Okra vs Lady Finger
Okra and lady finger are just two names for the same plant with the scientific name of Abelmoschus esculentus or Hibiscus esculantus. The plant, characterized as a tubular vegetable, grows in warm and tropical areas. It is a common vegetable that can be found in many countries and many marketplaces. It is sold inexpensively and is available in all seasons of the year. This is also easy to plant and is usually situated in backyards.
It is often coarse and hairy when touched. Almost the entire plant can be utilized; its roots, leaves, young pods and seeds can be used in many different ways. The seeds of this plant are large, numerous, white in color, and encased in pods. Seeds are used as alternatives to coffee beans and when pressed as oil. Another unique characteristic of okra is its mucus. The plant becomes covered in mucus when cooked.
The plant is called “okra” in the territories of the United States and the Philippines. Outside of these countries, it has various alternative names which include lady finger.
Okra has many reputable origins, usually naming Africa or Asia as its point of beginning. Okra is usually classified into three common types; the dwarf green, tall green, and the lady finger.
Okra, or lady finger, has a myriad of nutritional and health benefits. Among the vitamins are: Vitamin A, B6, and C. In addition, the minerals found in the plant include: folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. The plant also has a high content of sodium but is low on calories.
This plant can provide many kinds of relief. Some of these can include the relief of constipation, asthma, weakness, exhaustion, and depression as well as ulcers. It is also an indispensable vegetable that helps in the treatment of urinary tract infections, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, summer heat, sore throat, atherosclerosis, lung inflammation, among many other forms of illness.
In addition, okra’s health benefits also include the elimination of toxins and a good method for controlling and normalizing cholesterol and blood sugar. Controlled cholesterol and blood sugar prevents future occurrences of heart attack and diabetes. It also helps in keeping a healthy intestinal tract due to okra’s mucilage. The mucilage provides for the tract’s lubrication and fast elimination of toxins and cholesterol. Another benefit of okra to the intestines is that it promotes probiotics or good bacteria.
The plant produces two kinds of fiber, the insoluble and soluble kind. Soluble fiber helps control cholesterol levels, and the insoluble fiber reduces the risks of colon-rectal cancer. Okra can provide an alkaline environment that neutralizes acids or the high content of acids in the body.
Okra is a constant ingredient in many cuisines, particularly in Asian, Caribbean, and Southern (U.S.) dishes. It is famous as an ingredient in gumbo, a famous dish in the Southern cuisine. In Asian dishes, it also serves as a thickening agent for many soup recipes like curries and vegetable stews.
The vegetable can be an ingredient or served as it is. It can be boiled, fried, sautéed, steamed, deep fried, or pan fried. It can be slimy due to the liquid that oozes from its seeds when boiled or steamed. It also can be prepared or eaten as whole or in smaller portions.
There is only one slight difference between okra and lady finger. Both are names for the same plant bearing the two scientific names. “Okra” is used in the United States and the Philippines while “lady finger” is used as an English name outside those mentioned countries.