Bhindi or Okra has been one of my favourite vegetables but one that is always been difficult to cook. Undercooking can leave it slimy and overcooking can destroy the benefits of bhindi. Fortunately for me, ever since my husband developed a green thumb, I have been enjoying eating it raw. Homegrown, organic and fresh, it tastes as crunchy as a cucumber.
Having okra(bhindi) soaked water is a long known ayurvedic food for controlling blood sugar levels and reducing diabetes. However, not many know the several other benefits that bhindi has.
Benefits of Bhindi :
1. It promotes gut health. The large amount of fibre that bhindi has adds to bulk in the intestine which can prevent constipation, gas, bloating.
2. Enhances Vision. It has a good amount of Vit A, which helps in lubricating your eyes. Also has antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, xanthine can prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
3. Good fibre : eating soluble and insoluble fibre means less chances of indigestion.
4. Boosts Immunity : Bhindi also has reasonable amount of Vit C along with other antioxidants which can control and eliminate free radicals that weaken the immune system
5. Helps in combatting migraines: It has Magnesium which is one of the key ingredients to control migraine.
Okra either has fans that absolutely love the veggie or then haters because of its slime. The fact it that it is the slime that holds many of the benefits. If over cooked the bhindi does loose the slimy
consistency but then along with that half its nutritional value too. Bhindi has Folate and is therefore very beneficial to be given to lactating mothers. The tender pods have a nice crunch and can be eaten raw too, provided ofcourse they are cleaned thoroughly.
It is not just used in Indian dishes but also in various other cultures. It is a staple in many African, Caribbean and South American homes. Used as a thickening agent for their curries and gravies too. So, if you can get over the slimy texture, it is a welcome addition to your weekly veggies.