12-01-2017 by Leni Frau
Often on the stalls of the local markets of the coast of Kenya find a variety of vegetables that may look like small zucchini, but then if you see it up close, with its grooves and shape slightly elongated, understand that it is something else.
His name is "okra" (in Italian also "okra") and the scientific Abelmoschus esculentus, is the fruit of a plant belonging to the mallow family is native of the African continent. The British call it off, "Lady's fingers", woman's fingers, because of the slightly tapered shape and measurements.
If the taste can be a little 'difficult and bitter and above the viscosity can be annoying, in fact this vegetable, with all parts of the plant, it is a true elixir of health.
Its leaves are a rich source of minerals and seeds provide oil and high quality protein; always from seeds, roasted and ground you get a valid substitute of coffee without caffeine.
Its fruits, which are as similar green chilli pods, are used in many cuisines around the world from the Indian to the Brazilian, the Turkish European east passing through that of the southern United States where he was brought by African slaves .
The okra has good nutritional values: low in calories (33 per 100 grams), many vitamins, especially folic acid (useful during pregnancy), and as much dietary fiber.
Such fiber is good for the health of the entire gastrointestinal tract and helps to absorb excess cholesterol.
The abundant water content prevents constipation, eliminates gas and abdominal bloating.
In Turkey, by time, the roasted seeds are used for the treatment of diabetes and there are studies that seem to confirm its efficacy.
Another way to reduce the rate of sugar in the blood is to drink water in which they are left to stand for one night some pods, that method does release certain substances present in the skin and seeds.
The fruit ocher contains vitamin A, flavonoids antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. These compounds are known to have beneficial effects on eye health and vision.
Also in cosmetics okra is a major use.
In the market there are different products based on ocher indicated for the treatment of dry skin and brittle hair. Vitamin E present in the fruit has a softening and moisturizing effect, while vitamin C has natural restorative action.
DIY solution for an effective moisturizing mask to combat dry skin and hair.
Break up the fruits put them in infusion in boiling water for 20 minutes. Let it cool and store it in the fridge overnight. On contact with the hot water it releases the content of mucilage and thickens when cooled becoming gelatinous.
Spread on face and hair and rinse after 10 minutes.
The ocher is use also in the textile industry, from its stem in fact yields a textile fiber known as okra fiber.
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