A health food for some, a comfort food served battered or fried for others, okra is a green vegetable that has a number of health benefits that a lot of people don’t know about.
The chunky veg, also known as “lady’s fingers” or as “bhindi,” is actually full of potassium, vitamins, and minerals and is almost calorie-free. Research has also linked okra with the improvement of type 2 diabetes.
Health Benefits of Okra: Natural Cure For Diabetes
By preparing okra in a specific way, it can help to fight off diabetes and even prevent diabetes. Most of the existing research has been conducted on animals, such as rats and rabbits, and human evidence is mostly based on anecdotes.
An animal study in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences in India found that the seeds and peel of okra have anti-diabetic properties, and after inducing the rats with diabetes they saw their blood glucose levels stabilize.
The rats consumed okra pods soaked in water and a solution of Na-carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), the solution helped to reduce the absorption of glucose and lowered blood sugar levels.
A second study performed at the Vishwa Bharti College of Pharmaceutical Sciences published their research in the International Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Chemistry showed that okra extract had anti-diabetic effects on rabbits.
The rabbits took the okra for ten days and it gradually reduced their blood glucose levels. The effect can be compared to the result of the popular diabetes drug, Metformin.
How to make okra water to treat and prevent diabetes
It’s simple to extract okra’s goodness. Drink it daily for the best results.
Follow these steps to prepare okra water:
- Take 4 medium size okra pods
- Clip off both ends of the pods
- Poke the pods with a fork on opposite sides or split them in half
- Place the pods into a glass and cover them with clean, room-temperature water
- Let the okra sit in water overnight
- Give the pods a squeeze before you take them from the water
- Remove the pods and drink the water
Drink the water once a day as part of a healthy diet and to prevent and help alleviate diabetes.
Okra is a seasonal plant and so fresh okra can be difficult to find all year round, and while most research has been conducted with fresh okra you can also use canned okra and freeze-dried okra for a similar effect.
Combine okra water with a non-carbohydrate diet and eating foods that are rich in healthy fats such as nuts and avocados.
If your physician has advised controlling your diabetes through your diet, then okra water is a great addition to a healthy diet.
If, however, you are already taking Metformin to control your diabetes, you should be aware that drinking okra water may interfere with Metformin’s ability to affect your blood sugar. In the case of drinking okra water alongside Metformin, your glucose levels may, in fact, rise instead of falling.
In all cases, make sure you consult your doctor before drinking okra or taking any medication for diabetes.
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The International Knowledge Sharing Platform states that there are many okra uses, as it’s an economically important vegetable crop of which its fresh leaves, buds, flowers, pods, stems and seeds have value.