Bhindi, okra or lady’s finger-there are multiple names for this nutritious vegetable which is grown in many parts of the world, especially with temperate or tropical climate. Bhindi is a vegetable which is widely consumed in the Indian household though many of us might not be aware of its myriad health benefits.
100 grams of bhindi contains 7.03 gram carbohydrates, 2 gram protein, 0.1 gram fat and 9% fiber. It is packed with folate, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Other than these, it is also rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and zinc.
Here are some amazing yet lesser known benefits of this common vegetable:
1 . Promotes Heart Health
Bhindi contains no cholesterol of its own and in fact contains a component called pectin which helps in lowering bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol is a cause of heart diseases and it can be controlled by increasing consumption of bhindi.
2 . Regulates Blood Sugar
Bhindi is a great option for diabetics since the high fiber content is of a type which releases sugars slowly into the blood owing to slow rate of digestion. This ensures that there is no sugar spike, which occurs after a diabetic eats food.
3 . Fights Cancer
Research has shown that bhindi contains higher amounts of antioxidants compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage to cells and hence lower the risk of cancer. The high fiber content maintains a healthy digestive system and prevents colon cancer.
4 . Boosts Immunity
Bhindi contains a high amount of vitamin C which is known to boost immunity and prevent common infections. 100 grams of bhindi can give you around 40% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
5 . Prevents Anaemia
Since bhindi contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate and iron, it is great for promoting blood health and for treatment and prevention of anaemia.
6 . Helps In Weight Loss
Containing only 33 calories in every 100 grams, bhindi is a good option for people wanting to lose weight. The high fibre content makes you feel full for longer and lowers intake of calories.
7 . Prevents Colon Cancer
Bhindi contains high amount of insoluble dietary fiber which helps in cleaning out the whole digestive system especially the intestinal tract. This in turn plays a great role in keeping the gut healthy and preventing colon cancer.
8 . Beneficial In Pregnancy
Folate or folic acid is an important mineral that is required for conception and subsequent development of the foetus. Bhindi contains a high amount of folate which ensures proper neurological development of the baby.
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WAYS TO HAVE IT
-While buying bhindi, always go for smaller, greener, firmer and unblemished pods.
-Even though a popular way of eating bhindi is by frying them, this could increase your intake of cholesterol.
-Explore other ways of eating this vegetable. Boiled with a bit of salt is perhaps the best way to eat it.
-There are many ways bhindi is eaten across the world like in a soup with fish (Caribbean’s) or as part of a meat stew in Egypt.
-Grilling or roasting the bhindi with bell peppers, olive oil and salt in an oven at 220 degree C for 10-15 mins is also healthy way of eating it.
-Bhindi can also be cooked as a curry or added to sambhar daal.
So go ahead and try innovative and healthy ways to add this typical Indian vegetable into your diet and reap the countless health benefits that it has to offer. Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!