Okra Health Benefits, Nutrition and Vegetable Facts

Health Benefits of Eating Okra

  • One of the many advantages of eating okra or lady's finger is its large dietary fiber content. Together with the mucilage, they make peristalsis smooth and provide a good natural remedy to relieve constipation.
  • The relationship between okra and diabetes is excellent. The fiber content in the vegetable helps curbing the quantity of sugar absorbed in the digestive system, making the vegetable an ideal food for people with diabetes.
  • Besides, okra fiber provides food for probiotics. These live microorganisms help digestion and maintain the wellbeing of the intestinal tract.
  • Lady's finger mucilage binds toxins and cholesterol and makes sure they pass out easily from the body. Detoxification is important as it assures the overall wellness of our body.
  • Okra pods contain lots of the antioxidant flavonoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotenes and high level of vitamin A. It is considered to be one of the highest antioxidant content green vegetables. Vitamin A is not only good for the eyes, but also important to maintain healthy skin; while flavonoids help prevent oral cavity and lung cancer.
  • The phytochemicals in okra also help prevent cancers of larynx, pharynx and mouth.
  • Okra is good for weight loss as it contains low calories, only 30 kcal in a cup.
    Also rich in vitamin C, the vegetable helps build stronger immune system and protect your body against flu and cold.
  • Folate found in fresh okra pod is an excellent property for pregnant women where it helps reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube defects in the newborns.
  • Lady's finger is a strong alkaline food. Eating alkaline foods helps improve energy levels and immune system in the body. It also promotes a healthier teeth and gums as higher pH environments discourage bacterial growth.
  • Other vitamins and minerals found in okra include vitamin B-complex, vitamin K, calcium iron, magnesium and manganese. 

Overview and Facts about Okra

Fresh Okra aka Lady's Finger

Okra (scientific name Hibiscus esculentus or Abelmoschus esculentus) has many calling names. It is called bhindi in India, bamya, bamia or gombo in French, quibombo in Spanish, bamies in Arabian and lady's finger in general.

Okra history can be traced back to the 12th century, where it was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians and eventually spread to the Middle East and Africa. During World War II, okra seeds had been used to make okra coffee to substitute the original coffee.

Okra is very good to human’s intestinal tract and it is also sometimes used to treat intestinal of pets, especially dogs' as it contains great amount of sodium.

How to cook okra? This is the frequently asked question by those who always overcook the vegetable. The best way to cook lady's finger is by sautéing.

Where to buy okra in the U.S.? Fresh okra is a seasonal food in the U.S. However, you may find frozen okra in larger grocery stores. 

Okra Nutrition Facts and Calories

Nutrition Value of 1 cup (100 g) Raw Okra
Calories 30 kcal
Total Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 2 g

Okra Recipe

Okra Curry Recipe

  • 450 g okra, cut into 2.5-cm pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Salt


  • In a pan, heat some oil. Add the okra and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, curry powder and cumin. Season with salt.
  • Add the onions and sauté until the okra is tender but still crunchy. Add in the tomatoes and allowed to cook for another minute.
  • Remove from the heat, garnish with the cilantro and serve with some cooked white rice, if you wish. 

Okra Side Effects

There is no adverse effect from consuming okra.

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Health Benefits of Vegetables

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