Okra is a green flowering plant that is also regarded as “lady’s fingers” at times. It is of the same plant family like cotton and hibiscus. It refers to most often to the edible plant seedpods. It is popular for these pods, and is grown in tropical and warm climates, like South Asia and Africa. This is available in two colors, green and red. Although Okra is categorized as a fruit, it is typically used in cooking as a vegetable. Packed with nutritional benefits, Okra is said to be able to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
How Does Okra Help Reduce Bad Cholesterol Levels?
Okra helps reduce LDL in many ways. It has mucilage, a thick substance that is viscous as gel. During digestion, it may bind to cholesterol and lead to its expulsion through stools instead of being absorbed into the body.
According to a study conducted over a period of 8 weeks, mice – research subjects – were divided into 3 groups. A diet packed in a fat-rich diet without okra powder or 1 – 2% okra powder was given to them. Those who were fed okra had their cholesterol eliminated through their stools. Their total blood cholesterol levels were lower as compared to the control group.
As per research on animals, Okra can bind to LDL in gut and reduce the levels of the same. It is packed in polyphenols, which can keep the heart protected and combat harmful inflammation. In lab mice suffering from diabetes, it can reduce cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol, Heart Disease and Okra
High levels of cholesterol are related to a higher risk of heart disease. For diabetics, foods packed with antioxidants and high amount of fibers are recommended, as these are able to reduce cholesterol easily. According to The American Heart Association, diabetics are likelier to have bad levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.
The outlook is not good when diabetes as well as high levels of cholesterol are present. This is exactly the reason why it is vital to ensure that the level of cholesterol in your diet is healthy. Okra is a zero cholesterol food that is able to prevent, reduce and manage the risks of both bad cholesterol and heart disease. If you are not diabetic but wish to reduce heart disease risks as well as risks of high cholesterol, you would like to add foods like Apple to Okra dishes as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Johnson is the founder of Healthy Reports. He is a seasoned researcher and author with over 15 years of experience. He has a unique combination of experience and skills in nutrition, dietetics, and communication.