Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits of Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus): A Review
Abstract, Journal of Food Processing & Technology, 2015
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is an economically important vegetable crop grown in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. This paper was aimed to review nutritional quality and potential health benefits of edible parts of Okra. Okra is a multipurpose crop due to its various uses of the fresh leaves, buds, flowers, pods, stems and seeds. Okra immature fruits, which are consumed as vegetables, can be used in salads, soups and stews, fresh or dried, fried or boiled. It offers mucilaginous consistency after cooking. Often the extract obtained from the fruit is added to different recipes like stews and sauces to increase the consistency. Okra mucilage has medicinal applications when used as a plasma replacement or blood volume expander. The mucilage of okra binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the liver. Okra seeds are a potential source of oil, with concentrations varying from 20% to 40%, which consists of linoleic acid up to 47.4%. Okra seed oil is also a rich source of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid essential for human nutrition.
Keywords: okra, nutritional, quality, health, edible, oil