Benefits Of Okra For Weight Loss

What is okra?

Okra is a known vegetable that belongs to the family Malvaceae, and is also called Lady’s finger. Being a vegetable, it is low in calories but very rich in nutrients. The pods are often green in colour and appear slimy when cooked, which some individuals find very appealing.

Okra is a flowering plant found in the tropics and areas with warm temperatures.

It is void of trans-fat and cholesterol which are substances that are very detrimental to your health. It is one food rich in vitamin A, C and the B-complex vitamins. It also contains pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium. In addition, it is low in carbs but high in fibre and protein.

Okra is not only consumed as food but has found use as an appetite booster, astringent and an aphrodisiac

Benefits of okra for weight loss

Okra has several health benefits that contribute to your general well-being, including:

Boost your immune system

Okra is very rich in the antioxidant Vitamin C. This vitamin is responsible for mopping up free radicals - substances that interact with chemicals in your body thereby causing harm - from the body. Vitamin C is also known to increase the production of white blood cells which help the body fight infection and disease

Ocular Benefit

Okra also has a high content of Vitamin A and other antioxidants like Vitamin C. The Vitamin A content of okra helps to protect our eyes from the dangerous effects of free radicals, thus preventing the development of  cataracts, glaucoma and other eye diseases

Diabetes Management

Okra is known to have a high content of soluble fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This is very helpful if you are managing diabetes mellitus, as a stable blood sugar level will help keep insulin in check as well as prevent its resistance to rising blood glucose levels

Glowing Skin

The  high soluble dietary fibre in okra prevents digestive issues while providing you with healthy glowing skin. Vitamin C present in okra also helps to repair and restore body tissues and your skin, making you look younger and more vibrant

Lowers blood pressure

Potassium present in okra helps to balance sodium. Excessive sodium in the body caused by increased salt intake increases blood and body water which in turn increases the work your heart has to do. Okra helps maintain proper fluid balance in your body, reducing the pressure on your heart and cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and arteries

Obesity prevention and control

Containing no unsaturated fats or cholesterol and being very low on calories, okra can be a useful substitute to high calorie foods if you are trying to lose weight. Okra is also rich in nutrients and dietary fibre which helps to keep your digestive system in good health. This nutrient-rich food fills you up and prevents you from bingeing unhealthy food and thus helps you fight obesity

Other health benefits of okra

  • Relieves Constipation: okra is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, thus it has a good laxative effect on your digestive system. Studies show that eating okra regularly helps prevent bloating, constipation and cramping
  • Anticancer Effect: Okra is known to contain substantial concentrations of Lectin and Pectin which inhibits cellular proliferation in all stages of cancer1
  • Pregnancy: folates are vital in preventing miscarriages as well as beneficial in preventing neural tube defects in unborn babies. Hence, pregnant women who consume okra on a regular basis will have babies who benefit from the Vitamins A, B (B1,B2,B6), C and folic acid present 
  • Anti-Fatigue Effects: Okra contains polyphenol like catechin and flavonoids and quercetin which have anti-fatigue properties. These chemicals also help promote wound healing
  • Liver Detoxification: okra contains a bioactive compound called Glutathione that helps eliminate harmful toxins from the liver
  • Treatment of urinary complications: a study by Islam et al in 2019 shows that okra is useful in the treatment of urinary complications, gonorrhoea and dysentery
  • Gastric Ulcer treatment: it is known that the slimy constituent of okra has an alkaline pH, which helps in neutralising hyperacidity in the stomach of individuals with ulcer. Also this mucilaginous slimy constituent helps to provide a protective coating for the lining of our stomach hence preventing and speeding up the healing of individuals who suffer from peptic ulcers

Tips on how to eat okra

Okra can be eaten in several ways:

  • In soups: the pods are chopped into small bits, cooked in tomatoes and chilli sauce
  • Oven roasted: okra can be flavoured with a bit of oil, salt, ginger and even pepper
  • In salads: okra can be eaten raw in combination with other vegetables as a salad or on its own
  • Pickled: this green vegetable can also be pickled to give you a flavourful version


Okra is a cheap vegetable that can be obtained from local stores anywhere you live. It is packed full of nutrients that people of all ages can benefit from, including pregnant women and their unborn babies.

It is often said that health is wealth - okra falls under the category of food that must be included in your everyday meals because it has a wide range of beneficial nutrients. It  can be enjoyed in several ways which make it appealing and interesting. So the next time you shop for healthy vegetables, don't forget to add okra on your list.


  1. Elkhalifa, A.E.O.;Alshammari, E.; Adnan, M.; Alcantara, J.C.; Awadelkareem, A.M.; Eltoum,N.E.; Mehmood, K.; Panda, B.P.; Ashraf, S.A. Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus) as a Potential Dietary Medicine with Nutraceutical Importance for Sustainable Health Applications. Molecules 2021, 26, 696.
  2. Islam, M.T. Phytochemical information and pharmacological activities of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus): A literature-based review. Phytother. Res. 2019, 33, 72–80.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Abigail Akhigbemen

MSc, Pharmacology&Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria

"As a pharmacist in academics, I find fulfilment in teaching, researching and writing. I have a passion for and am inspired by the pursuit for solutions to pressing disease and factors that affects mental health and wellness.I have taught a wide range of health and drug-related topics to Medical, Pharmacy, Science laboratory, Physiotherapy and Medical laboratory science students for the past 7 years, designing and supervising their undergraduate thesis/project."

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