Senior Citizens no longer need to sacrifice taste for healthy eating. At Discovery Villages, our Sensations Dining meals give you all the adequate nutrition you need to live a healthy, energetic and vibrant life. Our made from scratch meals take into account your dietary restrictions while making each meal delightfully enticing and deliciously pleasing. Come visit us today to get a taste of what we provide.
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.”
As Senior Citizens age, their ability to absorb nutrients decreases. For longevity, more energy and an overall greater quality of life, Seniors need to keep eating nutritiously. This means eating those fruits and veggies! Did you know that Okra is actually considered a fruit because of its seeds, even though Okra is green and tastes like a vegetable? Let’s explore some reasons to start loving Okra today!
Okra or gumbo (in some regions) is an annual and perennial related to the hibiscus, cocoa and cotton species in the Mallow Family. Okra is cultivated in tropical and temperate regions around the world and may have originated in South Asia, West Africa, and/ or Ethiopia. Okra can play an important role in:
- Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels: Okra has been used for many generations in other traditions to help stabilize blood sugar levels for those with Diabetes. Studies have now shown that the fiber and mucilage, which is the gooey substance inside okra can reduce the absorption of glucose and help lower blood sugar levels.
- Supports gut health: Okra contains healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics support the natural production of Vitamin B complex. In additional, the insoluble fiber found in okra can help soothe the gastrointestinal tract, alleviate constipation and aid in healing ulcers.
- Protecting against certain cancers such as Colorectal, Lung and Oral Cavity Cancers: Rich in flavonoids, okra can help protect against Lung and Oral Cavity Cancers. The antioxidants and fiber can help protect against Colorectal Cancer.
- Maintaining healthy skin and mucus membranes: Okra contains a significant amount of Vitamin C and is rich in antioxidants, which supports skin and mucus membranes.
- Supporting eye vision: Okra is one of the highest antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, which is essential for supporting eye vision.
- Controlling cholesterol and weight reduction: Okra is one of the lowest calorie fruits and vegetables available.
- Getting adequate vitamins and minerals: Okra is high in Folate, Vitamin A, Thiamine, B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and riboflavin. It also contains minerals including dietary fiber, zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium.
Words of caution about Okra
Take to a doctor if you are taking Metformin Hydrochloride for diabetes. Sometimes okra needs to be limited as it may interfere with this medication.
Best ways to cook Okra for nutrition
Not all ways to cook Okra are created equal, especially in order to reap the benefits of their nutrient rich properties. Cooking okra under low heat can ensure that the nutrition is not lost.
The best ways to cook okra include steaming, microwaving, or sautéing for about five minutes. Okra can also be boiled for a few minutes, but be careful not to cook for too long. Okra should still have somewhat of a crunch to it after cooked to get the most nutrition out of the vegetable.
Okra tastes great by itself, in a salad or with some fresh garden tomatoes. Always make sure Okra is washed thoroughly before preparing, getting rid of the dirt, soil, and any insecticides/pesticides residue.
About 18 Okra pieces or pods
Wash Okra properly, slicing in 1/3 inch pieces. Pre-heat your oven to 425F. Coat all of the okra slices lightly with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake for about ten to fifteen minutes, rotating the baking sheet once. Okra should be a little golden, crisp and tasty!
Try incorporating okra into your diet, especially if you have experienced any illness or condition that could benefit from the nutrition in okra. Your body and mind will benefit tremendously!
Finally, enjoy the full benefits of okra by cooking and eating meals with community, friends and family. Socializing can make food taste better and can be more stimulating for the brain. Visit Discovery Villages today, and see how living in a supportive and fun community can benefit your overall health and well being!
Discovery Village at Stuart offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 772.291.1063.