Okra Water: Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and 5 Delicious Recipes

Cut Okra to make make okra water recipe
gettyimages/rudisill

Okra water is the latest buzz in the health and wellness world. Is this nutrient-rich water really a super drink or just a fad? We investigate the benefits, and nutrition facts, and provide you with five delicious recipes featuring okra water.

Okra, okro, gumbo and lady’s finger are all names for the same humble and nutritious vegetable. Okra is a flowering plant that is native to Africa but is now grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The small, green pods of okra are often used in soups and stews, and side dishes.

This infamously slimy vegetable is now part of a new health trend: okra water. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of okra water and share 5 delicious recipes that can make it easier for you to consume this gloopy but nutritious beverage.

What is okra water?

Okra water is the latest health trend that has everyone talking. So what is Okra water?

Okra water is simply water that has been soaked in okra overnight. Okra is a healthy vegetable that is packed with nutrients. The peel and the seeds [1]National Library of Medicine: Antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic potential of Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats of raw okra are said to have anti-diabetic properties. Its mucilage content is also said to be extremely soothing and beneficial for gut health. It has also been suggested that okra water may support weight loss.

Additionally, okra is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, and manganese. Soaking okra in water overnight allows the nutrients from the okra to infuse the water. This makes okra water a nutrient-rich beverage with many health benefits. No wonder then, that okra water is a good source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help to improve your overall health.

There are many health benefits associated with the consumption of okra water, including improved digestion, better blood sugar control, better joint health, and reduced inflammation. While the studies on the benefits of this drink are not yet conclusive, okra itself is a healthy vegetable that is packed with nutrients. So, there is no harm in trying okra water and seeing if it works for you. So, if you’re looking for a healthy way to improve your wellness, give okra water a try!

How to drink okra water?

Okra water is an easy and convenient way to get all the benefits of okra without having to eat the vegetable itself. As mentioned above, it is made by simply soaking okra pods in water overnight and then drinking that water the next day on an empty stomach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare okra water:

  • Choose fresh okra pods that are bright green in color and free from blemishes.
  • Wash the okra pods thoroughly and slice them into thin pieces.
  • Alternatively, you can pierce the ends of the okra pods with a fork.
  • Place the okra slices in a jar or container and fill it with water.
  • Cover the jar and let it sit overnight so that the nutrients from the okra can infuse into the water.
  • The next morning, strain the water and drink it on an empty stomach.

If you’re not a fan of the taste of okra water, there are other ways to drink it. Some people also like to add a squeezed lemon for extra flavor. You can add it to soups or stews, or mix it with other juices or smoothies. You can also freeze okra water into ice cubes and add them to your favorite beverage. We will provide you with some interesting recipes below that you can try out using okra water in a moment.

When to drink okra water?

Okra should be soaked overnight in water. The water should be consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Soaking overnight allows the okra time to release all of its nutrients into the water and drinking it on an empty stomach ensures that those nutrients are absorbed by the body more effectively.

This does not imply that okra water will not be beneficial at other times of the day. There is no wrong time to drink okra water, as long as you are doing it regularly.

Benefits of drinking okra water

There are many potential benefits of drinking okra water. Here are some of the most well-known ones:

1. May improve heart health

One of the benefits of okra water is improved heart health. Okra is rich in fiber and antioxidants, both of which are important for cardiovascular health. Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood, while antioxidants help to prevent oxidative damage to cells. Okra water also has a diuretic effect, which may help to reduce high blood pressure. In addition, the okra seeds contain a compound called pectin, which has been shown to help improve circulation and heart function. Okra water has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

2. Good source of antioxidants

Okra water is a good source of antioxidants like vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, which are substances that protect the body against damage from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can cause cell damage, and they have been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants help to neutralize these free radicals, preventing them from causing damage.  As a result, okra water can help to reduce the risk of disease and promote overall health.

3. May help in diabetes management

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t properly use the insulin it does produce. This can cause elevated blood sugar levels, which can damage the body over time. Okra water is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which may help increase insulin sensitivity and aid blood sugar management.

Studies [2]National Library of Medicine: Polysaccharide from Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) Improves Antioxidant Capacity via PI3K/AKT Pathways and Nrf2 Translocation in a Type 2 Diabetes Model on diabetic rats have shown that okra water can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This suggests that okra water may be beneficial for people with diabetes, though more research is needed. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment, but okra water may be a helpful addition to an existing blood sugar management plan.

4. May boost immunity 

Okra water might help to boost immunity, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants. These substances help to fight off infections and prevent free radical damage. Okra water is also a good source of vitamins C and A, both of which are essential for a healthy immune system. In addition, okra water contains compounds that can help to reduce inflammation.

5. Improves digestion

Okra is rich in insoluble fiber, which helps to add bulk to the stool and promotes regular bowel movements. Additionally, okra is a good source of mucilage, a type of soluble fiber that forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water and gives the okra water its characteristic slimy texture. This gel-like substance can help to soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation. The antioxidants in okra can prevent gut inflammation. What’s more, okra is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are all essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

6. May promote better mental health

This might sound a little far-fetched, but okra water has been shown to improve mental health. Okra water is rich in certain nutrients that are inextricably connected to brain health. Primary among them is folate or folic acid. Folate has been linked to brain cell development.

