The Okra known as Abelmoschus esculentus also gambo or ladyfingers or bhindi ,is a plant from the family of the mallow plants which is one of the from the 

highlands of east Africa,specifically Ethiopia derived from vegetable plants. The okra is one of the oldest most eaten vegetable,it was before before at least 3000 ago by the Egyptians cultivated but it was probably already 4000years. Today okra is used as vegetable plant and eaten as such,amost around the world and the connection with slave trade the word okra is borrowed from west Africa language probably the Igbo okuru.

When cooking the okra pepper produce a slimy substances that is suitable for thickening dishes, and if you want to do away with the slimy texture ,just add some vinegar water and rinse in cold water or 1 to 2 hours before cooking wash in cold lemon water,and if you desire more slimy texture you can add to boiling okra an edible alkaline like what is popular amongst us in nigerian kitchen,alkaline stone called kaun or kaun.

Dried okra  pieces are also as binding agent in stews or sauces,leaving it easy to cook by yourself.the ripe fruit when dried can be used as non caffeine coffee substitute, during the American  civil war in 1861 when the availability of coffee becomes difficult ,okra plantation was made and the seeds roasted and grounded and made substitute for caffeine free coffee,an acre of coffee okra was able to produce enough seeds to contain a plantation of coffee,in every way equal to that imported from Rio . Greenish -yellowish oil is pressed from okra seeds; the taste and smell is pleasant to the senses,it’s high in unsaturated fats , oleic and linoleic acid.okra oils is known to be suitable as biofuel.

Nutritional facts

Amount per 100 grams

Calories                                                                                           33

Total fats                                                                                          0.2 g

Saturated fats                                                                                   0 g

Polyunsaturated fat                                                                           0 g

Monounsaturated                                                                              0 g

Cholesterol                                                                                        0 mg

Sodium                                                                                               7 mg

Potassium                                                                                           299 mg

Total carbohydrates                                                                             7 g

Dietary fiber                                                                                         3.2

Sugar                                                                                                    1.5 g

Protein                                                                                                   1.9 g

Vitamin A                                                                                                375 UI

Vitamin C                                                                                                 21.1 mg

Folate                                                                                                      88 ųg

Vitamin B-6                                                                                              1.0 mg

Vitamin E                                                                                                  0.36 mg

Vitamin K                                                                                                   53ųg

Calcium                                                                                                     8%

Sodium                                                                                                      8 mg

Iron                                                                                                            0.80 mg

Potassium                                                                                                  303 mg

Magnesium                                                                                                57 mg

Manganese                                                                                                0.990 mg

Phosphorous                                                                                              63 mg

Raw okra contains alongside the numerous vitamins and minerals  about 90% moisture content,some phytonutrients, and dietary fiber.

Okra in the diet has been suggested to help diabetes manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. It improves blood sugar level of pregnant women.

Okra is high in dietary fiber thereby improving digestion,it also cuts hunger cravings  by giving feeling of fullness for longer period of time ,dietary fiber is important for diabetics because it promotes better glycemic load ,control and improves insulin sensitivity.the seeds extract also manages stress level in diabetics,this is crucial to managing diabetes,long term high stress level can cause blood sugar to spike,managing mental health is important for every diabetic and okro is an important diet tool for that control.

Okra may also lower cholesterol level in diabetics. By including okra in your diet along with a healthy exercise routine that includes cardio vascular activity is an essential part  of preventing and managing diabetes.

Safety concern

If you are on a treatment plan for diabetes make sure to inform your doctor because in a particular study it was shown that okra blocks the absorption of metformin, this is a drug that is used to manage blood sugar levels. If you are taking metformin okra is not something you should experiment with.

Its important to note that definitely okra is not an insulin replacement or cure for diabetes because there is no conclusive medical research that proves okra is a cure for diabetes, but it may be worth the try alongside other diets and traditional treatment IF your doctor agrees.

General Health benefits of okra

  • The okra pods are one of very low calorie vegetables,they contain around 30 calorie per 100g.contains no cholesterol or  fat and either saturated or not,and they are excellent source of dietary fiber, minerals ,vitamins for our daily needs. Okra is especially recommended by nutritionist as it is active in the control of diabetes ,cholesterol and weight reduction programs.

  • The rich source of mucilage substance of okra helps in smooth chewing and swallowing and easy digestion of foods from the stomach through the intestines and ease from constipation condition

  • The okra contains relatively high amount of Vitamin A,and derivatives such as ,beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein. Contains excellent level  of antioxidants. These compounds helps our vision and helps us maintain good and healthy mucus membranes and skin also protects us from certain kind of cancers.

