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Okra is ok for high blood & diabetes |

Health And Family

Okra is ok for high blood & diabetes

SAVOIR FAIRE - Mayenne Carmona - The Philippine Star
Okra is ok for high blood & diabetes
A study showed that water soaked with okra helps bring down blood sugar levels in diabetic rats.

During a recent ladies’ luncheon, a friend shared that her husband has high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high levels of triglycerides in his blood. Because of all the high numbers in her husband’s blood test, she spent hours researching on what kind of diet to give him.

She firmly believes in the saying, “You are what you eat,” and knows that a healthy diet, instead of medications, will restore her husband back to his former macho glory.  After all, hubby used to run marathons and win tennis tournaments.

So what brought him to this bad state of health?

For starters, aside from age being a major factor, her husband supports the sugar industry with his penchant for everything sweet. He is also big on steak, lechon, Italian sausages and salami. He claims vegetables are for goats and fruits are to be juiced — not desserts.

He stopped going to the gym, but continues his brisk walking around their village three times a week, which his doctor says is not enough exercise for the kind of diet he indulges in.

One lady friend suggested that we all should eat okra and drink okra water because of its health benefits. Her husband, who was a borderline diabetic and had high cholesterol, drinks it daily and surprised his doctors with his new healthy numbers. His blood sugar went down considerably and he is no longer borderline diabetic. This inspired her to drink the okra water as well and she claims she no longer has aching joints that used to plague her almost daily. 

A study showed that water soaked with okra helps bring down blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. While there is no evidence showing that the solution works for human beings, people who have tried taking it for months claim good results. After all, okra eaten as it is has medicinal health benefits, the most important of which are:

• Lowers cholesterol levels, blood glucose and insulin levels.

• Reduces fatigue and increase endurance levels. Studies showed that the seeds help reduce muscle tiredness.

• Manages hypertriglyceridemia, which is a condition that occurs when there is a high level of fat (triglycerides) in the blood, causing cardiovascular diseases.

• Improves digestion. A study in 2016 by a team of international researchers claims that the fiber content of okra helps improve digestion, as it improves the absorption process in the large intestine and stimulates peristalsis movement. 

• Diabetes management. The antioxidant power in its seeds and peel help people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies in Turkey showed that drinking okra water infused with roasted okra seeds is a common natural remedy for diabetes and high blood sugar.

• Boosts the immune system as its healthy fiber feeds much-needed good bacteria in our intestines, which builds immunity against viruses and infections.

•  Fights cancer as it is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals that can lead to cancer.

• Feeds the brain. Okra is  eaten frequently in the Middle East and Far East by students who need a mental boost.

• Helps reduce asthma symptoms. The powerful dose of vitamin C in okra eases respiratory issues like asthma.

• Reduces inflammation. It is good for joints, lung inflammation, sore throat and irritable bowel syndrome.

• Supports strong bones and fends off osteoporosis, as it is loaded with vitamin K and folate. Vitamin K helps the bones absorb calcium and, in theory, people who eat enough vitamin K are more likely to have strong bones and fewer fractures.

Recipe File: Okra water


4-5 okra pods, medium size

1 cup water (salt optional)



Take 4-5 medium-sized okra pods and wash thoroughly. Cut both ends of the pods and slice them in half. Using a knife, pierce each side of the pods.

Take a cup filled with water and immerse the pods in it. Keep the pods soaked in water for eight hours. Note that you can also keep it soaked in water for 24 hours, if you prefer to do so. 

Next morning, release the sap of the okra pods into the water by squeezing it. You can throw the pods away after. Pour the water into a glass and drink the nutrient-rich beverage. You can also season the drink with salt and pepper should you find it bland.

Alternatively, to cut down on time, boil the okra pods instead of soaking them in water overnight. Once boiled, you can blend the slimy okra pods with water. Either have it warm as a soup or wait for it to cool down and take it as okra water. 

If you don’t enjoy the taste of the okra water, you can blend the soaked vegetable with an orange and make a flavorful juice out of it. Add ice cubes if you want it chilled. This blend will aid in digestion.

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