It’s not known exactly how okra seeds came to the U.S., but the vegetable stems from Africa. Some believe it came via the slave trade in the 1600s. Others think it was brought by traders from Mediterranean ports.
Either way, okra became popular in the American South (and elsewhere, too) — and it’s a good thing, because it has striking health benefits.
Breast Cancer Survivor was told:
Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.
One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)
When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.
She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.
Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for 12 years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”
You can find out more about Bill’s proven cancer treatment plan if you click here.
When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”
He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.
“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”
Three strikes against cancer
from one little vegetable
Known as “Lady’s finger” in some parts of Asia, okra is loaded with fiber and other nutrients. Spreading from its native region in northeastern Africa, it’s now found growing in warm regions all over the globe. One of those places is Brazil, where a study was published earlier this year on okra’s ability to kill human breast cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, and some melanoma cells.
The study, appearing in the journal Biology Letters, elaborated on how a lectin found within the okra pod appears to induce apoptosis, or cell death. This particular lectin not only slowed the growth of breast cancer cells by a whopping 63 percent, it also killed up to 72 percent of human breast cancer cells in an in vitro setting.
We can’t be sure these lab culture results will hold true in live humans, but I wouldn’t quibble, because this is not the only study, nor the only benefit.
In a 2010 study conducted by Dutch and French researchers and published in Phytotherapy Research, the pectin found in okra appeared to be highly effective at destroying metastatic melanoma cells in mouse models. Pectin is found just under the skin of the okra pods, and appears to also slow the growth of cancer cells by 75 percent within 48-hours. Better still, pectin helped ramp up the apoptosis rate of cells by an impressive 23 percent.
There’s more. A particularly interesting population study found that men in the United States who consumed a typical Southern diet, including okra, on a regular basis were 40 percent less likely to get prostate cancer than their non-okra-eating peers. This is fascinating considering the down-home Southern diet, which is heavy in red meat and bacon, isn’t known for its health benefits.
Of course, there may be other Southern eating habits besides okra that provide prostate protection. The problem with large population studies is they can’t identify those factors, among hundreds, that lead to the desired result of better health.
For example, it’s well-known that greater exposure to sunlight, and resulting high vitamin D levels, is a factor in reducing cancer rates among people who live in the South. That may be more important than any of the foods this study looked at.
I still say, “Never mind the quibbles.” Here’s why. . .
Already an established superfood
Okra has a significant amount of Vitamin A and potassium, and is low in calories — depending on how you eat it, that is. The battered and fried approach often taken in the South will add back calories, and unhealthy ones at that. But okra is a versatile vegetable. People often enjoy it in “gumbo” (that signature dish of Louisiana). Okra by itself has zero saturated fats or cholesterol.
If you avoid trashing it with grease and breading, okra is extremely low in calories with just 30 per 100 grams, and it’s a rich source of fiber. Along with that, it’s a great source of calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamins K and C, and several B vitamins.
Fresh pods are especially rich in those B vitamins called folates, providing around 22 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) per 100 grams.
Even more significant, okra has one of the highest levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants of all vegetables. Among its abundant antioxidants are beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein. These plant nutrients can play a major role in keeping you cancer-free.
And it’s not all about cancer. Okra is already well-known for its healing benefits when it comes to a host of other illnesses. For example, okra helps manage diabetes thanks to insulin-like properties that help reduce blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber helps lower serum cholesterol and reduces atherosclerosis and heart disease risk. And okra is a known immune booster, thanks to the high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Tips to select and eat okra
There are several ways to eat this favorite of the South. The pea pod itself can be eaten raw, or you can lightly blanch or steam it. Some people prefer to put it in a stir-fry to reduce the “green garden” taste. Sautee in healthy coconut oil or nut oil for optimum nutrition.
And a good friend of mine likes to pickle okra. It’s easy and you can eat them right out of the jar without further preparation.
But most memorable about okra is the mucilaginous content. If you’ve ever cooked okra in a pot, you’ve experienced the highly-gooey though highly flavorful result I’m talking about.
When selecting okra, always opt for organic when you can. Look for smaller-sized okra over bigger pods. You want the feel of the pods to be crisp and firm – not tender and overly fibrous. Don’t throw away the leaves, either — they make a terrific base for a salad.
On the other hand, in our last issue we wrote about a food that may not be so healthy. If you missed this news, you can read it now, just click here.
Lee Euler, Publisher