In addition, the antioxidants in okra water can help to protect brain cells from damage. These nutrients may help to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related mental decline.

Lastly, our brain health is closely connected to our gut health. As noted above the fiber and mucilage in okra can help to promote healthy gut function. This in turn can ensure the efficient functioning of the gut-brain axis [3]National Library of Medicine: The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems, which is essential for healthy brain function.

7. May promote weight loss

Studies conducted on mice [4]PubMed: Okra polysaccharide improves metabolic disorders in high-fat diet-induced obese C57BL/6 mice with artificially induced obesity found that okra extracts led to significant weight loss over a period of 8 weeks. While more research is needed in this area, the initial findings suggest that okra water may be a helpful tool for weight loss. So if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, okra water may be worth a try.

Possible risks of consuming okra water

There are some possible risks associated with consuming okra water. One of the main concerns is that okra water is high in fructans, which can cause digestive problems in people who are intolerant to this type of carbohydrate. Consuming too much okra water can lead to nausea and vomiting.

Some people may be allergic to okra, and drinking okra water can trigger an allergic reaction in such people. While okra water offers many potential health benefits, it is important to be aware of these possible risks before consuming it.

Nutritional facts of okra

Raw okra is no slouch in the nutrition department. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) [5]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Okra, raw National Nutrient Database, one cup (100 grams) of raw okra contains:

Calories – 33 calories

Protein – 1.93 grams

Carbs – 7.45 grams

Sugar – 1.5 grams

Fiber – 3.2 grams

Fat – 0.19 grams

The vitamins and minerals in okra include:

Vitamin A – 36 mcg

Vitamin B6 – 0.215 mg

Vitamin B 11 (folate) – 60 mcg

Vitamin C – 23 mg

Vitamin K – 31 mg

Sodium – 7 mg

Potassium – 299 mg

Calcium – 82 mg

Thiamin – 0.2 mg

Iron – 0.62 mg

Copper – 0.109 mg

Magnesium – 57 mg

Phosphorus – 61 mg

Zinc – 0.58 mg

Okra is a low-calorie food that is high in fiber and nutrients. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. These properties make okra an excellent addition to any diet, especially for those who are trying to lose weight or manage diabetes.

Recipes and tips to make okra water tasty

Okra water is an easy and healthy way to enjoy this nutritious vegetable. If you find it difficult to consume this beverage in its usual form, here are some recipes and tips to make okra water tastier:

1. Okra water with lemon juice

Ingredients:

  • Okra water – 1 glass
  • Lemon – 1 
  • Honey – optional

Steps to follow:

  1. Strain the okra water in a glass. Straining will considerably improve the texture of the beverage. 
  2. Add the juice of 1 lemon. 
  3. Add a little honey for sweetness. 
  4. Stir well and consume.

2. Okra water with orange juice

Ingredients:

  • Okra water – 1 glass
  • Oranges – 3-4 wedges
  • Honey – optional

Steps to follow:

  1. Strain the okra water.
  2. Blend it with slices of orange and make a slurpy and flavorful juice out of it.
  3. You can add ice cubes to it if you want to have it chilled. This blend will aid in digestion.

3. Okra water and mixed berry smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Okra water – ½ glass
  • Berries – 2-3 different berries
  • Yogurt – ½ glass
  • Honey – as per taste

Steps to follow:

  1. Choose fresh or frozen berries of your choice
  2. Now, toss them into a blender along with some yogurt and honey. 
  3. Add the okra water and blend until smooth. 
  4. Serve cold.

The okra water will add a smooth texture to the smoothie and make it more filling. The berries will provide sweetness, while the yogurt will make it creamy.

4.  Okra soaked in coconut water

Ingredients:

  • Okra – 3-4
  • Coconut water – 1 glass

Steps to follow:

  1. Wash the okras.
  2. Cut the okras or pierce their ends.
  3. Soak the okras in a glass of coconut water. Cover it with a lid and leave it overnight.
  4. Drink this beverage on an empty stomach.

This is a great way to give okra’s natural flavor and nutritional benefits a boost. The delicate taste and flavor of tender coconut will beat the okra’s raw flavor, and all the nutrients of okra will have infused in the coconut water. 

5. Okra green tea for diabetes

Ingredients:

  • Okra/Lady’s finger, cut on the top 4
  • Green tea bag- 1
  • Water- 1 liter

Steps to follow:

  1. Take a bottle or mason jar and add the water, green tea bag, and the cut okra. 
  2. Close the cap and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. Enjoy green tea in okra water the next day.

Bonus tips

If you need more ideas on how to make okra water even tastier, or if you need creative ways to add this healthy beverage to your diet, here are some bonus tips:

  • Add okra water to berries when making jelly or whisk it into a decadently rich and gooey mousse or fudge for extra thickness and nutrition.
  • Use okra water as a natural thickener in sauces or soups. Cook the okra water down into a stew or soup for a thick, flavorful and healthy broth.
  • Get creative with your recipes and add okra water while cooking your favorite dishes.

With these recipes and tips, you can enjoy okra water anytime, anywhere. So get creative and enjoy this healthy and delicious drink!

Conclusion

Okra water is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious but infamously snotty vegetable. It is important to be aware of the possible risks associated with consuming okra water, but when consumed in moderation, it can be a great addition to your diet. Be sure to try some of the recipes and tips above to make okra water even tastier!

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