Nigeria is the world’s second largest producer of okro and
is no wonder that okro soup is one of the most popular dishes in the country.
Okro products are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo"
or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber. It also has a high vitamin C and folate
content and being high in antioxidants. Okro is also a good source of calcium
We list the health benefits of okro below.
1. Digestive health: Okro is rich in
fibers, which improves digestion and heals the bowels. This helps for the easy disposition
of toxins in the intestines. The fibers in the okro aid proper absorption of
water, lubricates the large intestines and ensure bowel movements making okro a
natural laxative. The fibers also reduce the risk for colon and rectal cancer.
They clean our intestines tract, while the antioxidants eliminate the free
radicals. Okro also aids good bacteria thrive in the intestines, which helps
for a healthy intestinal tract.
2. Diabetes: Okro helps reduce blood sugar
levels as it stabilizes blood sugar by regulating the rate at which sugar is
3. Pregnancy: Rich in folates, okro helps
in fetal development by preventing miscarriage and defects in the fetal neural
4. Bones: Okro strengthens bones and
prevents osteoporosis due to it high content in vitamin K and folates, which
makes the bones denser.
5. Asthma: Okro being rich in antioxidants
and vitamin C plus having anti-inflammatory properties helps prevents the
development of asthma and asthma attacks.
problems: Pneumonia, bronchitis and common cold and flu can be treated with
the leaves and flowers of okro.
7. Ideal for weight
loss: Okro has almost no calories, while the fibers make you feel full.
Plus, it is rich with nutrients. Okro seeds are rich in proteins which help in
reducing the feelings of hunger.
8. Cholesterol: Okro
is rich on soluble fiber Pectin which lowers the bad cholesterol and prevents
9. Skin Detoxifier:
Okro helps remove wastes from the skin and repairs skin tissue. It also prevents
skin pigmentation, reduces acne, and prevents psoriasis and other conditions.
10. Hair: It can
be used as a hair conditioner, as it moisturizes the scalp while preventing dandruff,
giving one’s hair a shiny and fresh look.
11. Immunity: Okro
boosts the immune system with the help of the antioxidants, vitamin C and other
essential minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Al these help the
body fight against free radicals.
12. Eyesight: Rich
in beta-carotenes, lutein and xanthine, okro helps prevent glaucoma and
13. Anemia: Okro contains
vitamin K, folate and iron which help fight against anemia. Hemoglobin forms,
the blood coagulates, and the production of red blood cells is increased as a
result of ingesting this nutrients.
14. Ulcers: Besides
neutralizing acids, okro speeds up the healing of peptic ulcers by providing a
temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
disorders: Okro has been known to treat disorders like gonorrhea,
leucorrhoea, syphilis and dysuria and prevent excessive menstrual bleeding.
However, it must be mentioned that some research conducted by
Dr. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello from the Department of Physiology, College of
Medicine, Lagos State University in collaboration with Temitope Ijiwole and
Funmileyi Awobajo from the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine,
University of Lagos found that in laboratory conditions there was a reduction
in the weight of the testes of rats fed with okro extracts, secretion of testosterone
and sperm production (spermatogenesis).
The researchers advised men to cautious with the consumption
of okro, especially those looking to have children.