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Popularly known as okra in the West, bhindi or lady finger holds a special place in Indian kitchens. It is readily available across the country and is one of the most versatile foods that you can relish as a crispy snack or main course.
However, if you are not a big fan of bhindi—either because of the way it tastes or something else—then let us tell you that this vegetable is a superfood and has a very high nutritional value.
Bhindi is packed with folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin A, fibre, potassium and antioxidants. And it can benefit your health in the following ways:
1. Aids weight loss
If you’re on a weight loss diet, then include this superfood. Lady finger contains a good amount of dietary fibre and is low in calories, making it the ultimate weight loss food. It will also keep you satiated for a long time, thus minimizing your cravings and snacking.
2. Helps control diabetes
Bhindi has a low glycemic index, which helps in maintaining optimum glucose levels in the blood. It also contains a substance called myricetin, which helps improve sugar absorption by muscles which can then help in lowering blood sugar levels.
3. Promotes healthy heart
Most people are at risk of heart disease because of high levels of cholesterol. Bhindi makes a good meal option for them. Pectin, soluble fibre content in the veggie helps in modifying the bile juice production in the intestine thus lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
This vegetable is also fairly rich in compounds like polyphenols that help in preventing oxidation of cholesterol and artery blockages, thus reducing risk of heart disease development.
4. It has anti-cancer properties
A study published in the journal Biotechnology Letters found that lectin in bhindi may prevent breast cancer cells growth by 65%. Additionally, the veggie also contains some amount of insoluble fibre which promotes and keeps the digestive tract healthy and lowers your risk of colorectal cancer.
In another research published in Nutrition Journal, it was found that the antioxidants found in bhindi are much more than most other vegetables and this can keep your body safe from damage caused by free radicals. It further inhibits the growth of cancer cells in your body.
5. Can give you beautiful skin
The antioxidants present in bhindi can give you youthful skin by slowing down the ageing process. The carotenoids in bhindi is an essential component for the growth and repair of skin cells, which can further aid in reversing skin damage.
6. Boosts digestion
Dietary fibre present in bhindi aids in digestion and improves bowel movement. The soluble fibre in bhindi acts as a natural laxative which can help in relieving constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and even indigestion.
7. Beneficial for pregnant women
Pregnant women can benefit from the consumption of bhindi as it contains vitamin B9, also known as folate. This is an important nutrient for pregnant women as this lowers the risks of neurological birth defects in their newborn.
8. Improves immunity
Bhindi is rich in vitamin C which is a vital nutrient that helps in improving and boosting your immunity and protects you from several diseases and infections.
Amazing taste or not, bhindi is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can have on your plate.