Botanical name: Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench
Okra, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods.
The okra pods are among the very low-calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. They are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
The pods are one of the rich sources of mucilage substance that help in smooth peristalsis of digested food through the gut and ease constipation condition.
The pods compose healthy amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein. It is one of the vegetables with highest levels of these antioxidants. Vitamin-A is essential for for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Order here: Okra/ Lady's Finger
Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the newborn.
The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily recommended levels. They are rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin-K. Vitamin-K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
The pods are also a good source of many essential minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.