Simply Adding Okra to Your Diet Helps Lower Blood Sugar

Okra not only lowers your blood sugar but help reverse diabetes


 

If you are diabetic and searching for natural remedies you might have already heard of okra. If you’re from the south of the United States you probably had it in gumbos and soups. Some people don’t like okra because they produce a slimy juice but this is actually what helps with diabetes. Some people don’t know okra at all because they can’t find it where they live. Even though the medicinal properties of okra have been known for thousands of years in India it is relatively new to the west.

 Above and beyond medicinal properties okra also has many nutrition benefits: Protein, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and manganese. For those who don’t like okra because of undesirable slime juice there are several ways to prepare it so the slime is eliminated. Many people fail to appreciate okra because they simply do not know how to use it.

The first mistake gardeners make is to let the pods become too old and tough before harvesting. They grow very fast, and in hot weather and become unfit for use in less than a week after the pods are developed but still tender. The pods must be harvested three to five days old. If you select them at the market one trick is to try to break the tips, if they don’t break or just bent its a sign they are not fresh. In some regions, the leaves are also used for human consumption. Okra is not a very easy to find fresh and tender in some parts of the world where they are brought from faraway, but okra can be grown just about anywhere where the summers are hot.

Some History

Hibiscus esculentus. Okra or lady fingers are the names most often used in the United States. In the Philippines is also okra but with a different pronunciation. The okra is Nigerian in origin and is a cognate with okwuru in the Igbo language spoken in Nigeria. In Portuguese is called quiabo, in Spanish is called quimbombó, in French gombo. Okra apparently originated in the Abyssinian region, an area that includes present-day Ethiopia and parts of Sudan. Little is known about the early history and distribution of okra. Because of its great popularity in the French cuisine of Louisiana it’s assumed that it was introduced to the United States around 1700. It was introduced in South America before 1658, reaching Brazil supposedly from Africa. It’s a very popular vegetable throughout South America and found everywhere. I find it fascinating that there is so much history around a vegetable and I guess this beautiful and tasteful veggie deserved some introduction due to all its medicinal and nutritional properties.

Trend in Diabetes

My search included academic journals, internet articles and word of mouth and all sources agree on its effectiveness and glucose lowering properties (see links for research at the bottom). If you seeking the “cure for diabetes” using okra you are wasting your time but that is because there isn’t any easy cure for diabetes. If used correctly okra can be one more ally working to lower or control you blood sugar naturally without side effects. Using okra for medicinal use requires special attention on how to use more than anything else. Many people becomes disappointed with natural medicine because they don’t use correctly or simply because they don’t try long enough. If persistence and correct use is an issue with allophatic medicine, then it is more so with natural herbs or plants. Allophatic medicine is more aggressive and it forces your body to do the job it’s not doing. Herbs approach is to naturally help you body to do the work by itself restoring its normal functions. But be aware that natural herbs and tinctures can also produce side effects, so be careful, you must be a player in its control. Not the case with okra.

The Medicinal Properties

Okra has a combination of vitamins and mineral salts, including calcium. In comparison to 12 other vegetables okra was found to contain higher concentrations of quercetin a substance responsible for lowering blood sugar. One study points out that not only okra can lower blood sugar but it can also fight diabetic foot ulceration. It has anti-depressant properties. The anti Physico chemical, found in okra is an effective agent in the treatment of hyperlipidemias(fat in the blood). Okra is reported to have its hypolipidemic effect because it decreases the absorption of cholesterol from diet. It also has antidepressant properties. The plant has a wide range of medicinal value and has been used to control of various diseases and disorders for thousands of years. Okra polysaccharide contains anti-complementary and hypoglycemic activity in normal mice. Okra’s vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms. Studies of okra seed on alcohol solution was proven to act as an antioxidant. A study from okra fruits has pointed to the effects of glycosylated compounds inhibiting the adhesion of Helibacter pylori (ulcer causing bacteria) to human gastric mucosa.

How does it work for Diabetes

There is significant body of evidence suggesting that polyphenols and quercetin found in fruits and vegetables play an important role in lowering glycemic index. Polyphenols found abundantly in okra lowers blood glucose much in the same way biguanades (Metformin) works by indirectly activating AMP-dependant protein kinase (AMPK). When exposed to high glucose, tissues inactivate AMPK. The consequences of AMPK activation by polyphenols is a reduction in gluconeogenesis which the process of converting various carbon sources into glucose for energy use. This is a quick overview of how okra works to lower blood sugar and it is essentially by the same pathways found in drugs like Metformin but less aggressively. If you want to find out all the laboratory details please read this study.


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How to use Okra to Fight Diabetes

 

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Meet the Author

Marcos Taquechel

Hello. I hope you enjoyed this article. Your comments are very important.

2 comments… add one
  • jocelyn May 31, 2015, 7:34 am

    Great information you have here about okra and its effect to diabetes. I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for discussing okra’s health benefit thoroughly. Best regards 🙂

    • DiabetesReviewer May 31, 2015, 11:49 am

      You are welcome. I very glad you enjoyed. Come back and check for new herb or food review on my complete list of anti diabetic herbs –

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