There are so many reasons to eat the lady’s fingers the main one being its dietary value boasting of about 7g Carbohydrate, 1.2g Sugars, 129kj Energy, 2g Protein, 90.17g Water, 81mg Calcium, 3.2g Dietary fat and 0.1g Water.
The lady’s finger;
- Is a rich source of Vitamin A and C
- Can be found all year round (especially in Tropical countries)
- Is low in calories (thus a friend for people trying to lose weight)
- Is rich in folic acid, thus pregnant women are often encouraged to indulge in it as folic acid is necessary for neural tube development of the foetus between 4 and 12 weeks of gestation.
Oh! Hello, Zibah here, got carried away for a second there. I’m quite sure you are a tad puzzled right? Wondering if you can derive so many nutrients from biting and consuming the lady’s fingers? Well, sure you can….and many more. Ladies erm…rest easy and to the silly guys out there, Lady’s finger is a common name for Okra (more commonly referred to as Okro in most part of Nigeria). Okra is the major ingredient for preparing Okro Soup (draw soup) a local delicacy common with the Yorubas in Lagos.
Botanically known as Abelmoschus esculentus (got the spelling wrong in my undergraduate days and it cost me an A. Really, who comes up with these names?), Okra is a nutritious green edible pod vegetable. The pods which produces mucilaginous substance ‘‘goo’’ when cooked contains tons of nutrient nearly half of which is a usable form of soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, thus decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer.
The seeds of Okra contain a high amount of oil, rich in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid which is a healthy source of fat. Oleic acid helps to lower the level of cholesterol and reduce blood pressure in the body. Okra also contains glutathione, a protein molecule that is naturally produced in the body (level decreases as a person ages). Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body against the harmful effects of germs and bacteria that cause cancers and other diseases. It helps to improve liver, heart and lung functions and boost the immune system.
Okra is also a good lubricator. No, its not what you think. Being all goey and slimey, it helps to ‘oil’ the intestines and in the process prevent and manage constipation successfully. Eating okra also protects against pimples and skin blemishes.
So, there you have it. These are some of the benefits that can be derived from Okra. While I usually enjoy the meat in the soup more than the soup itself, knowing the benefits of Okra helps in increasing my appetite.
P.S. I heard that in some areas in Africa, care is taken to eat Okra before dark so as to avoid evil spirits. *sighs*