Okras – Dr. Sebi Approved

Okra

What are Okras?

Okra, also known as lady’s fingers, is a popular vegetable that is widely consumed in many parts of the world. This nutritious vegetable belongs to the mallow family (Malvaceae) and is botanically known as Abelmoschus esculentus. The plant is characterized by its long, green, finger-like pods that are used in various dishes across different cultures.

Scientific Name:
The scientific name for okra is Abelmoschus esculentus. It is also sometimes referred to as Hibiscus esculentus.

Other Names:
Okra is also known by various other names across different regions. Some of the common names for this vegetable include Gumbo, Bhindi, Bamia, and Ochro.

Habitat:
Okra is believed to have originated in West Africa and was later introduced to the Americas through the transatlantic slave trade. Today, it is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

Description:
Okra is a tall, annual plant that can grow up to six feet in height. The leaves are large, heart-shaped, and deeply lobed, with a rough texture. The flowers are yellow and have a hibiscus-like appearance, and the fruit is a green, elongated pod with a tapering end.

Status:
Okra is a natural species of vegetable and has been cultivated for thousands of years.

Species of okras

Known Species of Okra:
There is only one known species of okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, but there are many varieties that have been developed through selective breeding.

Wild Species of Okra:
In addition to the cultivated species, there are also several wild species of okra that are native to Africa and Asia, including Abelmoschus caillei, Abelmoschus ficulneus, and Abelmoschus moschatus.

Benefits of okras

Mineral content:
Okra is a rich source of minerals including calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Medicinal value:
Okra has long been used for its medicinal properties. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and digestive problems. Some studies have also suggested that okra may have cancer-fighting properties.

Culinary uses:
Okra is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is often used in soups, stews, and curries, and can also be pickled or fried. In the southern United States, okra is a popular ingredient in gumbo, a spicy stew.

Research information

Research on okra has focused on its nutritional and medicinal properties. Studies have found that okra can help regulate blood sugar levels and may also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Additionally, some research has suggested that okra may have cancer-fighting properties, although more studies are needed to confirm this.

Are there any side effects of okra

While okra is generally considered safe to eat, potential side effects to keep in mind are:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: Okra contains a type of soluble fiber called mucilage, which can be difficult to digest for some people. Eating too much okra can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  • Oxalates: Okra contains oxalates, which are compounds that can interfere with the absorption of calcium and contribute to the formation of kidney stones. People with a history of kidney stones may want to limit their intake of okra.

Okra recipes

Roasted okra salad

Ingredients:
1 pound okra, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a bowl, mix together the okra, olive oil, pepper, salt, and pepper.
3. Spread the okra out on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the salad greens, red onion, and avocado.
5. Add the roasted okra to the bowl and toss with the lime juice.
6. Serve immediately.

Grilled okra skewers

Ingredients:
1 pound okra, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon agave
1 red onion, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
2. Thread the okra onto skewers.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, agave, salt, and pepper.
4. Brush the mixture over the okra skewers.
5. Grill the skewers for 5-7 minutes per side, until tender and lightly charred.
6. Serve hot.

References

– The Alkaline Sisters. “Roasted Okra Salad.” 2018.
– The Blender Girl. “Okra Curry.” 2021.
– The Kitchn. “Grilled Okra Skewers.” 2015.
– USDA. “Okra, Raw.” USDA Food Composition Databases. 2021.
– American Society for Horticultural Science. “Okra.” HortScience 41.5 (2006): 1139-1141.
– University of Florida. “Okra Production Guide.” UF/IFAS Extension. 2020.
– Agrawal, R., and S. Phadnis. “Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra): A Review of its Nutritive Value, Medicinal Properties, and Application in Food Processing.” Journal of Food Science 81.4 (2016): R910-R918.
– Lee, Y.-S., et al. “Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) Extract Inhibits Lipid Accumulation and Lowers Blood Glucose Levels in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice.” Food and Nutrition Research 60.1 (2016): 30428.
– Weaver, C.M., et al. “Vegetable-based Foods for Sustainable Nutrition.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 69.14 (2021): 10131-10136.

Author: sebifood

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