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What are the health benefits of okra?

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Okra is low in calories, with almost no fat. It's also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc. But perhaps its biggest benefit, especially for people who have diabetes, is its high amount of fiber.

The fiber in the fruit of okra -- the green, seedy part of the plant -- lowers blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar from your intestines.

It's better to get your fiber through food, rather than supplements. If you decide you need more fiber, raise the amount you get slowly. Too much too quickly can lead to things like gas, bloating, and belly cramping. Talk to your doctor before making any big changes to what you eat.

SOURCES:

UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment: "Okra: ." Abelmoschus esculentus

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: "Okra."

City of Birmingham, Alabama: "Recipes."

Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences : "The Effect of Abelmoschus Esculentus on Blood Levels of Glucose in Diabetes Mellitus."

CDC: "National Diabetes Statistics Report," "Diabetes Meal Planning," "What is Diabetes," "Type 2 Diabetes."

Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies : "A review on: Diabetes and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)."

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine : "Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses."

Cell Journal : "Okra (Abelmoscus esculentus) Improved Islets Structure, and Down-Regulated PPARs Gene Expression in Pancreas of High-Fat Diet and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats."

National Institute on Aging: "Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats."

Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Micronutrient Information Center: "Fiber."

U.S. Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (via eatfresh.org): "Okra."

Arizona Department of Health Services: Arizona Health Zone: "Sauteed Okra with Onions and Tomatoes," "Lite Fried Okra."

North Carolina Cooperative Extension: "Food of the Month -- Okra."

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine : "Therapeutic effect of okra extract on gestational diabetes mellitus rats induced by streptozotocin."

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman on May 1, 2020

SOURCES:

UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment: "Okra: ." Abelmoschus esculentus

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: "Okra."

City of Birmingham, Alabama: "Recipes."

Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences : "The Effect of Abelmoschus Esculentus on Blood Levels of Glucose in Diabetes Mellitus."

CDC: "National Diabetes Statistics Report," "Diabetes Meal Planning," "What is Diabetes," "Type 2 Diabetes."

Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies : "A review on: Diabetes and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)."

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine : "Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses."

Cell Journal : "Okra (Abelmoscus esculentus) Improved Islets Structure, and Down-Regulated PPARs Gene Expression in Pancreas of High-Fat Diet and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats."

National Institute on Aging: "Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats."

Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Micronutrient Information Center: "Fiber."

U.S. Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (via eatfresh.org): "Okra."

Arizona Department of Health Services: Arizona Health Zone: "Sauteed Okra with Onions and Tomatoes," "Lite Fried Okra."

North Carolina Cooperative Extension: "Food of the Month -- Okra."

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine : "Therapeutic effect of okra extract on gestational diabetes mellitus rats induced by streptozotocin."

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman on May 1, 2020

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