Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Health Benefits of Okra

What are the  Health Benefits of eating Okra ?

I received this information about Health benefits of Okra , from a friend and since it is very useful I thought of sharing with everybody. I have used Okra or ladies finger in our home diet but did not know it has so many useful benefits.  I have a few plants at home.
Okra is also known as lady’s finger. This plant is mainly grown in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions. It is a good low-calorie, fat-free, nutrient-dense addition to any diet. It Is grown in many home gardens too in Sri Lanka.
Fresh, immature okra pods and the leaves are used in different cuisines as a vegetable. You can enjoy it fried, boiled or pickled.
The seeds are pressed to make the greenish-yellow, edible okra oil, which has a pleasant taste and odor. The oil is high in unsaturated fats, such as oleic and linolenic acids.
Okra has high fiber, vitamins C and K,  as well as calcium and potassium. It also contains niacin (vitamin B3), thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, beta-carotene and lutein. In addition, it has powerful antioxidant properties.

What are the Health Benefits of Okra?

Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Okra or ladies finger contains insulin-like properties that help reduce blood sugar levels, making it a good choice for people with diabetes.
Another study published in the same year in ISRN Pharmaceutics found that okra helps reduce the absorption of glucose, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
1.    Cut off the ends of 4 or 5 okras and prick the body using a fork. Or, you can also slit halfway.
2.    Soak the pricked okras in a glass of water overnight.
3.    The next morning, remove the okras and drink the water on an empty stomach.
4.    Do this daily to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

  Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Okra may also help lower cholesterol levels. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that the  activity of okra skin extract provides cholesterol-lowering benefits.
It reduces the efficacy of cholesterol, which in turn delays cholesterol absorption and increases its excretion.
In addition, it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease and other health problems caused by cholesterol in the blood.
Include okra in your diet to lower your bad cholesterol level. You can even take okra extract, after consulting your doctor.

 Treats Leukorrhea          

According to folkloric practice, fresh tender okra pods are beneficial in treating leukorrhea, which causes whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge between menstruations.
Its mucilaginous property helps remove mucous from your system, which in turn reduces vaginal discharge. In addition, it boosts your immune system to help fight the problem.
1.    Wash 1 cup of fresh okras and cut them into small pieces.
2.    Boil the pieces in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes or until the water is reduced by half.
3.    Strain, divide it into 3 parts and add drink it 3 times a day until you notice improvement in your condition.
 Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy
Okra is highly recommended for pregnant women. The important B vitamins in it help ensure healthy growth of the baby in the womb and prevent birth defects like spinal bifida.
In addition, it is rich in folic acid that aids in producing and maintaining new cells, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Folate also prevents miscarriage. The vitamin C in okra also plays a key role in fetal development.
Include okra in your diet during pregnancy, especially during the 4th and 12th weeks when the neural tube develops in the fetus.
Prevents Liver Disease       

Okra helps cleanse the liver and prevent liver disease. It contains substances that bind bile acid and cholesterol to detoxify the liver. It even prevents the accumulation of fats in the liver.
To improve your liver health and prevent disease, include okra in your diet or take an okra supplement after consulting your doctor
 Makes Your Hair Soft and Shiny
The antioxidants and vitamins in okra can help you enjoy well-conditioned, shiny and bouncy hair. It also contains other useful nutrients like copper, zinc, potassium, folate and thiamine that are good for your hair.
In addition, the transparent mucilage in okra works as a natural conditioner and adds life to dull hair.
1.    Put 8 to 10 okras (cut horizontally) in a pot with 1 cup of water.
2.    Allow it to simmer on low heat until you get a sticky texture.
3.    Remove it from the heat, add a few drops of lavender or mint oil and allow the concoction to cool.
4.    Filter the mixture using a muslin cloth and store the filtered content in a bottle.
5.    After washing your hair, apply this homemade conditioner.
6.    Wait 5 minutes, then rinse your hair thoroughly with water.

