June 18, 2024

You may have scrunched up your nose at this ‘vegetable’ when told it is what your mom made for dinner but ladyfinger or bhindi – as it is popularly known in India – is rich in nutritional benefits.

According to Guru Prasad Das, Senior Dietitian, CARE Hospitals, Bhubaneswar, bhindi is rich in fibre, antioxidants like Vitamin C, and many other vitamins.

Did you know that bhindi is actually a fruit? Hate it or love it, you cannot deny this ‘green vegetable’, also known as okra in some parts of the world, is a good addition to your diet. Let us take a look at its many health benefits.

Nutritional profile of bhindi

According to Das, here is what a 100-gram serving of bhindi contains:

-Calories: 35
– Total Fat: 0.2 gram
– Sodium: 6.9 milligram
– Total Carbohydrates: 6.4 gram
– Dietary Fibre: 1.2 gram
– Sugars: 1.5 gram
– Protein: 1.9 gram
– Vitamin C: 13 milligram
– Vitamin K: 31.3 microgram
– Folate: 105.1 microgram
– Magnesium: 53 milligram
– Potassium: 103 milligram

bhindi Ladyfinger is a good source of vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, and potassium. (Source: Unsplash)

Health benefits of bhindi

Das elaborates on the several health benefits of bhindi, as follows.

Fibre: Ladyfinger is rich in dietary fibre, which aids digestion, promotes bowel regularity, and may help lower cholesterol levels.

Antioxidants: It contains antioxidants like vitamin C and various phytochemicals that combat oxidative stress and inflammation.

Nutritional content: Ladyfinger is a good source of vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, and potassium.

Blood sugar control: The fibre and other compounds in ladyfinger can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Can diabetics consume bhindi?

Bhindi is low on calories and contains a good amount of dietary fibre, which can help regulate blood sugar levels, according to Das.

“It also has a low glycaemic index, which means it causes a slower rise in blood sugar compared to high-glycaemic foods,” he adds.

However, he warns, it is important to consider the overall meal plan and portion sizes to manage blood sugar effectively.

Is it safe for pregnant women to eat it?

bhindi Bhindi also provides vitamins A and C, which are important for immune function and overall health. (Source: Unsplash)

Bhindi can be beneficial for pregnant women as it contains essential nutrients.

“It is a good source of folate, which is important for foetal development, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy,” says Das.

Bhindi also provides vitamins A and C, which are important for immune function and overall health, Das explains. “Additionally, the fibre content of bhindi can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, which is a common issue during pregnancy,” he adds.

As with any food, it is important to consume bhindi as part of a balanced diet and consult with a healthcare professional for specific dietary recommendations during pregnancy.

Things to keep in mind while eating bhindi

According to Das, here are some things to keep in mind before or while eating bhindi.

Allergies: Some individuals may have allergies to bhindi or related plants, such as hibiscus. If you have known allergies to these plants, it is best to avoid consuming bhindi or consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.

Sugar content: Bhindi itself is low in sugar, making it a suitable choice for people with diabetes or those watching their sugar intake. However, it is important to be mindful of the preparation methods and ingredients used with bhindi, such as added sauces or sweeteners, which may increase the overall sugar content of the dish.

Overconsumption: Overconsumption can lead to certain effects. Bhindi contains a compound called oxalic acid, which can interfere with calcium absorption in large amounts. This may be a concern for individuals prone to kidney stones or those with certain kidney conditions. However, moderate consumption of bhindi as part of a varied diet is generally considered safe and beneficial.

Myths and facts about bhindi

A myth surrounding eating ladyfinger, Das says, is that it causes kidney problems.

He explains that there is no scientific evidence linking ladyfinger consumption to kidney problems. “In fact, ladyfinger is often recommended for its high fibre content, which can benefit kidney health by promoting regular bowel movements,” he says.

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