Health Benefits Of Eating Okra

Okra is native to Ethiopia was consumed during the 12 century BC, then spread to India. the Middle East and later to Brazil.

Slaves from West Africa probably brought okra to the USA and the Caribbean around the 1700s and was later introduced to western Europe

Okra gumbo is well-known, used to thicken soups

China and Turkey okra used okra leaves to reduce pain and swelling of bodily injuries, the leaves are ground and made into a poultice to place on wounds and sores.

I have been eating okra all my life, mainly in my favorite dish -known as Fungi in Anguilla, Corn Meal in some Caribbean countries and Cou- Cou in Barbados, where Cou Cou and flying fish is the national dish; when I am not eating them in fungi, I am eating them steamed or “okra slosh” or soup. I have adopted the word fungi, as I have been living in Anguilla for the past 31 years; and they will not utter the word Cou Cou.

As a kid growing up in Barbados, we grew our own okras, usually planted around the perimeter of a plot of sugar cane.

My Grand Mother and my Godmother were the two best cooks of cu-coo, my grand mother cooked it almost every day for my grand father and I for breakfast, ; my Godmother cooked a mellow cu coo with lots and lots of okra, with a side dish of what we called okra slosh-(okras, onions, chopped tomatoes, green seasoning, and hot sauce. It was from eating cuu cou that I grew to love hot sauce or just hot peppers, a habit learned from my grand father who wold just chew on hot peppers, much to my astonishment.

Okra dishes are popular in the Caribbean, parts of Africa, South America, and Southern USA

Most parts of the okra are edible, including the fresh leaves, seeds, buds, flowers, pods and stems

Health Benefits of Okra also known as lady’s fingers

1. High dietary fiber-

Aids digestion,

Helps fight obesity

(Cuts hunger and cuts appetite-(helps you feel fuller for longer)

Helps against stress

Can promote heart health and protect against cancer.

Diuretic- helps to shed excess water weight

Helps lower cholesterol
Boosts the immune system

Supports fertility and healthy pregnancy

Boots hair health-

Boosts brain health

(students in the Middle East and Far East consume okra as a brain food

Anti-inflamatory-for joints, treating lung inflammation, sore throat and irritable bowel syndrome

Good for eye health-( I grew my own carrots for eye health, little did I know that my love for okra helped me to avoid wearing those ugly children’s glasses as a kid.

Supports strong bones-(vitamin K and folates)

Keeps skin looking smoother, younger and healthier

Great source of vegetable protein

Helps speed up the healing of peptic ulcers

Helps prevent kidney disease

May help reduce asthma symptoms

Anti-fatigue benefit and increase endurance levels

Low in calories

May help manage blood sugar in cases of diabetes-(type 1 and 2)

okra has been used for medicinal purposes in the form- of okra water, okra peels, and powdered seeds

Roasted okra seeds has long been used in Turkey to treat diabetes





Dietary fiber






vitamin A

vitamin B 6

Vitamin C



Folic acid


Roasted okra seeds has long been used in Turkey to treat diabetes


Provide relief from Constipation

Improve skin care

Reduce asthma attacks

Strengthen bones

Okra Juice benefits


sore throat and

The one issue that disturbs me, is when I read that certain plant remedies has been used donkey years ago ;but modern medicine has not undertaken enough studies to make a positive or negative assessment, yet we are running around the bushes looking for the unknown


Consume okra in moderation, if you are on blood thinner medication-the vitamin K level can interact with the drug.

For further information on Okra, go to- health life or medical news Or just Google -health benefits of okra.

Much of my creative time is spent carving hearts as a stress reliever


  1. Hi

    That was an interesting read about the health benefits of Okra, something which is not readily eaten  where I live.   I have tried it and to be truthful I am not fond of the vegetable, as it would not be on top of my list of vegetables to eat. 

    The article is very interesting and I am sure that Okra fans will enjoy reading about it. For first timers, what dish do you recommend to introduce people to this veg?



  2. Antonio if you are ever in Anguilla, I will cook you a meal with okra and you will not know, last week i had some people over for dinner, where I cooked fungi, after every plate was clean,  one of the ladies remarked that she hates okra, I had to keep silent. look up a recipe for cooking Bajan cou cou and try it, you will not taste or see the okra. wet the corn meal with cold water before stirring to avoid lumps. Enjoy and share my favourite dish, if you can’t find flying fish, a salmon gravy in fine, or any fish.

  3. I sadly admit that I have never heard of Okra for food purposes. My diet is mainly Mediterranean and I often enjoy cooking. Thanks to this post I discovered a new ingrtediente with multiple benefits that I can definitely add to my diet. What are the foods that best fit together with the Okra? Is it better to consume fresh or dried?

  4. If I were to find a local source for Okra are there any indicators that is is fresh or not fresh – I wouldn’t know an old rotten Okra from something fresh. Or would you be recommending that I used the product mainly as a juice or seeds?

    I ask because I have high calcium saliva apparently and Vitamin K can help with that so a dose of Okra may just do me some good. I would of course check such a change with my GP and I am not on any medications.

    Some younger looking skin wouldn’t hurt either.

  5. Thanks for visiting Kay, I am not sure of your location, but because of immigration trends, you may find okra either fresh or frozen. If they are available fresh, you will know whether to buy,- nice and green is ok, not so nice is greying and dark bruises, wilting a little. Be careful with frozen,  you may find some okras that are stringy and hard, meaning they were too old. A good test for fresh okra is to break the small tip with your finger, if it doesn’t break it may be too old. If you are just interested in the okra water, it might not matter. Hope this was helpful. Best wishes.

  6. Sorry you never heard of okra, search the net for the national dish of Barbados and follow the recipe, or look up okra and corn meal. Beware of lumps, to avoid  lumps wet the dry cornmeal before adding okra and  stirring. Please let me if you were successful.Thanks for the visit.

  7. Okra is available fresh from the street market here in Auckland, New Zealand. My friends from Fiji love okra and often eat it with fish.  Okra is called Bhindi in Fiji.  Bhindi is commonly cooked with onion, red chilli, cumin, mustard, garlic, curry leaves and oil over a charcoal fire.  Bhindi (Okra) is my favourite fish dish, thanks for your recipe.  I hope you try the Fijian recipe 

  8. What a revealing post!  I had no idea okra had so many uses and benefits.  I do like okra in small quantities.  Your grandmother’s “side dish” recipe sounds quite good.  Another thing I love are pickled okra.  I can go through a jar of those pretty quickly…wouldn’t be surprised if you pickle your own okra.

    I think I am going to have to start eating okra a bit more frequently.  Thanks for all the information.

  9. Hello, thanks for the excellent overview of the health benefits associated with eating okra. Wow! I’m just marvelled at the discoveries I made through this post because the things I got to know about okra are just simply amazing. I never knew its seeds can heal up diabetes. My dad has diabetes and he has been trying natural means to heal up but its been of little progress. Glad that I will be able to suggest this post to him. Thanks

  10. Thanks for your input, the website is about diabetes and you should look at other articles. Wish your Dad well. Don’t forget exercise is number  one, and a plant base diet; the website can be very helpful.

  11. I have never pickled okra, i like them steamed, but will try the pickling. Can you grow your own, I love to grow my own, but we were having very little rain,, until this week, a little green is now showing in the yard.Thanks for the input.

  12. I love the recipe, i do steam with onions, garlic and hot peppers and a covering of olive oil. Thanks for the recipe, I will try it but on the stove as I do not grill or use charcoal.

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