The Benefits of Okra: The "Love Veggie"

Today's Doctors' Prescription? Eat more okra!

"Do you know what I like to call okra?" Dr. Ordon asks. "The love veggie."

Dr. Ordon explains that the slimy vegetable is loaded with magnesium, which is a natural relaxant. And, he says, it has iron, folate, zinc and vitamin B, which are all mood elevators.

Kantha Shelke, the spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists, says that some compounds in okra are thought to open up the arteries in a similar way as Viagra, earning it the nickname "Plant Viagra."

Other benefits of the warm-season vegetable, which often is used in soups and stews, include:

  • High in antioxidants, which can help fight the damage to cells caused by stress and other environmental factors
  • High in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol
  • High in vitamin A, which promotes healthy tissues and eyes
  • High in vitamin C, which promotes a strong immune system

"Okra -- a vegetable that keeps you happy from your head to the bed," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork exclaims.

Sources: Time Magazine, Illinois University