Summertime Fruits and Vegetables – Okra

Summertime is on the way, a season that offers hot days, cool swimming pools, and refreshing lemonade. There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables to enjoy at this time of the season. So let’s take a quick look at some of the best that summer fruits and veggies have to offer. We will take a quick look at what nutritional value these fruits and vegetables have to offer, as well as their origins and a couple of refreshing recipes for the summer season.

Okra

 

 

If you live in the South, Carribean,  Africa, or India, then you may be more familiar with this vegetable. Okra or “Ladyfingers” grows best in warm climates and are at their best for eating when they are immature, at about a week after they first sprout. According to several sources, The geographical origin of the plant is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. There is written documentation about the spread of Okra from Ethiopia to Egypt between the 12th and 13th century. From there, it was spread from Africa to the Southern United States and the Carribean from the African slave trade.

 

Okra Nutrition

Okra is already a nutritious vegetable from just its structure. Its pods have natural fibers, and its seeds produce both pectin and fibers, which is great for weight management.  Other nutritious benefits that the Okra has to offer include:

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties and exists to destroy any free radicals that may invade the bloodstream. Antioxidants are great for repairing both inner and outer cell damage in both your eyes and your skin.

  • Lectin

Lectin is a type of protein found in vegetables like this one, beans, peanuts, and grains. Studies were conducted in 2016 with the attempt to determine if lectin played a role in the prevention and reversal of breast cancer.  While there still needs to be some verification with further studies, there is a chance that the lectin in okra may play a role in the reduction of certain types of cancers.

  • Vitamin K

Foods that are high in vitamin K, such as okra, are good for bone health. Vitamin K, which can be found in okra and other leafy plants like arugula, helps your bones absorb calcium and prevent fractures.

 

 Sauteed Okra Recipe

If you want to try the vegetable, but aren’t sure about the slimy texture of the seeds inside, then there is good news for you. Baking or frying okra can bypass the gummy seeds that you can get when okra is stewed.  This simple recipe is healthy, provides clear instructions on how to slice and prepare the vegetable, and is quick and easy to make! Of course, if you want to try it yourself, you can click on the photo below for the recipe.

 

okra

 

 

Sources:

http://naturalsociety.com/okra-history-health/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-okra.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311977.php

https://extension.illinois.edu/veggies/okra.cfm


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