By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain & well being writer.
Okra is on the shopping list today, as we move on through these productive days of Ramadhan some of us are starting to feel our digestion and elimination is in need of some help, this could be for many reasons. those of us who are healthy conscious are not drinking our normal amounts of fluids, those not so conscious are indulging in too many fatty sweet refines carbohydrates food when we break fast. Either way help is at hand in the form of okra.
As some of you know some of my roots are in Mauritius, where the women are pretty and the food is delicious. We are Indian Mauritian, There is a Mauritian recipe with okra that is simple , tasty and quick
• Wash okra, top and tail them and if you don’t know what that means, call mum and auntie
• Steam okra for 5 minutes, then place in bowl, plate or plastic container to cool. we put ours straight in container as they are going to go in fridge.
• Make dressing of garlic, lemon juice olive oil, salt and pepper, you can add tiny pieces of chilli, pour over okra .
• Optional, our auntie chops fresh onion into small pieces and adds to okra.
• Mix everything together .
• Cover with kid and place in fridge to chill.
• Perfect as a salsa with anything including pizza
Health Benefits of Okra
1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
2. Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most individuals unlike over-the-counter drugs.
4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
8. Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
9. Okra is good for summer heat treatment.
10. Okra is good for constipation.
11. Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
12. Okra is good for asthma. Okra’s vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
13. Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
14. Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
15. Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
16. Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
17. Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
18. Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin. We understand the reason why Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved to eat okra.
There are other medicinal uses of okra, like its protection against trans fats.