Where Okra Originates – Okra’s cultivation goes all the way back to the 12th century in the Nile Valley of Egypt. And is very popular in Indian cooking, used in soups, stews, curries and fried dishes. Also the leaves are used for cooking in India and in other parts of Asia.
Okra is actually a type of hibiscus plant which has beautiful flowers… and okra cooked in Africa, India, US, Europe, the Caribbean and many other places in the world.
I love Okra and because my father was from India my mother would cook okra curry.
I have okra in my garden (the plants are flowering now), soon I will have okra pods for cooking.
Growing – Okra likes water and good soil, but will grow in just about any climate and soil conditions… they are very adaptable and prolific producing lots of pods and leaves.
The will grow in temperatures from 60 to 80 degrees… thus they grow in many parts of the world.
If your okra plant is not producing pods but lots of leaves, cut off some leaves… then your plant will start producing more pods.
Cooking – Many people hate okra because if you slice okra and cook it… it becomes slimy.
But if you cook okra with acidic foods like tomatoes or lemon juice that’s not a problem.
Sometimes I add vitamin C when cooking okra and that keeps my okra from becoming slimy. Also if you also cook okra for a long periods of time that slipperiness disappears and that’s why curries are not slimy.
Okra can be boiled, fried, pickled, grilled, stuffed, and roasted… lots of different ways to use okra.
Okra can also be canned, frozen, and pickled for later use during the winter.
Also okra fruit and leaves make a great thickening agent for soups, stews, curries, and other foods.
Low Glycemic Index – Okra has a low glycemic index making great for diabetics and weight loss.
Cholesterol – Okra lowers cholesterol… add some okra to your diet if you have high cholesterol.
Diuretic – Okra is a good diuretic, and thus helps to detox your body and get rid of excess water weight.
Fiber – Okra has lots of fiber and that’s partly why okra creates that mucilaginous material when cooking. It’s great for creating bulk for relieving constipation… and creating a great habitat for probiotic bacteria. Okra also absorbs water thus making constipation a thing of the past.
Contains – Okra contains B Vitamins for health, vitality, and good mood. Beta Carotene for preventing cancer, Vitamin K to prevent excessive clotting, magnesium and manganese for enzyme production and immunity, calcium and phosphorus for strong bones, iron for anemia, and zinc for boosting immunity and preventing colds and flues.
Eye Health – Okra contains lutein and zeaxanthin for preventing macular degeneration.
Weight Loss – Okra is high in fiber, low in calories, with a low glycemic index which is a great combination for weight loss — (As long as you don’t fry okra adding a lot of oil.)
Antioxidants – Okra contains a good amount of Vitamins A & C which are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer.
Colon Health – Okra is great for colon health, full of wonderful fiber for probiotic bacteria, okra also soothes and promotes healthy mucus membranes… and prevents cancer.
Kidney Disease – A study in Jilin Medical Journal shows that eating a few okra pods everyday has the ability to prevent kidney disease. Especially kidney disease associated with diabetes… about 50% of all kidney disease is related to diabetes.
Diabetes – Okra has the ability to lower and regulate blood sugar… because it contains lots of healthy fiber.
Asthma – Studies show that eating Vitamin C rich foods helps those suffering from asthma… and okra is a great source of Vitamin C.
Leaves – Okra leaves are used in Southern cooking and in other parts of the world, and the leaves can be used raw… and they can thicken sauces, soups, and stews.
Flowers – Okra flowers are edible, they have a nice nutty taste when cooked… and raw they look beautiful in salads.
Coffee Substitute – Some people take okra pods let them dry out, then open them and take out the seeds, roast them, grind them… and use as a coffee substitute.
Okra Face Mask – Some use okra for youthful looking skin. Boil some okra for 7 or 8 minutes, let it cool, then mash them and apply to the skin… let set for 5 or 6 minutes and then wash it off for younger looking skin.
Oxalates – Okra does contain oxalates… so cook your okra if you are sensitive to oxalates.
This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 20 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to contact him any time.
Here is a short video bio – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK6Eg-xlX3U
Here is my Google+ address if any of you would like to connect. — http://plus.google.com/+PaulHaider–drpaulhaider
Dr. Paul Haider, Master Herbalist, HH, USA, Okra, Okra Face Mask, Coffee Substitute, Edible Flowers, Edible Leaves, Asthma, Fiber, Weight Loss, Diuretic, Lowers Cholesterol, Lowers Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Prevents Kidney Disease, Prevents Colon Problems, Constipation, Antioxidants, Eye Health, Low Glycemic Index, Probiotics, Cooking, Growing, Origins,