Healthy Veggie Bio – Okra

How can you tell what is in season right now?  The best and the most convenient way is to stop by the farmer’s market near you.  Recently, the Go Folic! Team went to the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market to find what is in season.  We saw okra in some of the stands.  We went back to the office and decided to do some research on this vegetable.

Okra was first discovered around Ethiopia during the 12th century and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.  It was believed okra seeds came to North America in the 1600s during the Atlantic slave trade.  During World War II, due to the shortage of coffee beans, okra seeds were used as a coffee substitute.  Okra is mostly grown in the southern United States after it was first introduced.  Okra is commonly found in African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Caribbean, and Southern American cuisines. 

Okra is a good source of nutrients including folate, fiber, Vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron.  The high fiber content of okra can stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol.  Because of Vitamin A and folate content, okra can also promote macular and skin health. 

If you always wonder how to cook okra and not make it slimy, check back for tomorrow’s Foodie Tuesday.