that is prevents kidney disease, aids digestion and maintains a healthy skin.
To reap its many benefits, okra must be consumed on a regular basis, a vegetable so tasty, you will have it with any dish.