Lady’s Finger or Okra is commonly famous by the name Bhindi all over India. It is a very cheap and simply found green vegetable having great source of the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres and other healthy nutrients required for the normal growth and development of the body. It is widely cultivated in the tropical, subtropical and other warm regions of the world. Some people like it eating raw as it tastes good. It is widely known for its availability of high level soluble and insoluble dietary fibres.
Benefits of Lady Finger / Okra / Bhindi Vegetable
Lady’s finger or bhindi is an amazing health nourishing green vegetable beneficial for weight management, cholesterol and blood sugar level regulation, flawless skin, bone strength, cancer protection and so many. It is a vegetable of high importance because of its high fibre content, folates, antioxidant property and cheap availability at affordable price in the nearest market. Some of its amazing health benefits are discussed below:
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Cancer Prevention
Prevents from Colon Cancer
- It contains high amount of insoluble dietary fibres which helps in cleaning out the whole digestive system especially the intestinal tract thus it plays a great role in preventing from the colon cancer. It also reduces the risk of occurrence of other type of cancers in the body.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Diabetes
Manages Blood Glucose Level
- Its availability of high level dietary fibres makes it able to help diabetic people by managing the level of blood glucose as it delays the sugar absorption in the intestine.
Fights Diabetic Symptoms
- It contains a special substance called eugenol which helps in fighting with the diabetes and its complicated symptoms.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Digestive System
Promotes Healthy Functioning of Digestive System
- It is considered as the most cheaply found vegetable with best source of dietary fibres which is very essential for the healthy functioning of digestive system.
Relieves Chronic Constipation
- Regular consumption of it helps in getting relief from the chronic constipation problem as soluble fibres found in it have tendency to absorb water which makes stool soft and painless while passing.
Regularizes Bowel Movements
- It improves digestion process by regularizing the bowel movements.
Promotes Growth of Beneficial Bacteria
- It helps digestive system to function well by improving the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Prevents from Stomach Ulcer
- Its mucilaginous content develops safety coat to the digestive tract thus protects from the stomach ulcer.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Weight Loss
Prevents from being Overweight and Obese
- Dietary fibres found in it play a great role in the weight management especially for the people who are overweight and obese.
Low Calorie Vegetable
- It contains very low calorie and low sodium which are very much beneficial for the people tending to lose weight.
Keeps Stomach Full
- It makes stomach feel full for longer period of time thus helps in weight loss by reducing the frequency of eating habits.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Heart Disease
Lowers Serum Cholesterol Level
- It contains soluble dietary fibres which help in lowering the serum cholesterol level thus reduces the risk of various heart diseases.
Regulates Bile Production
- Its high pectin level also helps in reducing the blood cholesterol level by regulating the bile production through intestines.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Skin and Hair
Promotes Skin Health
- As it contains good amount of iron and folates which enhances the production of haemoglobin which is very good for skin health.
Improves Blood Circulation
- It enhances blood circulation to the whole body which provides glow, shine and natural pinkness to the skin.
Speeds up Hair Growth
- It enhances blood circulation to the scalp which speeds up hair growth and removes the problem of dandruff, dryness, hair loss and hair fall.
Removes Hair Problems
- Washing hair with the lady’s finger water provides help to get rid from the hair problems. Lady’s finger water can be prepared by boiling pieces of lady’s finger into water and let it cool after straining. Add half lemon juice to it and use to rinse hair.
Prevents from Skin Problems
- It prevents skin from the acne, black spots, psoriasis and other skin problems.
Provides Younger Look
- It provides younger look to the skin by preventing from the skin pigmentation and repairing damages caused due to sun rays.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger during Pregnancy
Promotes Foetus Growth
- High amount of folates availability in it provides healthy environment for the foetus growth and development during pregnancy.
Promotes Foetal Brain Development
- It improves the foetal brain development, proper neural tube formation and other developments during first trimester of the pregnancy.
Prevents from Anemia
- It prevents pregnant women from the iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy by managing haemoglobin level.
Fulfills Requirement of Vitamins and Minerals
- It fulfills all the loss of vitamins and minerals if eaten regularly and helps women in getting pregnant or conceive a baby.
- It prevents from the miscarriage and foetal birth defects.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Men
Improves Sexual Health
- It helps in improving the sexual health among men if eaten regularly as it is the rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and zinc.
Improves Body Stamina
- It helps in treating the erectile problems and enhancing the sexual stamina among men by fulfilling the zinc deficiency.
- Taking 1 tsf powder of lady’s finger plant root with a glass of milk in the night helps in treating impotence among men.
