Okra is Superfood to Control Sugar:
Okra is rapidly gaining recognition as a “superfood” for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of diabetes and cancer.
Popularly known as ladyfingers or by its scientific names Abelmoschus esculentus and Hibiscus esculentus, okra known for its positive impact on blood sugar control, among numerous other health benefits.
What is okra?
Okra is a tall vegetable with a history originating from ancient Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and spreading to Eastern Mediterranean, India, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
The immature pods of the plant are widely consumed in tropical countries and are commonly used in soups, stews, or as a fried or boiled vegetable.
These tender pods are low in calories, providing only 30 calories per 100 grams, and contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. Additionally, they are rich in nutrients, completely non-toxic, and have no adverse side effects.
How does it aid in diabetes treatment?
Recent years have seen an increase in evidence supporting the anti-diabetic properties of okra, with numerous in vitro (laboratory) and in vivo (animal) studies confirming its effectiveness in lowering blood glucose levels.
In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, researchers in India found that diabetic mice fed dried and ground okra peels and seeds experienced a reduction in their blood glucose levels. Other studies have also shown a gradual decrease in blood glucose levels with regular consumption of okra extract for around ten days.
Beyond scientific research, many individuals with diabetes have reported lower blood sugar levels after soaking chopped okra pieces in water overnight and drinking the juice in the morning. In Turkey, roasted okra seeds have been used as a traditional diabetes remedy for generations.
What contributes to this effect?
The high content of insoluble fiber in okra believed to contribute to the stabilization of blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract.
Additional health benefits
Due to its rich dietary fiber content, essential vitamins and minerals, and potent antioxidants, okra provides several health benefits, including:
- Prevention and improvement of constipation
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Reducing the risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer
- Enhancing energy levels and alleviating symptoms of depression
- Assisting in the treatment of sore throat, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and lung inflammation
Consult your doctor first If you diagnosed with diabetes and are taking medication, it is important to consult with your doctor before incorporating any natural remedies into your routine. Ensure that they are safe to use alongside prescription medicines such as insulin or oral hypoglycemic before making any changes to your diet or treatment plan.
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