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Okra is annual herbaceous plant belonging to the genus Abelmosk. The plant has a thick stem, with stiff pubescence. It branched at the base, from which it is possible the reproduction of seven stems. Okra yields fruit that look like boxes in the shape of pyramids and are oblong in shape. They resemble the peppers, only covered with thin hairs. The fruit size can reach 25 cm depending on the variety. Inside are a few seeds.
It is unknown where started to grow this plant, but at the moment, most varieties of okra are present in West Africa. Russia has only recently started to grow okra, is mainly engaged in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Krai.
This vegetable is also called ladies fingers, Gombo or okra.
Okra is used in cooking and in food fit fruits unopened pods. They grow in 3-4 days, starting with summer and ending with the first frost. The young leaves of this plant are also suitable for food.
The flavor is reminiscent of okra eggplant or asparagus. When it is heated, some of the pods generates a lot of mucus, which can be used in soups complex soups, or vegetable dishes.
Okra is almost entirely composed of water, therefore, is a low-calorie product. It has a lot of nutrients.
Besides the fact that okra consists of 90% water, it still contains a lot of protein and dietary fiber. This allows you to consume okra in any quantity while on a diet, and also vegetarians.
Okra contains vitamins a, B6, C, K as well as potassium, calcium, folate, iron and thiamine.
It has folic acid in high concentration is why okra is recommended to use for pregnant women, especially before 12 weeks. And all because this acid is an important component in creating the neural tube of the embryo.
Released during the heat treatment mucus and part of the okra dietary fiber consume sugar in the small intestine, thus regulating its level. People with gastrointestinal disorders should include okra in your diet.
This product helps remove excess cholesterol, bile and metabolic toxins from the body, prevents bloating, constipation, is considered to be a therapeutic component in the stomach ulcer. The use of okra promotes the growth in the small intestine of probiotics and is involved in the synthesis of vitamin of group B.
Okra improves the condition and chronic fatigue, depression, opposes sore throat, inflammation of the lungs. A positive effect on joints, eases asthma attack. Suitable as a component of diets for patients with atherosclerosis as it strengthens the walls of capillaries.
The studies revealed that okra can prevent some types of cancer, and reduces the chance of getting diabetes or cataracts.
Use the okra pods can and for cosmetic purposes. Cut into strips, boiled to a slimy condition and chilled okra is perfect for strengthening the hair. To the mixture, you can add a little lemon juice and use instead of balm. If you add the okra extract in face cream, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of acne, including subcutaneous.
Because of the similarity of the taste of okra with eggplant and asparagus, cook it the same way. It can be eaten raw, boil, simmer or fry. It is possible to add in salads and soups, garnish for fish and meat, stews, vegetables.
If the mucus, which stands out when cooked in large quantities, not necessary, okra, you can quickly sauté or add some food acid (vinegar, lemon juice). Alternatively, cut into thin slices and cook until then, until the mucus evaporates.
In different countries find different uses for the okra. It can be fried with spices or marinate. Brazilians add it to the chicken dish. Haitians eat it with rice or corn.
The leaves of okra, which are also edible, can be added to salad or in the soup raw. Have okra, you can roast the seeds and use them in order to prepare a drink. This drink will be bitter and reminiscent of coffee. From the seeds can be extracted and oil, which will possess a pleasant aroma and contain unsaturated fats.
No specific contraindications have okra there. It is forbidden to use it only in case of individual intolerance to the product. Also the hairs that are on top of the fruit can cause allergies, so first you need to get rid of them, and then start cooking the product.