Treats Male Infertility
- Taking lady’s finger water (dip cut lady’s finger pieces in a glass of water for whole night) in the early morning regularly for one and half month provides help in treating male infertility.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger for Women
Maintains Female Sexual Health
- It is also great vegetable maintaining female sexual health. It is beneficial for the women suffering from excessive bleedings during periods or endometriosis.
Provides Relief from Cystitis and Leucorrhoea
- Dip some lady’s finger pieces in a glass of water for whole night and drink early morning with empty stomach provides relief from cystitis, leucorrhoea and etc.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger Juice
Treats Various Problems
- Okra juice helps in treating sore throat, coughing problems, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, fever, inflammations and etc.
- It keeps skin free of itchiness and dryness as it is a good moisturizer.
Treats Spontaneous Discharge of Semen
- It helps in treating spontaneous discharge of semen among men.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger Seeds
- Roasted lady’s finger seeds help in promoting sweating.
Treats other Medical Conditions
- It is also beneficial for treating and preventing muscle spasms, fever, arthritis and headache.
Other Health Benefits of Lady’s Finger
Prevents from Iron Deficiency Anemia
- It contains good amount of iron and folates which helps in maintaining the blood haemoglobin count as well as preventing from the iron deficiency anaemia.
Prevents from Unnecessary Blood Loss
- Vitamin K found in it prevents from the unnecessary blood loss by enhancing the blood coagulation process during accidental cases.
Fights with Infections
- It contains high level of vitamin C which helps in fighting with common cold, cough and etc infectious problems by improving health of immune system.
Fights with Free Radicals
- It also contains various essential and healthy minerals (magnesium, selenium, manganese, calcium, copper, iron and etc) which provide help to fight against harmful free radicals.
- It improves the eyesight and prevents from the age related eye problems as it has vitamin A and beta carotene which are very essential for the healthy eyes.
Prevents from Early Ageing
- It is the richest source of antioxidants and phytonutrients (vitamin C, beta-carotene, xanthin, lutein and etc) thus prevents from the early ageing.
Provides Relief from Respiratory Problems
- It is good for getting relief from the respiratory problems especially asthma as it is rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Increases Bone Density
- It helps in strengthening bones by increasing bone density and preventing from age related bone problems like osteoporosis, arthritis and etc.
Improves Memory Level
- It helps in improving the memory level by regulating the mental functions as it contains folates which plays great role in producing some important compounds required for brain functioning.
Benefits of Lady’s Finger Leaves
Treats Disorders of Urinary Tract
- Juice of the lady’s finger leaves helps in treating various disorders of urinary tract including painful urination, gonorrhoea, syphilis and etc.
Nutritional Benefits of Raw Lady’s Finger/Okra/Bhindi
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 31 Kcal
Carbohydrate: 7.03 g
Sugars: 1.48 g
Water: 90.17 g
Protein: 2.0 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Dietary fibres: 3.2 g
Thiamine: 0.200 mg
Riboflavin: 0.060 mg
Niacin: 1.000 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.245 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.215 mg
Folates: 88 µg
Vitamin C: 21.1 mg
Vitamin A: 375 IU
Vitamin E: 0.36 mg
Vitamin K: 53 µg
Sodium: 8 mg
Potassium: 303 mg
Calcium: 81 mg
Iron: 0.80 mg
Magnesium: 57 mg
Manganese: 0.990 mg
Phosphorus: 63 mg
Selenium: 0.7 µg
Zinc: 0.60 mg
Copper: 0.094 mg
Beta-Carotene: 225 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 516 µg
How to Select and Store
Lady’s finger should be bought fresh from the market instead of saving it in the freeze for days in large amount. Always select small, dark green, soft, spots free, closed ends and organically grown. Avoid buying wrinkled, dehydrated, long, tough, hard, inorganically grown, spotted and dull colored. It can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days in the plastic bag after proper wash.
How to Enjoy
Before using lady’s finger for cooking purposes, it should be washed thoroughly under running water. It should be dried completely using towel before cooking. It can be enjoyed as a soup, bhujua, curry, kalaunji, pickles, whole fried and etc.
Side Effects, Disadvantages and Precautions
Eating lady’s finger needs some precautions as it has some side effects and disadvantages. Some of are mentioned below:
- It contains oxalic acid which promotes kidney stone formation and causes kidney failure.
- Oxalic acid may also cause joint problems like joints pain due to the accumulation of some precipitates in the joints.
- It may cause acidity problem.
How Much Lady’s Finger to Eat a Day
It contains lots of beneficial health effects as discussed above in the article however, should be eaten within limit to avoid the side effects of oxalic acid found in it.
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