  • Fresh okra are rich source of folate. It contains about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Folates in food or better known as folic acid in drugs,especially during pre and post conception helps in decrease of birth defects incidence of neural tube malformation in the offsprings.

  • The okra are excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin -C, providing about 36% of daily recommended value and research  has shown that consuming food  rich in vitamin C helps our body to fight against all kinds of infections and even protects the body against it by boosting the immune system and increasing the body’s resistance to infections and harmful free radicals.

  • Okra is good source of Vitamin B -6 complex pyridoxine,thiamin,and pantothenic acid. It also contains considerable amount of Vitamin K ,which is a co factor for blood clotting enzymes and its required for  of bones.

  • The okra is also good source of several important minerals like calcium, manganese and magnesium.

Selection and storage tips

Fresh ,immature okra pods can be gotten in markets and stores all year round,the fresh okra is attractive rich green color and it have neutral flavour.once looking for okra to buy check for crispy,immature okra ,avoid those with over ripen sunken appearance,discolored spots,cuts and mushy in texture. Once you have some eat immediately while they are fresh to get the optimal benefits of vitamins and antioxidants it contains.okra can also be keep for 1  to 2 days when placed in the refrigerator.

Different ways of eating okra

  • They can be boiled chopped,sliced with just water and akaun plus salt to taste.

  • They can be stewed  or fried(fritters ) under low heat oil in order to soften their mucilaginous texture they then can be mixed with other vegetables ,rice or meat

  • In Nigeria and the caribbean okra is cooked and enjoyed as soups .

  • It can be pickled and preserved like in other vegetables.

  • Tender okra leaves may be cooked and eaten like other vegetable leaves,and the leaves can also be eaten raw in salads.

  • Stewed okra native style garnish with different assortment.

  • Okra native yoruba style

  • Okro and ogbono.

But today am not cooking fresh okra alone am going to be making it ogbono seeds (Irvingia Gabonensis). This is an edible specie of an African tree belonging to the genus Irvingia after the fruit is eaten the seeds can be dried and grounded then used to prepare ogbono soup. Ogbono seeds have effects against diabetes. Ngondi et all (2005) also States that ogbono seeds is capable of reducing fasting blood sugar  in obese people. It also suppresses hunger due to the fact it gives a feeling of satiety leading to less food craving and excessive eating. This helps in an efforts towards weight management . Studies have shown that it reduces the triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol with an increase in HDL cholesterol ,this however suggests that the Irvingia Gabonesis is suitable in weight management diet. It is a good source of Potassium, iron,water,energy, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin C,calcium, magnesium, sodium,phosphorus, dietary fibre and fatty acids such as stearic acid,oleic acid,palmitic acid,juristic and lauric acid.

Dry ok to however is new to many people and could seems like a waste of time when in actual fact ok to exist in abundance almost everywhere. But there is a catch in this ,dry okra when added to a soup or cooked alone yield more dietary fiber. As a matter of fact the nutritional value of dry okra goes thus In 100 g 

Contains about 22 kcal ,no fat or cholesterol. Sodium 444 mg , Potassium 135.7 mg,

Vitamin B6 9.4% Vitamin C 27.3% and vitamin A at 5.7 %.

With this for any diabetes or health and diet conscious person might want to try adding okra to a gumbo recipe or any other way you want it.


Recipe Preparation Time:45 minutes 

Cooking Time:45 minutes 

Cooking Temperature:Medium 


  • Dry okra powder                  50g
  • Grounded Ogbono seeds    100g
  • Palm oil                             150ml
  • Salt                                     1 tsp
  • Aadun seasoning powder 1 tbs 
  • Precooked goatmeats     500 g 
  • Cow stripes                      100 g 
  • Presoaked stockfish       100 g 
  • Dry crayfish powder      25 g 
  • Chili pepper powder      1 tsp 

Recipes Preparation and Cooking                         Instructions 

  • In a cooking pot pour oil in set on a cooker at medium heat let the oil sizzle then add the grounded ogbono seeds stir together and continue frying for 1 minute. Then scoop the contents out and set aside. 
  • In the same pot pour some water 1l add the chili pepper and crayfish powder plus the presoaked stockfish and the cow stripes bring everything to boil and let cook further for 10 minutes 
  • After this add the dry okazi leaves and the ogbono-oil mix then the dry okra 
    stir thoroughly add water if the mix is too thick.Then add the goat meats and reduce the heat to medium low for 10 minutes and set aside for serving 

And this is how you cook ogbono seeds together with dry okra gumbo.