Vegetables are low in calories and fat. More than ever before many individuals are making a concerted effort, to pay more attention to their eating habits, and what they consume. Eating healthy has been established, and a diet that has an abundance of fruits and vegetables may offer you some protection against certain types of cancer. Foods high in fiber such as vegetables and fruits provide benefits that help reduce heart disease, and obesity, as previously mentioned. Here Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com, reflects on okra as a favorite vegetable in the American south, and the many health benefits received from its consumption, including okra water as a new preparation:
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“According to research, extracts from okra could help offset damage done by oxidative stress and insulin resistance, and simultaneously improve your blood glucose levels. Those results were attained when scientists tested okra extracts on pregnant rats with induced gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
During the featured study on rats from 2015,1 scientists found okra extract exerted potential antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. The okra was also associated with reduced damage to pancreatic tissues. In a recent study,2 researchers concluded that okra may improve glucose homeostasis and β-cell (beta cells that produce, store and release insulin3) impairment in diabetes.
Okra, you may know, is a vegetable known as a favorite in the American south for dishes like Creole-style gumbo. The Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) plant, also known as Hibiscus esculentus (being related to the hibiscus plant, as well as cotton), is also called lady fingers because it produces several tapering, pentagon-shaped, fuzzy pods with pointed tips and lots of compartmentalized seeds.4
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As an ancient, flowering plant with origins all over the world, okra has several more names: gombo, bamia or bamya in France; bhindi in India, quibombo in Spain and simply “bamies” in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It was probably brought to the Southern U.S. by slaves from West Africa, who often used it to thicken soups.5 In fact, this plant does require balmy temperatures to thrive.
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The seedpods are the part of the plant with the most gastronomical interest. As Cooking Channel TV maintains, they can be barbecued, pickled, skewered and grilled, or sautéed. It doesn't have to be doused in canola or some other “vegetable” oil, coated with flour and deep-fried; you can use healthy ingredients:
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“Gumbo is nothing without the okra that breaks down and helps thicken the stew … Okra is often paired with acidic flavors like lemon juice or tomatoes to balance out the earthy, woody flavors … Yankee Okra, or okra sautéed in olive oil with garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme and basil, pairs the flavors you know and love with an ingredient that you will soon be familiarizing yourself with.”6
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Okra water is a form of this vegetable that has emerged recently, and it's gained more interest since it may improve your blood sugar levels. To make okra into a drink, the pods are soaked for several hours or overnight, during which time the skin and seeds will be absorbed into the liquid. Another way is to slice the pods thinly before soaking them, but the resulting beverage may be slightly bitter. Just remember the benefits!
Okra May Benefit Diabetes, Lower Blood Sugar Levels
According to the study,7 “Therapeutic Effect of Okra Extract on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Rats Induced by Streptozotocin,” scientists divided 30 rats into three groups: those with GDM, an intervention group and a control group.
Once the model was established successfully, the study notes,8 200 mg of okra extract was given (orally) to the rats in the intervention group, while the other two groups received only the okra solution and water.
To be precise, it wasn't extracts from okra alone that scientists used, but an okra solution similar to that used in other studies. A study in 2011, for instance, tested okra's ability to prevent liver damage.9 Shade-dried okra pods were “coarsely powdered and macerated,” then placed in 3 liters of 96 percent ethanol for 72 hours before being “suspended” in distilled water (which does not dissolve it) before being given to the rats.
At the conclusion, the study authors wrote that due at least in part to the antioxidant substances in okra, the rats' oxidative stress and insulin suppression was decreased, and along with it their blood glucose levels.
Previous studies have found similar results, including a 2005 study published in the journal Planta Medica,10 in which scientists purified a chemical called myricetin, an antioxidant flavonoid found in okra, and gave it to rats via IV. The result was that the rodents' muscles were more readily able to absorb glucose, which consequently lowered their blood sugar levels.“
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Read More … Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/12/17/can-drinking-okra-water-help-fight-diabetes.aspx
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