Okra is a unique and healthy veggie, and it’s easy to find this time of year. Here are some great reasons to eat more okra!
Okra has been on my mind a lot lately, as this is our first year growing okra, and the harvest is finally starting to come on strong. We just made a big batch of gumbo with of our okra last weekend, and it was so delicious! Okra is a popular vegetable in the South, but since moving to Ohio I don’t see it that much, which is a shame as it’s so delicious and healthy for you. I thought I’d share a bit of info with you today about the health benefits of okra, and hopefully you will give it a try!
Okra might seem like a somewhat odd vegetable, but it is one that is tasty, versatile, and contains a lot of nutrients. Okra, sometimes known as “lady’s finger,” is a vegetable that comes from the Northeast area of Africa, though it is available in many countries around the world. It is a green vegetable that should be tender when it is ripe and ready to use. There are many ways to cook okra and include it in your meal planning for healthy recipes.
The Health & Nutritional Benefits of Okra
If you are looking for vegetables with a lot of vitamins and minerals, okra is a good pick. This vegetable packs a powerful nutrition punch, making it one of the lesser-known superfoods you can choose from. It contains a lot of dietary fiber, helps to relieve constipation. Okra also contains vitamins A, B, K, and C, as well as other antioxidants that may help boost your immune system, and could even aid in preventing cancer and other serious medical conditions. A single serving of okra contains about 100 grams of folates, also known as folic acid. It also contains calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Okra is also a good option if you are currently trying to cut back on calories or lose weight. A single serving of okra has zero saturated fat or cholesterol and contains only 30 calories. Okra can be eaten as a snack, side dish, or added to various other meals as extra nutrition without all the added fat and calories. Okra may also help if you have diabetes as it has been shown to aid in controlling blood sugar levels.
There Are Many Ways to Add Okra to Your Meals
Okra might be a rare vegetable, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t versatile. In fact, there are loads of ways to cook okra and add it to your meals. Any type of cooking method you like to use for vegetables likely works with okra. You can fry up the okra and eat it similar to green fried tomatoes, or stew it with tomatoes and peppers and squash as a side dish. Okra is a classic ingredient in gumbo, but it can also be roasted or grilled alongside other veggies, baked in a casserole, or cooked slowly in a slow cooker along with potatoes, carrots, and meat. (Check out the recent post on our Sustainable Gardening blog for some simple and tasty ways to prepare okra.)
Whichever way you slice it, okra is a healthy veggie to enjoy, and it’s easy to find in the fall or late summer at a farmer’s market near you.