An Unsung Super Vegetable The Okra-Okra exports from India

Why Okra is Good for Your Health?

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More than often, you come across people who will turn their face away in disgust at the mention of Okra. Very few people will declare their undying love for this humble vegetable. However, did you know that Okra has been eaten as well as been used as a medicine in South America, Africa and the Middle East for centuries. Today, people are realizing the importance of this vegetable and are more than willingly including it in their diet. This has resulted in a good number of Okra exports from India too. We are a leading okra exporter in India and are known to export good quality okra across the globe. Keep reading to know about its history, traditional use and health benefits.

Okra History

Okra is a plant based food having a wide range of medicinal properties. It is believed to have been cultivated in the 12th century BC in Egypt. They used okra to prevent kidney stones. In addition to this, the seed pods of okra are consumed to treat diabetes, jaundice and constipation. Its leaves have been used to treat urinary problems and for pain relief.

Okra derives its name from Igbo (language used in some parts of West Africa) word, ”Okuru.” In the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, it is popularly known as “bamya”. In India it is known as “bhindi” and is prepared in several ways. Most commonly okra is used in stews and soups. They may also be used in pickles, stir fry or fermented. In Malaya, okra roots have been widely used in treating syphilis while in Turkey its seeds are roasted and consumed as a traditional medicine to treat diabetes. In some parts of the world, okra seeds are believed to be the best substitute for coffee beans.

Health Benefits of Okra

Okra is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, niacin, beta-carotene, calcium, riboflavin, iron and phosphorous. It is mostly made up of protein, carbohydrates and water and some amount of fat in its seeds. The seeds and skin are a rich source of zinc. What’s interesting about Okra is that its mineral content is bio-available unlike most vegetables. It gets its characteristic slippery nature on cooking due to the presence of lots of water-soluble dietary fibre. This sliminess acts as a demulcent agent and helps in treating gastritis. Presence of polysaccharides in okra helps in maintaining healthy levels of blood glucose by controlling the absorption of sugar in the small intestine. Also, okra has myricetin that helps fight breast cancer and improves mood.

Indian varieties of okra are dark green in colour, have a smooth texture and its fruit remains tender for a longer period of time. This and due the health benefits it offers, there has been a steady rise in okra exports from India. We are a well known exporter in India and export several Indian varieties of okra to many countries.

How to Store Okra?

You can store okra in freezer bags (uncut and uncooked only) and store it for later use. It can also be canned. If stored properly, its taste will remain unaffected and feel like it has just come out from the garden.

How to Export Okra ?

Okra exports from India can be done through Arihant Agro. We are FSSAI certified, member of APEDA and MACCIA. Contact us to discuss your import requirements.

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