Okra is a very healthy vegetable. It is also known as “lady finger” or “gumbo.” It is a highly nutritious pod vegetable that is grown in the tropical and warm regions of the world. The plant bears many dark green pods 2-6 inches in length. It is used a lot in Southern cooking here in the United States and in India it is also very popular, as in this recipe for Okra Sabji.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
|1||Lb.||Okra, washed, dried & cut|
|Salt to taste|
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil on low.
- Add the okra and stir fry for couple of minutes.
- Add the spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes, untill the color changes.
- When finished, pour into a bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes.
- If you wish, add dry mango powder or lemon juice for taste.
- It is great with rice and tortillas or naan.
Tips: Okra has to be washed and dried properly with a cloth.
Serving Size is for 1/5 of recipe.
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Health benefits of Okra
Very low in calories, provides just 30 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins; recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in Okra pods helps smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the green vegetable with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh pods are good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
The pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C; provides about 36% of daily recommended levels. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protects body from harmful free radicals.
The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
The pods are also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.