Okra: Benefits, Species, How To Choose And Eat It?

Okra inside it has seeds like a sphere

Okra also called Abelmoschus Esculentus, is a flowering plant that can derive edible seed pods, which belong to the mallow family. It is widely planted in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions.

People love to eat it like a vegetable because of its high nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and multi-vitamins.

About the okra seeds

Not all people like okra because of its light, soft, and sticky taste. Its seeds are spherical, numerous inside the okra. In order to better digestion, you need to chew enough when you eat.

Moreover, the okra seeds are rich in oil, and the oil contains a small amount of gossypol, which is slightly toxic. It can be eaten after a high-temperature process.

Benefits of eating okra

1. Prevent cancer

Okra is rich in selenium, the essential trace element to the human body, which has an anti-cancer function.

In addition, its vitamin A and β-carotene contained are also beneficial to inhibit the production of abnormal cells, thereby prevent the occurrence of cancer.

2. Prevent constipation and weight loss

There are both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers in okra, it can make you feel full when you eat, also helps you control your weight.

These dietary fibers have the effect of stimulating intestinal peristalsis and promoting digestion. It is also helpful to prevent colorectal cancer.

Furthermore, okra is rich in pectin, which increases the activity of good bacteria in the intestines makes defecation smoother.

Weight loss successful

3. Protect stomach

Its mucilage can protect the stomach wall, promote gastric acid secretion, increase appetite, and improve indigestion.

By the way, okra also contains pectin and galactan, which can help digestion, treat gastritis and gastric ulcers, protect your stomach.

4. Keep vision health

The rich vitamin A and β-carotene in okra are beneficial to our retina and have a good effect on maintaining vision health.

5. Regulate blood pressure

According to the recommendation, you can take to stabilize your blood pressure by the combination of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

In fact, these ingredients are contained in okra. So, eat okra moderate can help regulate blood pressure. However, the effect of lowering blood pressure may not obvious, so the doctor’s advice is still important.

6. Calcium supplement

The amount of calcium inside okra is similar to milk. Compared to milk, okra has a higher absorption and utilization rate of calcium. It is a good source of calcium, especially for vegans.

Okra dish

About okra species

As we know, the edible okra around the world is all under the same species Abelmoschus Esculentus, that’s why okra is also called Abelmoschus Esculentus.

It is a cultivated plant improved by humans through selective breeding. Different countries and regions have their hybridization way to cultivate okra, so there are many varieties of okra around the world.

The origin of okra is controversial. Generally, people believed it originates from western Africa to Ethiopia.

Different varieties of okra

How to choose

The bad okra may lose nutrition and taste terrible, even worms are inside the okra. There are 6 tips that help you choose the good okra.

1. Choose a plump and straight one.

2. Squeeze okra feeling a little toughness is better quality. It’s bad okra if the squeeze feeling stiff.

3. Don’t choose okra that is too bulky. The length around 5cm to 10cm is best of taste.

4. Choose a full and bright one, can with small fuzz. The old or withered okra color looks dark and dry.

5. The smaller fuzz on the surface of the okra, the more delicious it is.

6. The okra top tip is aging fast after being picked. The top tip looks great means the okra quality is good. If it looks black means it is aged.

Bad okra

How to eat

No matter you boil, saute, deep-fry, or roast. You should prepare okra before cooking, it will make taste better.

1. Use salt to brush the okra surface.

Because the okra surface has fuzz, put some salt in hand to brush the okra surface can clear some of the fuzz especially the stiff fuzz, which causes the taste bad.

2. Remove the top tip

The okra top tip and the edge around its, are the rougher parts of the okra, remove it can make taste better.

How to cut a okra


Blanching may be the best way to cook okra, just dunk the entire okra in boiling water for about 30 seconds, it helps to preserve most nutrients. The okra will lose some nutrients if cook with a slice.

For people who don’t like the slime inside the okra, cooking such as roast and deep-fry can remove the slime with its high heat.

Who shouldn’t eat

1. Okra contains calcium oxalate, so it is not recommended for people with kidney stones and high uric acid.

2. People who have frequent diarrhea shouldn’t eat, otherwise, it will aggravate diarrhea.

Side effect

People who frequently eat okra or eat too much at a period may suffer inflammation because okra contains solanine.

Solanine is a toxic compound that could cause joint pain even arthritis.

In conclusion, eat okra is good for health, however, over intake can break your health too.

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