What Is Okra?
Okra is an annual herb known by several nicknames like ladies finger, bhindi, and even gumbo. Its scientific name is Abelmoschus esculentus L., and the fruit belongs to the Malvaceae family.1
The fruit pod of okra is a little green capsule ranging from 10 to 25 centimeters in length. Slightly curved, the pod tapers to a rounded point. Each pod contains six-chambers holding a bunch of seeds.2
Okra is considered a relatively high-value crop due to its nutrient content. The following vitamins and nutrients are just some of the good-for-you compounds that help make okra a superfood and contribute to its positive effects on human health and well-being:
- Dietary fiber
- Unsaturated fatty acids, like linolenic and oleic acids3
History of Okra
Okra is believed to have originated near Ethiopia. There are records that ancient Egyptians cultivated the crop during the 12th century B.C. North Africa and the Middle East quickly caught on to okra’s flavor and benefits and began cooking, toasting, grinding, and eating the fruit. Its seeds were even used as a substitute for coffee.4
Then, sometime in the early 18th century, West African travelers brought okra to the Caribbean and the U.S. In Louisiana, Créole cooks began to use okra as a thickener for soup. Today, okra is an essential ingredient in gumbo.5
Okra is still primarily cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and warmer climates. You can find the crop growing in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean regions, and the United States.6
Potential Health Benefits of Okra
It’s no surprise that okra contains several potentially beneficial bioactive components, such as:
- Polyphenolic compounds
- Folic acid
- Vitamin C
- Oxalic acid
- Amino acids
- Oligomeric catechins
- Oleic and linoleic acids 7
Several of okra’s components (namely flavonoids, vitamins, and polysaccharides) have been shown to possess potentially significant biological properties, not the least of which are antioxidant actions.8†
But there are also other possible beneficial effects associated with okra. For instance, okra is said to help support heart health.9 Some studies also show okra may help support better energy levels.10†
Finally, okra seed is said to contain high-quality protein and a good number of amino acids. Its soluble and insoluble fiber content is notable and may help support healthy cholesterol levels already at normal levels and intestinal tract health.11†
Which Gundry MD Supplements Include Okra?
If you want to know where to buy supplements that include okra as an ingredient, you can start by taking a look at Gundry MD Lectin Shield.
Click the link here, Lectin Shield, to visit the GundryMD website and read all about okra and the other ingredients found in Lectin Shield. You can also peruse the customer reviews.
You’ll see all sorts of useful information about Lectin Shield, and you can navigate to other pages to explore Gundry MD supplements and their ingredients. Be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or daily supplement regimen.
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