Origin: Okra originated in Ethoipia in 12th century B.C. Travelers introduced it to the middle east and it entered into the southern region of North America through the slave trade.
Types: There are three primary Okra pods to choose from: Annie Oakley (a compact plant with additional tender pods), Dwarf Green Long Pods (longer, ribbed pods) and the Clemson Spineless.
Benefits: Not much of a popular choice, Okra may be one of the misunderstood vegetable. It contains a strong pack of valuable nutrients, of which nearly half is soluble fiber, contained in its gums and pectins. Together with lowering serum cholesterol, soluble fiber is yet another element of helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Okra also contains insoluble fiber which can help keep your intestinal tract healthy and strong, subsequently, decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer.
Okra is also a famous producer of glutathione, a protein molecule composed of three amino acids. Researchers at Emory University found that of the 1800 people in their study, those with the maximum intake of glutathione were 50% less likely to develop oral and throat cancers than those with lower levels of the amino acid. And, for good measure the little spiny pod also boasts almost 10% of the RDA of vitamin B6 and folic acid, 22% Vitamin C, 11% magnesium and combined fiber equals about 8 percent, should you consume atleast a half of a cup serving.
Blurb: A favorite southern dish, okra is best known for its addition to gumbo or fried with a corn meal coating. Additionally it is utilized in cooking for its thickening ability in addition to its rich flavor. Look for okra in the term of mid-spring through October; and, when choosing your pods, start looking for vibrance in colour and avoid any length over four inches long and those who are limp and blemished.