Okra, popularly known as ladies’ finger, is a flowering plant that belongs to the mallow family. The edible seed pod of the plant is popular in the world for its taste. The seed pod is the most valued part of the plant. The origin of okra is confusing among various areas. Some of the reports suggest Ethiopian, West African and South Asian to be the origin of the vegetable. The plant generally grows in all favorable conditions around the globe. Since the plant needs a warm climate to grow, cultivators generally grow them in warm, tropical and subtropical regions. According to research, okra was first used in the 17th century. The name of the vegetable comes from the West African language. Due to its extensive cultivation, the price of the vegetable is not that high. This helps certain developing countries to use the vegetable to mitigate malnutrition.
Uses Of Okra
The okra plant is very useful around the globe for various food purpose. The species, is a perennial plant, and grows annually in temperate and warm climatic regions. Apart from the wide use of the seed pod, the other parts of the plant are also useful for various purposes. The harvesting of the okra seed pods are common in their immature state as it quickly matures.
The okra seed pod is “gooey or slimy” in its characteristics that are visible while cooking. The vegetable has a unique taste that makes it a household favorite. Okra is common in many delicacies around the world for its taste and nutritional benefits. The pods are generally cooked, pickled, in various salads and even eaten raw. There are various traditional dishes where okra plays a vital role to enhance the taste.
Young leaves are also useful as ingredients in various cuisines. They are cooked in the same procedure as beets or dandelions. The use of the plants in salads is also highly popularised. The seeds of the plant do not go for waste either. The seeds are roasted and ground to use it in various beverages.
The stem of the plant contain bast fiber, which is extracted for various uses. The fibre has various industrial uses. The fluids produced by the plants can be effectively used in purifying water.
Okra is rich in Vitamin C, which helps in lessening symptoms of asthma. The consumption of the vegetable also helps in protecting children from wheezing symptoms.
It is well-known for promoting a good digestive system due to its high fiber content. Apart from this, the vegetable also helps in maintaining a good cholesterol level.
The soluble fibres present in okra have the ability to keep the blood glucose level stable. This helps individuals with diabetics significantly.
The high content of Vitamin C and antioxidant components are there to boost the immune system. This helps the body to prevent unsafe free radicals and support the immune system.
According to studies, regular consumption of okra helps prevents various kidney diseases. The daily consumption of the vegetable significantly helps in reducing signs of kidney damage.