Locally okra is known as bhindi (Hindi) or ladies finger. I am sure; besides the recipes with Okra, you would have also heard that this veggie is good to control blood sugar. So is it scientifically true?? Let us explore that.
It’s in the seeds of Okra. In Turkey, roasted Okra seeds have been used as a traditional medicine. It’s these seeds that have shown results in lowering blood sugar levels in studies done. Also it’s shown to prevent diabetic associated complications as it lowers HbA1c levels.
So how do these seeds help?? These seeds are alpha- glucosidase in nature and gum contains insoluble fiber. They inhibit the carbohydrate metabolizing enzyme; hence prevent release of sugar in blood stream.
How are these to be taken?? You need to split the Okra in two and soak it in water overnight. Next morning squeeze the gum (the mucilage in water) and seeds into water and drink this water on empty stomach early morning every day. You got to take it this way because the researches done support intake in this form, it isn’t clear if the cooked form too hold similar blood sugar control benefit.
One thought of care out here is that if you going to just have these okra seeds water without dietary control and lifestyle medications, it alone isn’t going to work miraculously in controlling blood sugar levels. It has to be coupled up with complex carbohydrate rich diet with good fiber intake from salads and control on simple refined carbohydrate meals. And surely exercise too!!
Besides health benefits in lowering blood sugar, Okra is also rich in vitamin A and B complex vitamins, and helps in lowering lipid levels too.