Okra Pros and Cons

Food is something that we consume daily and if you are health conscious like me, then you might be doing all research you can just to ensure you do not hurt yourself, the animals, the planet, and others while shopping. In this post, we will talk about the pros and cons of eating okra and learn something new about this magical vegetable.

Okra is a highly popular vegetable that is used in several cuisines across the world. There are various health advantages of eating okra, this vegetable comes loaded with a lot of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Okra is called lady’s fingers and has dietary fibre. It’s cooked in many different ways and consumed pickled, fried, raw, blanched, and many times is used even in soups. 

Continue reading this post to learn about okra, how you can include this wonderful vegetable in your daily diet, the various health benefits it provides, and some side effects too. After learning if a lady’s finger or okra is good or bad, the animals, environment, and planets, you can make the right choices next time when you go out to buy vegetables.

What is Okra?

Also called ‘lady’s finger’, ‘bamia pod’, or okra, it is the perennial flowering plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family. It’s a plant of warm and tropical climates and the plant is most valued because of the green pods. Okra is used in several cuisines and dishes and is highly rich in various nutritional content. But, there is a certain debate about its origin.

Okra Pros and Cons

Different Kinds of Okra

Do you know there are many varieties of okra available in the market? Some of the varieties will grow over 14 inches high. For example, the cow horn okra variant has a pod that is around 14 inches long. The next variety is called emerald which was developed by Campbell’s Soup Company when they tasted it while added to the soups.

Some varieties of okra produce burgundy and red colour pods, which are best for pickles. Burgundy okra gives good touch and colour to your recipe and is best for use in making gumbo and soups. In the same way, the hilly countryside red okra is perfect for making pickles.

There’re a lot of different varieties of okra available that generally come in many different colours, and sizes and each one is more amazing than the other. Now let’s look at some forms of okra.

Forms of Okra

  • Dried okra: The dried okra can thicken a sauce and many people use this as an egg white substitute.
  • Okra seeds: Many people roast & grind their seeds to make a noncaffeinated coffee substitute.
  • Wet okra: Cooking okra in some moisture releases slimy juice, which increases the thickness of stews and soups.

Many people don’t really enjoy gummy okra texture. Cooking the entire pods fast will avoid this.

Pros of Okra

Given below are some top health advantages of eating Okra. As okra can be used with various vegetables easily and one can use this vegetable in many different ways you can use the okra seeds, make juice, you can even boil okra with a little water to enjoy its health benefits.

Good For Your Immune System

The goodness of antioxidants present in Okra and Vitamin C content actually makes it quite potent to get rid of free radicals and increase your immunity. The vitamins will improve the functioning of your immune system, for producing white blood cells as well as fight foreign pathogens, which can weaken your immune system.

Helps in Improving Digestion

Okra has mucilaginous fibre, which helps in moving your food through your digestive tract since it gives bulkiness to your stool. It helps in preventing digestive issues such as cramping, bloating, constipation as well as excess gas. This adds bulk to your watery stools and helps to stop diarrhoea. The fibre content present in okra helps you to regulate the absorption of sugar since it clears out excess cholesterol.

Has Plenty of Antioxidants

Like other plants out there, okra comes bursting with antioxidants. It is one best thing as antioxidants beat the back oxidative stress that increases the risk of diabetes or other chronic diseases.

Point is, that crispy grilled okra can fill your stomach and helps to keep your immune in a fighting form.

Protects Your Eyes

Okra has Vitamin A and various other anti-oxidants that act against free radicals present in our bodies. The free radicals formed because of cellular metabolism may cause harm to our cells that help us to see.

Lady’s Finger guards our eyes against such dangerous effects of free radicals as well as prevents the onset of macular degeneration & cataracts. Orka helps in the dry eye issue as well as improves our eyesight

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Okra has a protein named lectin that is known to slow down the growth of the tumour as per the study done by breast cancer cells in 2014. Remember that this was the test-tube study —though the results are a bit promising.

The current research review emphasized how antioxidants and lectin present in okra are a punch against cancer. 

Cons of Okra

Okra is a healthy and safe vegetable to be consumed without any kind of risks. But, there are some cons of okra too.

  • In a few cases, eating a lot of okra will result in gas, diarrhoea, and cramps because of the presence of fructans (a polymer of the fructose molecules). 
  • Another con of eating okra is it can interfere with diabetes medication & blood thinners.

Okra’s Nutritional Value

Okra has many essential minerals and vitamins, hence it is very beneficial for your overall health. Lady Finger is low in calories as well as does not have saturated fats and cholesterol. It’s very rich in mucilage, dietary fibre, and folates which have several pertinent nutritional advantages. 

Okra is highly rich in Vitamin A, C, and B-complex vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamine, and vitamin B6. Essential minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese are also present in okra.

Tips to Cook Delicious Okra 

Tips for selecting and using okra are given below:

  • Find okra that is firm and taut to touch.
  • Avoid pods, which are soft, shrivelled, and dark on ends.
  • Keep okra dry & store it in a crisper drawer in a plastic bag or paper to stop this from becoming mouldy or slimy.
  • Avoid washing them till you are finally ready to use them.
  • Using within three to four days.


Who must not eat okra vegetables?

Okra is mainly used as medicine for diabetic patients during ancient times. The primary functionality of the lady’s finger is famous for its diabetic-controlling capabilities. Suppose you’re allergic or taking low-sugar medicine then make sure you talk with your doctor before having Okra.

What okra does do to our stomach?

Okra is very rich in fibre, which helps in better digestion of the food. In many people, overconsumption of a lady’s finger will lead to diarrhoea, gas, and cramping.

Can water in okra result in kidney stones?

Having okra in higher quantities may result in kidney stones. Okra has an element called Oxalate that has certain elements of crystals. Thus, drinking more than sufficient okra water will cause kidney stones though it happens in low cases.

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