Okra, like many vegetables, has health benefits due to its high fiber and antioxidant content. However, eating too much okra can cause adverse effects in some people.
6 side effects of okra
- Stomach problems: Fructans are a type of carbohydrate found in okra, which may increase bowel problems in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Joint pain: Okra contains a toxic chemical called solanine that may exacerbate symptoms such as pain and inflammation in people with joint disorders such as arthritis.
- Kidney stones: Okra contains a high amount of oxalates, and calcium oxalate is the main culprit when it comes to developing kidney stones. Foods high in oxalate may increase the risk of kidney stones in people who have already had them.
- Interference with diabetes: Studies have found that okra may interfere with the absorption of metformin, which is a medication used to treat diabetes medicine. People with type II diabetes also tend to have more acidic urine, which increases the risk of kidney stones with okra consumption.
- Blood clotting: Vitamin K aids in blood clotting, and okra's high vitamin K content may interact with blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin (warfarin). People on blood thinners should be cautious and consult their doctor before incorporating okra into their diet.
- Allergic reaction: Although rare, some people may have an allergy or sensitivity to okra. Symptoms may include itching, hives, tingling in or around the mouth, trouble breathing, and nasal congestion.
9 health benefits of okra
Okra contains a high amount of dietary fiber, is low in calories, and rich in potassium, vitamins B and C, folic acid, and calcium. Because of this, okra has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
- Boosts immunity: Okra is high in fiber, which promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Because good bacteria in the intestines and stomach protect the body from infections, this can help immunity.
- Rich in antioxidants: Okra is considered one of the best sources of antioxidants. Polyphenols such as catechin and vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage that can cause heart disease and cancer.
- Controls blood sugar levels: Okra may aid blood sugar control, improving insulin sensitivity, lowering glucose absorption in the intestines, regenerating damaged insulin-producing cells, and boosting insulin secretion.
- Good for pregnancy: The high folate content lowers the risk of neural tube abnormalities in the fetus. Consuming folate throughout pregnancy is good for both mother and child.
- Maintains healthy bones: Okra contains 6% of the daily recommended amount of calcium and 16% of the daily recommended amount in a single serving. As a result, okra, along with a healthy diet and exercise, may help the body maintain better bone health.
- Manages fatigue: Studies have shown that okra pods can help fight fatigue. This power appears to come primarily from eating okra seeds, which may increase your stamina and allow you to exercise for longer periods without getting tired.
- Promotes eye health: Okra is abundant in vitamin A and other antioxidants that protect your eyes from the harmful effects of free radicals and help you avoid macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Lowers blood pressure: Potassium aids in sodium balance and thus maintains proper fluid balance in the body. Okra also relieves pressure on the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and arteries.
- Aids in weight loss: Okra is beneficial for weight loss due to its low calorie and high fiber content. Fiber takes longer to digest and increases the feeling of fullness after eating. Okra is also low in fat and cholesterol.
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