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Okra Water 💧 The benefits


Health Benefits of Okra Water

By

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, RDN, LD

Published on May 5, 2024

Medically reviewed by

Aviv Joshua, MS




Okra water is a vegetable-infused drink made by soaking fuzzy green okra pods in water overnight. Proponents of the beverage believe it offers many health benefits, including improved blood sugar management, weight loss efforts, and digestion.

Okra, scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus but more commonly called Lady's finger, is typically grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Historically, people have used okra as a food, appetite booster, astringent (a tightening agent often used in skincare), and more. You can consume immature okra pods as a vegetable or use the extract as a thickening agent for various recipes, such as gumbo.1

More recently, okra water has become a popular way to consume the plant and potentially gain some of its benefits. However, while some research supports the health benefits of the okra plant, research on okra water specifically is lacking.

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May Support Blood Sugar Control

Although research is limited regarding okra water's effects on blood sugar levels, okra has been used in diabetes treatment for years.

A recent study analyzed the impact of whole okra on various lab values in people with type 2 diabetes. One group of 60 participants took 1,000 milligrams (mg) of okra whole fruit oral capsules every six hours for eight weeks. Researchers gave a separate control group a placebo dose. The group that received the okra capsules experienced decreased fasting blood sugar, blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1C levels.2

This type of research leads many people to believe that okra water may help improve blood glucose control. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of research to back such a claim. It's important to determine a diabetes management plan with your healthcare provider and discuss any new additions such as okra water before implementing it in your diet for diabetes.

May Support Weight Loss Efforts

Okra contains many compounds that have been linked to weight loss support. For example, it contains dietary fiber and protein, contributing to satiety, fat binding, and reduced overall calorie intake.3

In an animal-based study, researchers administered okra extract to mice with diabetes and found that they lost significant amounts of weight over eight weeks.4 However, further research is still needed to understand okra's role in weight management, especially involving human subjects.

Okra water is often touted as an aid for weight loss, but research is lacking. However, drinking okra water supports hydration, which may boost the body's metabolism and encourage weight loss.5

May Improve Digestion

Okra water offers potential digestive benefits. Okra is rich in soluble fiber, which when mixed with water, creates a gel-like liquid that may support smooth digestion.1

While research regarding okra water and the gastrointestinal tract is limited, the vegetable's bioactive compounds have been studied extensively. Mucilaginous, the slimy component of whole okra, is naturally alkaline (non-acidic) and helps neutralize stomach acid associated with peptic ulcers in the stomach and small intestine. It also provides a protective coating in the digestive tract, which can help speed up the recovery process from many gastrointestinal-related concerns.1



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