Okra is a well-known green vegetable that is popular in the southern United States. Other names for okra include lady’s finger, gombo, and bendi. It has a mild taste, and has been described as having a silky texture.
Like all fresh vegetables, okra has a number of health benefits. However, one benefit in particular may be one of major importance to diabetics and their families.
In 2011, researchers tested the effects of okra in diabetic rats by giving the rats okra extract diluted in water. The results showed reduced blood sugar levels in the treated rats. Additionally, high levels of okra water had no health consequences in the rats.
However, researches noted that diabetic rats bring treated with metformin saw a decrease in the metformin’s effects when the rats were given okra water. This was an important finding, as it indicated that okra’s interaction with metformin could potentially cause blood sugar levels to rise. Furthermore, popular claims that drinking okra water will completely cure diabetes are not scientifically proven. Diabetics should still pay close attention to their diets and exercise on a regular schedule, even if drinking okra water is right for them. As with every supplement you decide to take, ask your doctor about potential drug interactions and what to expect while drinking okra water.
There are many other benefits from eating okra or drinking okra water. Okra is full of potassium, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. It is a great source of fiber, and Okra is also an excellent source of protein. In addition to improving blood sugar levels for people not taking metformin, consuming this vegetable reduces heart disease risk and might even help reduce cholesterol. It has also been proven to help fight kidney disease.
Making okra water is easy. You simply take two whole pieces of okra and cut the ends off each portion. Cut a small slit into the center of each piece as well. Place both pieces into an 8 oz glass of water, cover the glass, and leave it out all night. Keep the water at room temperature to maximize distraction of the okra into the water. Next, remove the pieces of okra from the glass and drink the water in the morning before eating breakfast.
For diabetic individuals not currently on a metformin treatment, drinking okra water may help regulate blood sugar levels. If you’d like to try okra water yourself, ask your doctor is “OKra” is “OK” for you!