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Written by Rachelle Fordyce on August 12, 2012 – -
by Guest Blogger
Who would’ve thought it. Or, in the “Deep South” we say, “Who’da thunk it?”
Okra has amazing health benefits.
Okay, so I have to admit … I did not plan to research the health benefits of okra this week. It was one of those searches out of necessity. A dear friend of ours gave us a bag full of fresh okra from her garden. Haven only eaten the traditional southern-fried okra in the past, I really had no clue what I was going to do with this bag of okra.
It has probably been more than 25 years since I’ve had fried okra. It was a staple summer dish for those Sunday dinners at my Grannie’s house. Fried okra and fried green tomatoes; all breaded and deep-fried! Yes, back then they tasted yummy, but really that is about the worst insult you could possibly put upon a beautiful garden fresh tomato and okra.
So, back to the quest at hand. What am I to do with this okra that is actually healthy and will nourish my body as well as my child’s?
Did you know that okra was revered by the Egyptians for its health and beautifying benefits? China and Japan also admire okra as a secret to good health. Really? Okra? I’ve long outgrown my childhood upbringing of southern-fried food, but I still cannot shake the only image I have of okra: All breaded and greasy and slimy.
In fact, okra has quite a lot of health benefits, and is a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, thiamine and riboflavin.
The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. In other words… Okra helps prevent and improve constipation: Okra’s mucilage soothes and facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic.
Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
Okra is good for summer heat treatment.
Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids).
Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
Okra is good for asthma, as its vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtails the development of asthma symptoms.
Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin. We understand the reason why Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved to eat okra.
Well now I’m really excited about this bag of okra!! Let’s go prepare it in some yummy ways.
Here are a few recipes we found and my daughter (who is almost 7) gives two thumbs up!!
Slice okra in thin circles, toss with tamari and finely minced garlic.
Marinate a couple of hours.
About a pound of small okra
1 jalapeno – seeded & quartered lengthwise
2 cloves garlic peeled & halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups filtered water
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
Wash the okra well and place in a quart-sized mason jar. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the okra, adding more water if necessary to cover the okra. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3-5 days before transferring to cold storage. Wait patiently for a few weeks for some yummy fermented okra!
Okra is also good just sliced and added to any salad. It is also quite pretty to slice it lengthwise and sprinkle with sea-salt.
Wow, I have a whole new view of okra and I’m loving it!!!
For loads of other raw food recipes and fresh ideas for healthy desserts the whole family will love, check out the book, Decadent Desserts by Angelina Elliott!
This master raw food wizard whips up some of her very best sweet treats in this hugely popular raw food dessert book. Grab your copy today as part of our Raw Food Starter Series of e-books and knock your friends’ and family’s socks off!