The Benefits of Okra for Diabetics

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Okra – also known as lady fingers – is a type of tropical flowering plant that belongs to the mallow family. The plant yields edible green seed pods used as a vegetable in cooking. The pods contain zero cholesterol and are low in calories.

While the okra is certainly a highly nutritious vegetable, a growing number of scientists are suggesting that it does more. Okra may be used to treat diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, diabetes is the 6th deadliest disease in the United States. It also contributes to the development of often-fatal cardiovascular diseases and end-stage renal disease. Several studies conclude that okra may minimize a number of diabetes-related symptoms. In today’s post, we are listing down the benefits of eating okra among diabetics:

Regulates Blood Sugar Level

Okra has low glycemic index or GI. GI is the measurement in which carbohydrates are turned into sugar in the blood. Regular consumption of low glycemic foods helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Okra is a great way to control the blood sugar level while keeping the weight down. This vegetable has a GI of below 20.

Aids in Weight Loss

Doctors recommend that diabetics keep their weight within the normal range in order to prevent complications related to diabetes. These complications range from heart disease, stroke to high blood pressure. Eating high cholesterol foods could also increase the risk of health complications rooted from diabetes. Okra aids in weight loss by making you feel fuller. When you feel fuller, you don’t get the urge to snack on unhealthy foods. Okra is also rich in fiber. This compound bulks up the stool and prevents heart disease.

Protects From Kidney Disease

In a study published on the “Jilin Medical Journal,” researchers found that diabetics who ate a diet rich in okra saw reduced signs of kidney damage as opposed to patients who were given a regular diabetic diet.

Diabetics are at higher risk of sustaining kidney damage because of sustained high blood pressure and blood sugar. These factors make it hard for the kidneys to work properly. Eventually, the organs will fail from long-term damage. That’s why it’s important to keep the blood sugar within normal level. Maintaining a normal body weight is also essential in decreasing the risk of kidney disease. Regular consumption of okra promotes healthy kidneys.

Loaded with Soluble Fiber

Okra is nearly 50% soluble fiber. This type of fiber aids in digestion and keeps the heart healthy. It also reduces the effects of carbohydrate-rich foods on blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber also suppresses the appetite. It delays the digestion process so you feel fuller for longer. Just a 25 gram serving of fiber per day can reduce the risk of high blood sugar levels significantly!

Protects the Heart

Diabetics are more vulnerable to heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetics should stick to a vegetable-based diet. Eating plenty of okra helps minimize complications related to the heart. It contains soluble fiber that keeps the heart healthy plus essential nutrients that lower heart disease risk.

In fact, a study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” found that type 2 diabetics who ate more vegetables like okra lowered their risk of heart disease by 10% as opposed to patients who ate vegetables infrequently.

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