OK To Okra!

Lady’s fingers are not only tasty but extremely nutritious too

7/5/2016 5:00:47 PM
written By : Sana T Vasi Print

In the US, it is called lady’s fingers, or gumbo. In India, it is known as bhindi. The Spanish call it quibombo, the French refer to it as bamya, and certain areas of the Mediterranean use the term bamies. Whatever name people use to describe this high-fibre vegetable, one thing remains clear: its vast array of health benefits.  

The origin of this vegetable is not very certain, but there are references that point to its origins in Ethiopia, West Africa or South Asia. While certain records suggest that it was first harvested by the Egyptians, on the banks of the Nile during the 12th century BC, accounts of the Arabic word for the plant – bamya - in the 12th and 13th centuries imply that it had spread from Arabia and into Egypt. Records also suggest that the vegetable first entered South-west Asia through the Red Sea. The plant later spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, before it was carried across to America during the slave trade in the 17th century. 

The species is part of the mallow family, and is typically found in tropical, and temperate regions around the world. Its tender, tapered seedpods, between three and 10 inches long, are cultivated for consumption all over the world - primarily due to its low-caloric, high dietary fibre contents. 

Here are a few reasons to incorporate okra into your meals today:

Healthy Skin: The vegetable is full of fibre and Vitamin C - both of which aid in repairing body tissues, and help maintain vibrant, younger looking skin.

Healthy Pregnancies: With high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as zinc and calcium, bhindi is the perfect vegetable to consume while pregnant. 

Boosts Immunity System: The vegetable is full of antioxidants that bolster the immune system, while vitamin C helps create more white-blood cells, which are used to battle harmful viruses and pathogens in the body. 

Increased Energy Levels: Eating bhindi before exercising may contribute to longer work out sessions, and faster recovery times afterwards. 

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