What are okra benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are okra pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on okra benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about okra benefits and side effects. This will include okra benefits for your health and potential risks, okra water footprint and okra carbon footprint, okra sustainability, if okra are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if okra are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about okra benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Must-Know Okra Benefits And Side Effects
Okra health benefits may include:
- aided digestion
- anemia prevention and treatment
- asthma control
- constipation relief
- eye health and vision
- fight depression
- healthy pregnancy
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) relief
- regulated body temperature
- blood sugar regulation
- bone strengthening
- boosted immunity
- cardiovascular health
- colon health
- diabetes management and prevention
- kidney health
- liver function
- reduced inflammation
- reduced risk of heart disease
- improved appearance of scars, acne and wrinkles
- skin health
- weight loss
Additionally, okra is…
- Alkaline 7.5 pH level once digested
- Gluten Free
- Not a common Food Allergen
- A Nightshade Food
- A High-FODMAP Food (may cause gas, bloating & pain for some)
Water footprint: low, it takes 576 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of okra / 69 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of okra
Carbon footprint: low, 0.25 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh okra, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers
Destruction: low, okra production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.
Kills: none, okra production does not require any animals to be killed
Harming: none, okra production does not require any animals to be used
Animals indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from okra production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May involve worker exploitation, laborer issues, human rights concerns
The world’s top okra producing country is India, followed by Nigeria and Mali.
The world’s top okra exporting country is China, followed by Spain, Mexico, Belgium, Ecuador, Netherlands, Poland, USA, Poland and Guatemala
Yes! Okra is high in fiber and contains potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, vitamin C, Vitamin K, folic acid, and calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
To sauté okra, heat cooking oil over medium heat in a pan.
Add chopped okra and cook 2-3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
To roast okra, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Arrange chopped or whole okra slices in one layer on a foil lined sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Other names for okra are okro, ladies’ fingers, bhindi, bamia, ochro and gumbo.
okra is alkaline. okra benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.
Is okra alkaline or acidic?
Okra is alkaline.
What is the pH level of okra?
Okra has a 7.5 pH level once digested.
When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
okra is gluten free. okra benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.
Is okra gluten free?
Yes, okra is gluten free. Okra does not contain gluten. Okra is a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
okra is not a common food allergen. okra benefits include being safe for most.
Is okra a common food allergen?
No, okra is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to okra but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
okra is a nightshade food.
Are goji berries a nightshade food? Yes, goji berries are a nightshade food.
Common nightshade foods include:
- white potatoes
- goji berries
- ground cherries
- all peppers (like bell peppers, jalapeños, chili peppers, and hot peppers) and red spices (such as paprika, curry powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, red pepper)
Foods commonly mistaken as nightshades (but are not) include:
- sweet potatoes
- black pepper
Nightshade allergy reactions include:
- digestive issues
- dry mouth
- visual disturbances.
- hives or skin rash
- shortness of breath
- tightness of the throat
- pale skin
Check out this Nightshade Foods List to see them all.
Nightshade vegetables provide excellent nutrition, so there is no need to stop eating them unless you suspect you are sensitive to nightshade foods. If so, eliminate them from your diet to see if symptoms disappear.
okra is a high-fodmap food.
Is okra FODMAP friendly?
No. Okra is a high-FODMAP food so you should limit or eliminate it while on a low-FODMAP diet.
A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.
See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Foods
okra has a low water footprint.
Does okra have a high or low water footprint?
Okra has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.
What is the water footprint of okra?
It takes 576 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of okra / 69 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of okra.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
okra has a low carbon footprint.
Does okra have a high or low carbon footprint?
Okra has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.
What is the carbon footprint of okra?
It takes around 0.25 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh okra, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
okra is sustainable.
Overall, is okra eco friendly? Is okra sustainable?
Okra production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
okra is vegan. okra benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.
Is okra vegan?
Yes, okra is vegan. Okra is a vegetable and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List
okra may or may not have labor issues.
Is okra a product with laborer concerns?
At this time there have been no major concerns with okra production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
This post was all about okra benefits and side effects.
Okra, raw – FoodData Central – USDA
Okra Grades and Standards | Agricultural Marketing Service
Adriane MarieGrocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.
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