Surprising health benefits of eating bhindi or okra from lowering cholesterol to managing blood sugar | Health - Hindustan Times
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Surprising health benefits of eating bhindi or okra from lowering cholesterol to managing blood sugar

By, New Delhi
May 21, 2024 03:02 PM IST

A powerhouse of amazing micronutrients and dietary fibre, Bhindi can also help regulate cholesterol, blood sugar and prevent many diseases. Know all benefits.

Some like its taste, others not so much, but Bhindi or Okra finds its way into nearly every Indian kitchen during the summer thanks to its amazing nutritional profile. Whether you like Bhindi fry, Bhindi Masala or Kurkuri Bhindi, okra or lady finger can be turned into endless variations. A powerhouse of antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fibre, several carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, Bhindi or okra is known to keep heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, digestive issues and certain kinds of cancers away. (Also read: Eat kundru for weight loss, controlling blood sugar; know all amazing benefits of ivy gourd)

Eating Bhindi regularly can also help prevent kidney disease and also aid in lowering high cholesterol levels.
Eating Bhindi regularly can also help prevent kidney disease and also aid in lowering high cholesterol levels.

The high fibre in okra or Bhindi helps stabilise blood sugar levels by regulating the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. Eating Bhindi regularly can also help prevent kidney disease and also aid in lowering high cholesterol levels. Bhindi can also treat digestive issues. The polysaccharides present in immature Okra pods possessed considerable antiadhesive properties which means they remove the adhesive between bacteria and stomach tissue, preventing the cultures from spreading, as per a study.

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"Okra, or bhindi, is a nutrient-dense meal, which means that it has a lot of vitamins and minerals for a small calorie count. It's a great source of dietary fibre, which can aid in preventing constipation and promoting digestive health. Okra also contains high levels of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins C, K, and folate," says Dr Rohini Patil, MBBS & Nutritionist.

BENFITS OF BHINDI

Dr Patil shares other benefits of bhindi or okra for your health

  • Okra's soluble fibre has the potential to lower cholesterol, particularly "bad" LDL cholesterol, which is good for the heart and may lower the risk of heart disease. By lowering homocysteine levels, another risk factor for heart disease, the folate found in okra also benefits heart health.
  • Okra has been traditionally used to manage blood sugar levels, especially in India and other countries where it is a staple food. The soluble fibre in okra can help regulate the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract, thus stabilising blood sugar levels. Some studies suggest that certain compounds in okra may have a better effect on insulin, aiding in glucose uptake by cells.
  • Okra can aid with improving eye health and lowering the risk of some eye illnesses because it is a strong source of vitamin A and other antioxidants. Vitamin A is necessary to keep the cornea healthy, and okra's antioxidants can shield the eyes from harm from free radicals.
  • Okra has a high vitamin C level, which makes it a great food to support immunity. The synthesis and function of white blood cells, which are essential for fending off foreign invaders like germs and viruses, are stimulated by vitamin C. Also, prebiotic fibre from okra feeds good microorganisms in the stomach and helps to build up good immune system.
  • Okra is a good source of folate, which is crucial for pregnant women as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Folate is also essential for the production of red blood cells, which can help prevent anaemia, a common issue during pregnancy.
  • With its rich vitamin K and calcium content, okra contributes to bone health. Vitamin K plays a critical role in bone metabolism, helping to increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Okra is good for skin and hair health due to its vitamin and mineral content. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, which provides structure and strength to the skin and hair. The antioxidants in okra also help protect the skin from free radical damage, promoting healthy, youthful skin.

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