Health Benefits of Cooked OkraReading time: 7 min

Cooked or roasted okra is a delicious and healthy side dish that can be enjoyed whether you are following an alkaline diet or not. Yet, it is the perfect option if you are looking to reduce your acidic intake. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the many health benefits of cooked okra and discuss why it is a good choice if you are following an alkaline diet. We’ll also provide you with tips on how you should cook fresh okra the best way possible so that it retains its nutrients and its delicious flavor.

So, whether you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish, or simply want to learn more about the health benefits of okra, read on to learn everything you need to know about this delicious vegetable.

Okra

Physical Description

Okra is also commonly referred to as “ladies’ fingers”.  Its pods are long and slender in shape and are typically purple or green in color. It has a somewhat slimy texture and a mild, slightly bitter flavor.

History and Production

Okra is commonly found in African and Asian cuisines. You can pickle, boil, dry, cook, or bake Okra to add flavor and texture to dishes. Oven roasted Okra is especially popular in modern cuisine

It is grown mainly in tropical climates like Africa, South America, and Asia. Okra is typically grown using methods like hydroponics, raised beds, and soil. It takes between six to twelve months for the plant to reach maturity and produce pods.

It is commonly used in southern American cuisine, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. Okra is also known for its use as a medicinal plant throughout history. It has been used to treat stomach problems and inflammation in the digestive system.

However, there isn’t enough research to support these claims. Some people have also used okra as an insect repellent due to its reported ability to ward off bugs. However, this might not be true for all varieties of okra and you should only attempt after testing on an individual basis.

What is the pH Scale?

If you are following an alkaline diet or considering taking one you will need to consider the Ph value of your diet. This means that any food you are incorporating into your diet will need to be above 5 points on the Ph scale and preferably above 7. A pH of above 5 makes the food alkaline.

This makes Okra the perfect pod to add to your alkaline diet as it has a Ph value of 7.5+.

An alkaline diet is a diet that emphasizes the consumption of foods higher on the pH scale, and low in acidity, such as meat and dairy products.

The goal of an alkaline diet is to provide the body with a balance of nutrients and energy, which promotes optimal health. Additionally, an alkaline diet can help to improve overall well-being by promoting improved digestion and elimination.

Nutritional Facts About Cooked Okra

Okra production

Okra is a nutrient-dense food with many health benefits for your overall health. It is high in fiber, vitamins A, B, C, and K, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Okra also contains protein and essential fatty acids to ensure you stay healthy. These nutrients help support heart health, digestive function, and the overall health of your immune system.

It is known for its high nutritional value and you can serve it as a side dish or as an ingredient in soups and stews. One cup (100g) of cooked okra contains:

  • 111kcal
  • 1.9g of protein
  • 3.6g Fat
  • 81mg Calcium
  • 11.5g of dietary fiber
  • 13.5g of carbohydrate
  • 3.6g of total fat (0.5g saturated)
  • 1.3mg iron
  • 0.6mg Zinc
  • 3.9mg vitamin C
  • 8ug vitamin K
  • 0.7mgVitamin E
  • 0.11mg Vitamin B1 
  • 0.03mg Vitamin B2
  • 22 Calories

Benefits of Okra

The benefits of an alkaline diet are supported by scientific evidence and may include improved immune function, reduced inflammation, and better overall health. Overall, the main reason you should cook okra is its nutritional benefits and versatility in recipes. Cooking with okra provides an easy way to add a healthy snack or side dish to your diet

List Benefits of Okra

  •  High in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, magnesium, and fiber.
  • Good source of minerals such as iron and Zinc.
  • Eating cooked okra in an alkaline diet can provide a good source of fiber and carbohydrates, which promote a sense of fullness and satiation.
  • High in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have even suggested that it may have anti-diabetic properties.
  • One of the most notable benefits of cooking okra is its low-calorie count – one cup (100g) of cooked okra contains just 22 calories.
  • It is also a good source of other vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin E, which are important for maintaining good health.
  • High in potassium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure and fluid balance. In turn, this can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Overall, cooked okra has many health benefits and can be a nutritious addition to your diet!

Okra Recipes

Okra can be eaten raw or cooked, and it can be used in many different dishes. It is commonly used in southern American cuisine, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. 

Now, it hasn’t quite tickled the taste buds of the Western world. 

In the words of the late (and beloved) Robin Williams:

Indeed, Okra can be slimy. But with the right recipe, you will discover the best way to cook okra.

Mediterranean Okra

Mediterranean Okra

Here we have a delicious Mediterranean okra recipe that is sure to please your taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced onion 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (a dash of cayenne pepper can also be added to taste)
  • 2 pounds okra, stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced Juice of one lemon Greek feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Directions:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onions and celery in the oil until softened. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the okra, drizzle with olive oil, and cook until the single layer is lightly browned and tender.
  • Stir in the garlic and lemon juice, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with feta cheese (if using). Serve hot or cold.

Bhindi Masala Okra

Bhindi Masala Okra

In this dish, the okra is cooked in a spicy sauce to give it a delicious and unique flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can of tomato sauce)
  •  1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and spices and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the water or broth and bring to a simmer. Whisk together the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water until smooth; stir into sauce until thickened. Cook for 2 minutes more to let bubbles form on the surface. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt, cilantro, and salt to taste.

Okra is Okay!

When cooked, okra can provide even more nutrients to your alkaline diet. Okra is one of the most underappreciated vegetables considering its high alkaline Ph level, low calories, and vitamin values. With alkaline diets becoming more important in today’s life for overall good health and rejuvenation, incorporating okra can help to add diversity to your meals. 

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