Benefits Of Okra/Lady’s Finger For Skin,
Hair And Health
By Sudipta Roy
Designation-Assistant Professor at Rajasthan Pharmacy College Jaipur India.
Okra is better known by its common name as ladys finger or Gumbo. This high fiber vegetable is
known for its high soluble and insoluble fiber content. This vegetable is usually used in many
recipes and is also a part of many nutritional diets, as it is beneficial to the heart.
Health Benefits From Okra/ladies finger:
1. High fiber content:
The dietary fiber content of an Okra/lady finger is known to be high.The fibers aid the process of
digestion in the body by facilitating proper bowel movement
Okra is known to treat in prevention of diabetes for Fibre which helps in the prevention of this
3. Good folates content:
Folates present in Okra reduce the neural tube defects in a new born baby to recommend
women during pre conception period or pregnancy.
4. Vitamin K benefits:
Vitamin K is a co-factor in blood-clotting process and plays a major role in strengthening the
bones in our body.
Asthma can also be treated by including Okra/ lady fingers in your meals Asthma tic people
are strongly suggested to consume Okra.
Facilitating proper absorption of water, Okra/ lady finger vegetable ensures free motion disposal
by the body and hence prevents constipation.
7. Sun stroke:
Okra helps prevent sun strokes.
8. Colon cancer:
It is believed that all diseases begin in the colon; Adding Okra to your meals ensures prevention
of colon cancer and related diseases to a great extent
With regular usage of Okra, in either raw or cooked form, you can avoid obesity to a great
extent. Obesity is not necessarily due to consumption of fatty and calorific foods but also due to
lack of nutrients .
This vegetable ensures lesser absorption of cholesterol to prevent heart diseases and
ailments occurring due to cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a dominant content in the body
that triggers obesity and heart diseases.
100 grams of Okra contains 1.5% energy from calories, 7.03 gram carbohydrates, 2
gram protein,0.1 gram fat and 9% fiber. Such fiber content can prove to be very
beneficial for the body.
Other nutrients are folates 88mg, niacin 1mg, Vitamin C 21.1mg, Vitamin E 0.36mg and
Vitamin K 53mg.Other than these, Okra also contains calcium 81mg, copper 0.094mg,
iron 0.8mg, magnes57mg, manganese 0.99mg, phosphorous 63mg and zinc 0.6 mg.
Skin Benefits of Okra
Dietary fibre for healthy skin:
Okra comes with a lot of dietary fiber, also high in metabolism, and thus keeps the digestion
problem away. Proper digestion reflects through a healthy-looking skin.
Vitamin C for younger skin:
Vitamin C found in okra helps to maintain a younger looking skin and to aid in repairing
body .tissues. This in turn helps keep your skin younger and also makes it look more vibrant.
Prevents skin pigmentation:
The nutrients found in okra helps to prevent skin pigmentation to rejuvenate your skin and
Hair Benefits of Okra
Boil okra with some water and the transparent mucilage that you get can be used to get your
bouncy hair back.
The mucilage of okra can be used as hair conditioner. Wash your hair and squeeze out excess
water. Massage the watery mucilage through your hair and rinse thoroughly with water.
Okra is an excellent moisturizer for dry and itchy scalp to leave hair feeling soft and it is not
harmful like other cosmetics available in the market. It is great for people with unruly, curly and
Okra improves the overall scalp condition and fights dandruff to moisturize your scalp and keeps
Okra, when used as a hair rinse, it gives great shine to your hair to give regular conditioner a
miss once in a while and to take care of hair the natural way.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, Okra is also good for:
1. Improving immunity
2. Improving eyesight
3. Weight loss
4. Preventing constipation
5. Avoiding anaemia
6. Preventing diabetes
How to select good Okra?
Topical use of okra has a lot of good, here is a quick guide to help you understand the selection
1. Smaller pods – Always look for smaller pods because they are tender. They taste better
than the larger ones which are tough and stringy too.
2. Bright colour – Look out for bright green-coloured pods. You may also find varieties of
burgundy or deep red. Those are also used for cooking purpose but green ones are
3. Unblemished pods – While selecting okra, try and look for unblemished ones. These are
fresh and are not rotten from inside.
4. Firmness – Check for the firmness of okra. While the smaller pods are generally tender,
they should not be very soft.
How to store Okra?
1. Okra should be stored unwashed.
2. You can store it in a paper bag or simply wrap it in a newspaper. If you don’t have a
paper bag, you can also store it in a perforated plastic bag.
3. Make sure you keep it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. This will help you store it
for up to 3 days at least.
4. Okra tends to decay faster when kept really cold. So make sure you store it in warmer
temperature in your refrigerator.
5. Simply blanch the whole okra and freeze it if you want to store it longer.
Tips for usage
1. Before cooking, thoroughly wash and rinse whole okra well with water.
2. After washing, pat it dry completely, using a dry towel.
3. You can then store it in a zip-lock bag and leave it overnight in the fridge before using it
next day. This will make it less slimy while cooking. This will make okra freeze solid.
4. Add okra immediately to your dish after taking it out from the refrigerator. You can use it
as whole or chopped.
5. Always trim the ends before adding it to your dish.
6. Don’t allow it to thaw to avoid it from sliming out.
Tips for cooking
1. To avoid too much sliming, fry it in oil a little before adding all spices. This reduces the
slime to a great extent. Remove okra from the pan and set aside and add it towards the
end after you have prepared the rest of the dish.
2. Soak it in vinegar or lemon water before using it. Another option is to add lemon or
vinegar to the dish itself to cut down the slime.
3. Blanch okra for 3-4 minutes to reduce the slime and add to the dish when it is almost
We all have okra the normal way, i.e, in form of vegetable dish. Here is a recipe that is quick,
tasty and different too.
Ingredients: Okra, grapeseed oil or olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
Procedure: First prepare the charcoal grill on high heat flame. Trim the ends or the stems of the
okra. Now toss it in oil thoroughly so as to cover it with oil. Place okra on charcoal grill and
cover with a lid. Let it remain covered till you see grill marks on okra. It should look a little
charred on the edges. Turn it thereafter and let it get grilled on the other side as well. Once done,
remove it from the grill and sprinkle some salt and lemon juice and enjoy your grilled hot okra.
Due to presence of such nutrients, you should definitely include Okra in your regular diet. With
its less cholesterol and calorie content it can be eaten in considerable amounts too.