Eat Okra to Stave Off Blood Sugar Spikes

On Mondays, we enjoy talking about small steps and foods to include in our lives to become healthier. Today we are looking at okra. This healthy veggie found in many southern recipes. We’re not big fans of the texture; many people aren’t, which is why we shared this great recipe for oven-roasted okra in the past. We are taking a look at the properties of this vegetable and, when you know more about it, the recipe may be on your table tonight!

Half a cup of okra has only 17.6 calories, 3.9 grams of carbs and packs two grams of fiber — eight percent of your daily value! A half-cup serving only has 0.2 grams of fat, so you don’t have to avoid it. It also has 40 percent of your vitamin K and 22 percent of your vitamin C, which is so important during the colder months. The high content of fiber can help stabilize blood sugar and leaves you feeling fuller longer. Additionally, the veggie has a low glycemic index. So, as well as helping prevent other foods from causing a spike, it won’t impact your blood sugar much.     

Okra is rich in probiotics that can help your body produce vitamin B complex and aids your digestive tract and immune system. As well as probiotics, it has many antioxidants that can prevent blood clots and fight inflammation, helping your heart and cognition. So research shows the veggie may help prevent cancer as it contains the protein lectin that inhibits the growth of cancer cells up to 63 percent.

This all leads us back to the thing that is the largest stumbling block for many people — the slimy texture. Soaking it in vinegar for an hour before you cook it can prevent the slime. Additionally, cooking it at high heat and without crowding the pan can help. Grilling it on the barbecue is a good way to avoid it. And, cooking it in an acid, like tomato sauce, can stop the slime. You can also use them in stew, allowing them to thicken the soup. All of these options will make you enjoy it a whole lot more than boiling or steaming!

When shopping for okra, go for smaller ones with bright skin. If they are bruised, dull or sticky, they aren’t worth eating! Store them in a warmer part of the fridge in a paper bag for up to three days. We hope this info makes you more comfortable trying this veggie that many people outside the south avoid. It’s such a great vegetable that it would be a shame to miss out on them because of the idea that they’re hard to cook or just too gummy to enjoy!

Banner Image: Dileep Kaluaratchie, Wikimedia
February 24, 2020
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