Here is why you need to add okra to your grocery list right now!
Lady’S finger (okra/bhindi) is a vegetable with a low Glycemic Index (GI) and is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It is rich in fibre and minerals and vitamins like magnesium, folate, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, K1, and A — so it has many health benefits for diabetics. Generally, bitter vegetables are used as part of one’s daily diet for diabetics, but people who are allergic to bitter vegetables like neem, karela etc. are very much benefitted from by the lady’s finger.
Here are some of its many perks for diabetics:
• Low GI food: The word GI stands for Glycemic Index. A person who is suffering from diabetes is highly advised to have food that contains a low Glycemic index. Okra contains a Glycemic index of approximately 20 GI. According to medical research, okra contains a very low GI, which means that diabetic patients can easily incorporate okra recipes into their meals to fill their stomachs and control their sugar levels naturally. Other foods with a low GI are gluten-free oats, walnuts, whole grain cereals, pulses, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, onion, peas, sweet corn, mushrooms, plums, berries, apple, pear, oranges and peaches.
• Fights kidney disease: The second step after detection of diabetes and with uncontrolled sugar levels is forever a kidney condition. It has been considered that high sugar level affect your both kidneys very dangerously. So, the advantage of okra is that it keeps you away from kidney diseases.
• Soluble fibre: Soluble fibres are very good for diabetes because they play an important role in the digestion of carbohydrates. As lady’s finger is rich in soluble fibres, it slows down the process of digestion and decreases the effect of carbohydrates on sugar levels. These are some main reasons for you to add lady’s finger to your diet to control diabetes.
A very easy recipe to use for diabetics is: Take two pieces of lady’s finger and cut the head and tail of both pieces (we only want the middle part of it). Slit the okra from the centre and then put them in a glass of water, cover the glass and keep that glass at room temperature. Allow the vegetable to stay in the water overnight. In the morning, remove the okra from glass the drink that water on an empty stomach. Keep doing this on a daily basis for at least three to four weeks. You will see reduction in your blood sugar levels. If you can’t do this daily, then you should prepare lady’s finger for lunch or dinner at least twice or thrice a week.
Important tip: Raw lady’s finger helps you control diabetes much more than cooked!
(Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)
Photo credit: Sujeeth Potla on Unsplash