Okra may not be the most popular of vegetables. In fact, many people haven’t even heard of it before. Its slimy texture often gives it a bad reputation, but it can be truly delicious if properly cooked. It is especially tasty when stir-fried in oil.
Okra pairs well with other foods and can be added to a number of tasty dishes. Discover all the different ways you can add this unique vegetable to your low carb meal plan. I’ve even included a yummy Keto-friendly recipe for oven-baked okra fries later in this article.
Keep reading to find out how eating okra can boost your health and even help you lose weight.
Is Okra Keto Friendly?
Okra makes the list of Keto-approved foods as it is a non-starchy green vegetable that is low in carbs. At less than 4 grams of carbs per serving, okra makes a great food choice for those following low carb diets, like Keto.
How Many Carbs are in Okra?
A 100 gram serving of Okra contains only 3.8 grams of net carbs. Okra is very low in carbs and is a great option for any low carb diet plan.
How Many Calories are in Okra?
A 100 gram serving of Okra contains only 33 calories. Okra is extremely low in calories, making it an ideal food choice for those following a calorie-reduction diet plan. Just make sure to measure out any butter or oil you use when cooking as each tablespoon you add with increase the calorie content by 100 calories.
|Serving Size: 100 grams of Okra|
|Total Fat 0.2 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 7 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 299 milligrams||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7 grams||2%|
|Dietary fiber 3.2 grams||12%|
|Sugar 1.5 grams|
|Protein 1.9 grams||3%|
|Vitamin A||14%||Vitamin C||38%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||10%|
Okra is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It’s rich in magnesium, folate, and vitamin C, K1, and A. Okra promotes heart health and improves blood sugar control. It may even have anticancer properties due to its antioxidant activity. Furthermore, it is an excellent source of dietary fiber at 3.2 grams per 100 gram serving to support digestive health and regularity.
Purifies and Filters the Blood
According to a study conducted in 2005, okra displays positive effects on the kidneys by reducing the amount of protein and uric acid in the urine.
Promotes Heart and Bone Health
Okra is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient that prevents the hardening of arterial walls and protects against heart disease. Okra also improves bone density, which lowers the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Protects the Liver
According to a 2011 study, the antioxidant activity in okra can help protect your body from chemically induced liver diseases.
Regulates Blood Sugar
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences found that rats with diabetes that were fed okra showed improved blood sugar levels and normalized lipid profile levels. For these reasons, okra might be a potential natural treatment for diabetes.
Relieves Asthma Symptoms
Okra contains compounds that can help rid the lungs of fluid and mucus congestion. This vegetable offers relief to those suffering from asthma or any other respiratory illnesses by cleansing the windpipe.
Boosts Mood & Fights Depression
Okra is helpful in treating depression because of its concentrated levels of phenols and flavonoids. In fact, okra seed extracts are commonly used as an alternative treatment for depression and may even work as well as antidepressant medications.
Due to its high lectin content, okra extracts have been studied as a treatment for breast cancer. The treatment was successful in reducing the growth of cancer cells by 63% and killed 72% of cancer cells.
Okra is typically safe in general food amounts. However, eating too much okra can adversely affect people with bowel problems because contains fructans, which is a type of carbohydrate that can cause diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bloating. Okra is high in oxalates and increases the risk of kidney stones.
10 Ways to Enjoy Okra on Keto
- Add Okra to stews and gumbo.
- Make oven-baked okra fries by baking with a little oil and your favorite seasonings – (See Keto recipe below).
- Stir-fry okra in sesame oil and soya sauce.
- Halve okra and grill them in a skillet.
- Fry thinly sliced okra until crisp.
- Add pickled okra to tomato juice and vodka to jazz up a bloody Mary.
- Use okra as a crudité by blanching them and dipping them in mayonnaise and then sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
- Sauté okra whole in oil for a few minutes until tender. Season with garlic, lime zest, and a few crushed peanuts for crunch.
- Grill whole okra until char marks appear and toss in your favorite dressing.
- Roast okra whole along with other low carb veggies.
Keto Oven-Baked Okra Fries Recipe
- 2 cups of Okra, washed and dried
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
- After washing okra, make sure it is dried thoroughly to prevent stickiness.
- Remove tops and bottom of okra with a knife, and cut down the middle vertically.
- Combine all the spices in a bowl and add the spices to the okra, mixing well.
- Place okra on a greased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil
- Bake Okra for 25 minutes 350 degrees Fahrenheit and remove from oven when cooked through and tender.
Is Okra Good for Weight Loss?
Besides being low in calories, carbs and fat, okra contains 8.2 grams of fiber per cup to help keep you feeling full and avoid snacking in between meals. The specific type of fiber, called Eugenol, found in okra slows the digestion process. It also stabilizes blood sugar, preventing sudden spikes and crashes in glucose levels. For these reasons, okra is a good vegetable to support your weight loss journey.
Is Okra Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?
Experts recommend eating okra during pregnancy. It is believed that eating okra during pregnancy will make the labor process and delivery easier. The folate (folic acid) in okra can also prevent the onset of a birth defect known as Spina Bifida.
Plus, okra contains high amount of vitamin C to help your body absorb iron, another helpful aspect in fetal growth. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune system of both the mother and baby, while supporting the development of skin, bones and blood vessels in the fetus.
What’s the Best Way to Cook Okra to Prevent it from Becoming Slimy?
Okra pods have a slimy or “gooey” mouthfeel when cooked in water due to the soluble fiber it contains. Some people like this texture, while others try to prepare it without water to prevent sliminess.
If you’re not a fan of this texture, try preparing okra in one of the ways mentioned above for the best results. One of the best ways is to stir-fry it in oil because this method avoids using water to cook it.
In order to avoid the sliminess caused by contact with water, always dry the washed okra thoroughly before slicing and cooking. Make sure you salt the okra only after it is cooked, as salt will cause the okra to release its water and cause it to turn slimy.