JAKARTA, NNC - Okra, or commonly called lady fingers or bamia, is one type of perennial flowering plants that include plants of the genus hibiscus from the family Malvaceae (cottons). This fiber-producing plant is widely cultivated in areas that have a warm tropical climate.
This plant comes from the African continent. Currently, okra has been known in many countries, including Japan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and countries in America and Europe. However, in Indonesia, this plant is less well known by the public.
Below are several benefits that can be obtained from consuming Okra, as sourced from various resources:
1. Helps to lose weight
Okra is one type of vegetables that is very low in calories. In every 100 grams of okra contains only 30 calories. In addition, this plant also does not contain saturated fat or cholesterol. In addition, okra is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Okra is often recommended by nutritionists as a food source to help control cholesterol and weight loss programs.
2. Can help prevent constipation
Okra is a type of pod that is rich in mucus substances. It is useful to assist in smooth food digestion that passes through the intestines. This can help relieve or prevent the condition of constipation.
3. Help protect the lungs
Okra is a vegetable plant that contain many nutrients needed by the body. One is the benefits of flavonoid compounds that function as antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein that can help protect the lungs.
4. Maintain eye and skin health
Okra plants are believed to have many benefits of vitamin A which is very good to help maintain eye health. In addition, vitamin A is also needed to maintain the mucous membranes that contribute in keeping healthy skin.
5. Prevent oral cancer
Antioxidants contained in okra or bamia is one of the compounds that can help prevent cancer of the oral cavity.
6. Reduces risk of defects to fetuses
Fresh okra plants are good sources of folate. 100 grams of fresh okra contain approximately 22% RDA. Eating foods rich in folate, especially for pregnant women, can help reduce the risk of defects in the fetal nerve tube in the womb.
7. Helps maintain the immune system
Consuming okra can help the body to develop strong immune system against infection, reduce cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals. Okra contains there are 36% vitamin C benefits from daily recommendations for the body.
In addition, iron contained in okra can also help regulate the hemoglobin molecules. The red blood cells are responsible for the distribution of oxygen from the lungs to the entire body. Iron also plays a role in the process of energy metabolism, including DNA synthesis by several enzymes, as well as in the immune system.