Eye Health

Okra is a vision booster. It contains vitamin A as well as antioxidant components like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for the eyes.
Vitamin A provides protection to the cornea, lutein protects the eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light and zeaxanthin aids visual development.
Being a powerful antioxidant, okra also destroys or neutralizes free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. Free radicals cause the degradation of cells in the body, including those responsible for vision.
To protect your eyes and reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, include okra in your diet.
Promotes Healthy Skin

 Several nutrients in okra can help keep your skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin C aids the growth and repair of damaged tissues, which affects collagen formation and skin pigmentation. It also prevents acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Being a rich source of dietary fiber, it also promotes smooth digestion, which is another important factor for healthy skin.
1.    Boil 2 cups of chopped okra in about 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes.
2.    Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
3.    Remove the okra pods and mash them with a little jojoba oil or any carrier oil to make a paste.
4.    Apply it to your face and neck.
5.    Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
6.    Use this face mask once or twice a week.

Improves Digestion

Okra is a good source of dietary fiber, which is good for your digestive and colon health. Fiber facilitates proper absorption of water to ensure easier elimination of waste products from the body.
This, in turn, ensures regular bowel movements, which help prevent constipation as well as bloating, cramping and gas.
In addition, the vitamin A content in okra helps the digestive tract function properly.
.Boosts Immunity
Regular intake of okra can give a boost to your immunity. The high vitamin C content helps the white blood cells function properly and develop immunity against infectious agents, reducing episodes of the common cold and protecting your body from harmful free radicals.
Its powerful antioxidant nature also helps strengthen your immunity and reduce episodes of illness. It also helps prevent heart disease, cancer and premature aging.
·         As okra pods may have residue from insecticide or pesticide sprays, wash them thoroughly in water before using them.
·         Okra is readily available everywhere, but choose the organic ones to enjoy the maximum health benefits.

Tags; Okra, Ladies finger, hair conditioner, healthy skin, immunity, blood sugar
Posted By:Donald Jayasundera (Registered Pharmacist)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Best Tea brands in the world

Best Green Tea brand for weight loss 

It was as far back in 1824 British brought a Tea plant from china to Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) and planted in Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya , close to the hill capital Kandy. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered tea in 2737BC. Tea is the most popular beverage,  next to water. Approximately 3 billion cups of tea are consumed daily worldwide. Now the Best Tea brands in the world is cultivated in Sri Lanka


                                                Tea tender leaves
Tea Plant
Until 1860 the main crop in the island of Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon was coffee. But in 1869 a widely spreading fungus killed many coffee plants and estate owners had to diversify to other crops to avoid ruin of the plantations. Some owners of plantations were interested in Tea since 1850 and one James Taylor a recently arrived Scotsman was selected to plant tea in 19 acres of land.
                                                        Tea Plucker

He first made the tea in his home manually and it turned to be delicious. In 1872 he had a fully equipped Tea Factory and in 1873 his first quality tea was sold in London auction for a very good price. Through dedication and determination he was responsible for the success of the tea crop in sri lanka. The three tender leaves of the tea bud is plucked by tea pluckers, mainly female workers and sent to the tea factory for preparation of the drinking tea. Best tea brands in the world are prepared in these factories.

                                              Tea Plantation


Most tea gardens are situated at elevation of 3000-8000 ft above sea level in the up country and Galle district in the south. Until 1971 more than 70% of the country’s tea estates was owned and managed by British Companies. In the year 1971 Sri Lanka government introduced the land reform act which gave state control of majority of plantations. Only about 1/3 small estates were in the hands of private persons.

Finest teas are produced from Tea bushes that grow above 4000 ft above sea level. There are about six main tea producing areas being Galle district, Ratnapura about 90 km from Colombo the capital city, Nuwara Eliya , Dimbulla and Uva provinces.  Best Tea brands in the world are made here.
Tea produced in each area has their own characteristics of flavor, aroma and color.

In China and Japan more  people drink Green tea without sugar, even during meal,s as it helps reduce obesity.  The effects of tea on obesity and diabetes have received increasing attention and  appear to have anti obesity and anti diabetic effects


Green tea, native to China and India and Sri Lanka, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in the US. Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world next to water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green tea.

Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. Regular consumption helps in weight loss.
Tags;  Best Tea brands in the world,Best Green Tea brand for weight loss ,Tea estates, tea, beverage, tea plantations, drinking tea,best tea