I had been hearing about the benefits of okra specially for diabetics like me. I then googled about it because I was not sure how to take this. There are many references which discussed using two pcs of okra, cut in the middle and placed in a glass of water overnight. I want to quote this piece from Diabetic Life which explains some of the benefits clearly as well as the 'recipe".
I had been drinking this for two days now and will try to check on my sugar again after two weeks if it really works.
Half of okra's nutrients are soluble fiber which reduce serum cholesterol and reduce risk of heart diseases. To retain the nutrients you should cook it as little as possible. The best thing is to eat it raw, 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 at night. If you can't eat it raw, follow this regimen every day.
Take 2 pieces of medium sized okra, wash them and cut away both ends of each. Slit them from the middle, keeping only the top end attached. Place them in a glass of water and let them soak overnight.
First thing in the morning, remove the two pieces and drink the water. Don't eat or drink anything for half an hour after that. You can even mesh the two okra pieces with your fingers if you want. In this case just strain out the liquid before drinking.
You should see your sugar levels decrease after 2 weeks of daily use. Continue doing this and then see if you can decrease dosage of your regular treatment by consulting your doctor.
Although the efficacy of okra on diabetes has not yet been corroborated by medicine experts, it is certainly worth consuming as it is a great weight loss food and has been used for ages in easing constipation. The mucilage and superior fiber found in okra is believed to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
Besides being low in calories it is a rich source of vitamins of the category A, Thiamin, B6, C, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. Okra's mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. Okra is a widely used diuretic and has been used for urinary tract infections since years.
Cholesterol Buster and Cleanser
Let me share another piece which has been quoted all around the internet, from news to blog sites. It just shows that it is not only serve to normalize sugar levels but has many other health benefits:
A guy, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux, didn't realise that the treatment could be so simple --- Okra! Some 2 months ago, he started eating 6 pieces of Okra and, since then, has not taken any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.
From the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, PH.D (nutrition), University of Illinois. "Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer.
Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra.Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid. The guy got the following numbers from the University of IllinoisExtension Okra Page: Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)* Calories = 25* Dietary Fiber = 2 grams* Protein = 1.5 grams* Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams* Vita! min A = 460 IU* Vitamin C = 13 mg* Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms* Calcium = 50 mg* Iron = 0.4 mg* Potassium = 256 mg* Magnesium = 46 mgThese numbers should be used as a guideline only. If you are on a medically-restricted diet, you should consult your physician and/or dietician. Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindlyprovided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable.
1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
2 Okra's mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn't stop there...
3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all disease begins in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation. Fiber in general is helpful for this but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor. In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated, but also assures their easy passage from the the body. The veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.
4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber (as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
5. To retain most of okra's nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw too.