In recent years, okra has gained the reputation of a ‘superfood’ for people who have or are at risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Nutritionists especially promote the consumption of okra water to help control these two health problems.
Known among people as ladies’ fingers, or among biologists as Abelmoschus esculentus, okra has shown to have positive effects on the control of high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The Benefits Of Okra For The Human Health
Because okra is a source of dietary fiber, important vitamins, and minerals, as well as powerful antioxidants, it is beneficial for the overall human health. It has proven to help with the following:
- Controlling blood sugar levels
- Prevention and relief of constipation
- Reducing high cholesterol
- Lower risk of certain forms of cancer, like colorectal cancer
- Improved energy levels
- Improving depression symptoms
- Treatment of a sore throat, lung inflammation, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome
Did you know that 100 grams of okra provide about 15 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate? Folate, or folic acid, is very important in the pre-conception period and during pregnancy, as it’s effective in preventing birth defects. Foods rich in folic acid can also help clean your lungs.
In addition, this vegetable contains vitamin K, which is important for bone health and plays a major role in blood clotting.
Okra Water As A Natural Treatment For Diabetes
A number of studies have proven that okra water can help control diabetes.
Namely, studies in rats have shown that okra has anti-diabetic effects, which have helped the animals stabilize their levels of blood glucose.
In these studies, the researchers had prepared okra water by soaking a few okra pods in water overnight. Then, this solution was given to a control group of rats, on a daily basis. At the same time, the second control group of rats was given a solution of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, a derivative cellulose that is used as a thickener. According to the results, the okra water helped reduce the glucose absorption, and consequently, the blood sugar levels of the tested rats dropped.
Similarly, another study has shown that okra extract can help control diabetes in rabbits. In a period of 10 days, the okra slowly reduced the blood sugar levels in the test group of rabbits, in comparison to the reduction caused by metformin, a drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Okra Water Recipe For The Treatment Of Diabetes And High Cholesterol
Some people say that if consumed daily, okra water can help bring blood sugar levels at a normal level. Also, this regular intake can help keep the cholesterol levels within limits.
Here’s a simple recipe for okra water:
Wash 4 medium-sized okra pods under running water. Cut both ends, and divide them in half. Put the pods in a glass of water, making sure that they are fully covered. The water should be at room temperature.
Let the okra soak in the water during the night. Press the pods well before removing them from the water, to release the sap leftovers. Et voilà! You can drink the water!
Repeat this routine once a day, to keep diabetes and high cholesterol at bay. Or, to treat a pre-diabetic condition.
If you want to keep your diabetes and high cholesterol in control with restrictions in your diet, you may consider drinking okra water on a regular basis.
However, if you’re already taking metformin to treat diabetes, know that okra water can interfere with this drug. This means that instead of lowering your blood sugar levels, it can actually increase them. Thus, you ought to consult a doctor before you start consuming okra water as a natural treatment for diabetes.
Also, don’t think that the okra anti-diabetic effects allow you to consume foods high in sugar and carbohydrates! Diabetes management and natural remedies should be part of a healthy lifestyle, and you should stay away from junk food!
The ultimate advice for controlling your blood sugar levels and high cholesterol is to incorporate okra water into your healthy diet, and to avoid the consumption of sweets and carbohydrates.