Okra Nutrients

Welcome to the world of okra, where taste and nutrition come together. Whether you already like okra or are just learning about it for the first time, this article will take you on a tour of all the healthy things it can do for you. We’ll talk about what nutrition okra brings on your plate, including its history, possible health benefits, and ways to use it in cooking.

Okra, also called lady’s finger, is a flowering plant that is native to Africa but is now grown all over the world. With its long, slender shape and bright green color, okra not only makes meals look good, but it also has a lot of health benefits. Okra is full of good things that can help your general health, like macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

What is Okra?

The scientific name for okra is Abelmoschus esculentus. [1] It is a flowering plant in the Malvaceae family. [2] It grows in warm weather and is grown for its green seed pods, which can be eaten. Okra is thought to have come from Africa, but it is now grown in many places around the world because it is used in so many different dishes.

The okra plant has tall stems, big leaves, and flowers that are bright yellow. But the long, curved pods are the ones that get all the attention. The length of these pods varies from just a few centimeters to more than 20 centimeters (8 inches). There are a lot of small, round, white seeds inside each pod.

When it comes to taste and feel, okra is unlike any other food. When cooked, the pods have a slimy taste that some people like and others may need some time to get used to. Okra has a mild and slightly grassy taste, which makes it a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of recipes.

Okra is a mainstay in many dishes, including those from the South of the United States, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and West Africa. It’s used in stews, soups, stir-fries, sauces, and even pickles. Okra can be used in many ways in the kitchen, so it can shine in both vegetarian and meat-based recipes.

Okra is not only good to eat, but it also has a great nutritional profile. It has a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which could be good for your health. In the parts that follow, we will talk about the nutrients that are in okra and how they can help your health. So, let’s find out why okra is so good for you.

Nutrients in Okra

I. Nutrients in 100g of Okra Pod

NutrientAmount per 100g
Energy144.00 kJ (36 kcal)
Calcium (Ca)84.00mg
Phosphorus (P)90.00mg
Iron (Fe)1.20mg
Ascorbic Acid47.00mg
Table 1: The table displays the composition of okra pods per 100g of digestible portion, elucidating its nutritional qualities. [2]

Okra is an essential part of a healthy diet due to its high-water content and substantial levels of protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron mentioned in Table 1.

II. Nutrients in 100g of Okra Leaves

NutrientAmount per 100g
Energy235.00 kJ (56.00 kcal)
Calcium (Ca)532.00mg
Phosphorus (P)70.00mg
Iron (Fe)0.70mg
Table 2: The table outlines the nutrient composition of 100 grams of edible okra leaves. [3]

It can be observed from Table 2 that Okra leaves are rich in water, as well as protein, lipids, carbohydrates, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. They are particularly abundant in calcium, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and -carotene. Including okra leaves in your diet can contribute to a nutritionally balanced diet.

III. Nutrient in Fresh Okra Pods

Fresh pods are low in calories (20 per 100 g), almost fat-free, high in fiber, and contain many good nutrients, such as about 30% of the suggested daily allowance of vitamin C (16 to 29 mg), 10 to 20% of folate (46 to 88 mg), and about 5% of vitamin A. [4]

IV. Vitamins in Okra and its Importance [5, 6]

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that is found in large amounts in okra. It is a key part of keeping your defense system strong. [7 ]It is an antioxidant that helps keep cells from getting damaged. It also helps the body make collagen, a protein that keeps skin, joints, and muscles healthy. [8]

On the other hand, vitamin K1, which is found in okra and is a fat-soluble vitamin, is well known for its role in blood clotting. It is a very important part of the process of coagulation, which stops too much blood and helps wounds heal properly.

V. More Nutritional Facts about Okra

Okra pods have been found to have less cholesterol and more viscous fiber than other food. [9]

Okra seed protein shares a similar amino acid composition to that of soybean protein. [10]

In certain nations, okra is also used in traditional medicine to treat ulcers, protect the stomach, and make you pee more. [11]

The main parts of pods are potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. About 17% of pods are seeds. Iron, zinc, manganese, and nickel have also been found. [12]

West Africans often eat dried okra sauce, which is made of pods mixed with other things. This sauce does not contain beta carotene (vitamin A) or retinol. [13]

VI. Antioxidants in Okra

Okra is not only a tasty and versatile food, but it’s also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that help protect our cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals. [14]These free radicals can lead to reactive stress, which is linked to many health problems, including chronic diseases.

Studies in pharmacology have shown that okra has effects that are antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidemic, and anti-fatigue. [15, 16, 17]

Different literature reports okra pods contains antioxidants like, carbohydrates, polyphenols, and flavonoids. [18, 19, 20].

SampleOkra Seeds (OSD)Okra Skins (OSK)Okra Pods (OPD)
Total Flavonoids (TF) (%)5.35Not available1.02
Total Polyphenols (TP) (%)
Total Polysaccharides (TPS) (%)14.843.0638.65
Isoquercitrin (%)2.067Not available0.395
Quercetin-3-O-gentiobiose (%)2.741Not available0.541
Table 3: Antioxidant composition in Okra [14]

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