Using okra water for easy labor and ease in giving birth is something many women have heard; however, there is no scientific evidence supporting this benefit. But okra water does have many other benefits, which makes it great for a pregnancy diet. Using okra water for labor is a great option, and its benefits will be discussed here.
In short, yes it’s safe to drink Okra water for labor. Okra is a strong source of folate, providing 15% of a woman’s daily needs in just one cup (100 grams). It is supported that drinking fresh okra for seven days is a very good option for pregnant women, providing them with many essential nutrients. Okra is a wholesome vegetable pod that is advantageous for pregnancy. Okra is also full of nutrients that are important for pregnancy, including folic acid, fiber, protein, carbs, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene. You may still benefit from all of these nutrients regardless of how you are consuming okra, i.e., pickled okra, charred okra, or boiled okra.
More Benefits of Okra During Pregnancy
Packed with Nutrients
Okra has a remarkable nutritional profile. Okra is a rich source of vitamins C and K1. Vitamin C, a water-soluble substance that helps your body’s overall immune system, contrasts with vitamin K1, a fat-soluble vitamin well known for its role in blood coagulation.
Okra is relatively low in calories and carbs, yet it contains some protein and fiber. Because so many vegetables and fruits don’t have protein, okra stands out. It also contains lectin, the protein that could stop the growth of cancer cells in humans. Concentrated okra compounds have been shown to decrease breast cancer cell growth by about 63%. The prevention of blood clots and reduction of damaging free radicals are two ways that polyphenols reduce the risk of coronary heart disease as well as stroke. Antioxidants found in okra may also benefit your brain by controlling inflammation.
Potentially Lowering the Likelihood of Cardiovascular Disease
High cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Additionally, mucilage, a viscous, gel-like substance found in okra, can bind to cholesterol during digestion and aid in its excretion by the body.
Okra’s polyphenol concentration raises the possibility of further cardiac benefits. A 4-year study involving 1,100 people found that those with a high intake of polyphenols had lower inflammatory cytokines connected to heart disease.
Contains a Lot of Dietary Fiber
Fiber is crucial for reducing gastrointestinal issues, which are quite prevalent during pregnancy. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are abundant in okra. Recent research has shown that soluble fiber reduces diabetes and lowers blood cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber promotes digestive tract health.
Okra has a substantially greater antioxidant content than other green vegetables, according to research published in numerous nutrition publications. The beneficial properties of okra reduce the potential for free radicals to damage DNA as well as other cellular tissues. It has also been demonstrated that a deficiency in antioxidants such as copper, zinc, and manganese may hinder fetal development and increase the risk of cardiac problems and type 2 diabetes in children.
Okra Monitors Your Blood Sugar Levels
Okra is high in fiber, a nutrient that aids in the absorption of sugar. In addition, it has enough magnesium for metabolism and is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes all around.
Rich in Folic Acid
Folate, also known as folic acid, assists in the breakdown of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates inside the body. A half-cup of okra provides 37 mg of the 400 mg of folate a pregnant woman is said to require per day. Folate is important for the development of the unborn baby throughout the pregnancy. The likelihood that a woman’s baby may experience neural tube defects is lower if she consumes the appropriate daily intake of folate.
Okra Boosts Immunity
Because of their higher nutritional needs, pregnant women can lose a portion of their immunity. They may become more prone to various illnesses. Okras are full of vitamin C, a fantastic immune system enhancer. As a result, it can significantly lower the chance of developing common illnesses after pregnancy. Okra’s anti-inflammatory qualities are also widely known. Okra is a food that should be consumed throughout pregnancy to strengthen and improve the immune system.
Any Side Effects?
Even okra has its limitations and can have negative effects on certain people, especially when ingested in large quantities. It is important to be aware of such side effects so that you can try to prevent them as much as possible. Okra consumption has a number of drawbacks, including:
These days, allergies are becoming increasingly frequent. Most people will undoubtedly discover they are allergic to one or more foods. Such allergies can cause rashes, itching, breathing issues, and other reactions. Therefore, it shouldn’t be shocking that certain women frequently experience okra allergies. These allergies could be significantly harmful during pregnancy since they may have an impact on the health of the unborn child. It is strongly advised that you see your specialist before including okra in your daily diet. You should also keep them informed if you have any symptoms that might be allergy-related.
It Might Cause Kidney Stones
Due to its high oxalate content, consuming okra during pregnancy may result in kidney stones. Calcium oxalate is among the most frequently occurring sources of kidney stones. Eating okras, especially in large amounts, might potentially result in the production of kidney stones, as is the case with all oxalate-rich foods.
It Could Result in Inflammation and Other Complications
Solanine is a somewhat poisonous substance that is known to induce arthritis, muscle aches, inflammation, and other health problems. And okra just so happens to contain solanine. Inflammation is already a danger for pregnant women, especially in the final stages. Okra should only be ingested in recommended amounts since excessive use might potentially raise the risk of developing certain illnesses due to solanine concentration.
Okra Consumption During Pregnancy May Result in Digestive Issues
Okra is high in fiber; therefore, when eaten in moderation, it may substantially aid with digestion. However, eating too much of it usually has a negative effect, as is the case with almost any type of food. Because of its high fructan content, excessive okra eating, particularly during pregnancy, might cause more gastrointestinal issues, especially in women with irritable bowel syndrome.
It Could Result in Blood Clotting
Vitamin K, which plays a significant role in blood clotting, is quite abundant in okra. Pregnant women may experience certain unfavorable side effects from this, especially if they use blood thinners like Coumadin.
How to Make Okra Water?
In order to prepare okra water, okra pods and slices are frequently steeped in water for a whole day or even longer. Squeeze any remaining sap out from pods after 8-24 hours, then add it to the water that has been infused. You can also add salt for taste.
- First, take 4-5 Okra pods and wash them properly.
- Then, using a knife, cut okra pods into half.
- Get a glass/cup filled with water and put okras in it.
- The pods should be soaked for over 8 hours; however, you can let them soak in for 24 hours for added health benefits.
- Pull the leftover sap again from the pods and squeeze it into the water.
Your okra water with high nutritional value is ready to be used.
Okra Water and Labor
Okra water is a traditional medicine that has been utilized for ages in a variety of historical civilizations. It is said to lessen discomfort, stop postpartum bleeding, and relieve labor contractions. Okra, sometimes called Hibiscus esculentus or Abelmoschus esculentus, is a tropical plant that thrives in heat and grows quickly may be found in nature all along White Nile, which empties into Ethiopia’s southwest highlands. The roots of okra are a little vague; it originated in Africa and has since moved to the Middle East and India.
Nigerian pregnant women utilize a variety of plant concoctions to shorten labor and lessen discomfort related to childbirth. The precise application of these natural remedies has been learned over many centuries. We still don’t know why or how these plants, such as okra water for labor, truly work. Further investigation is required into the bioactive components, mechanisms, and effects of uterotonic plants or plants that can induce labor contractions.
In one study, nine plants were utilized to help or induce labor by traditional healers in Nigeria. It was shown that all of the plants had a constricting impact on myometrial smooth cells, which are the same muscle cells found in the uterus. Okra wasn’t one of the nine plants examined, though.
Does Okra Water Ease Birthing Process?
Okra is thought to boost the probability of smooth labor and delivery. However, the statement is unsupported by any scientific data.
Okra, nevertheless, has significant health advantages and demonstrates that it is a nutrient-rich vegetable ideal for consumption during pregnancy, despite the absence of studies supporting this claim.
When to Drink/Eat Okra?
Okra water is frequently consumed first thing each morning daily. This, according to supporters, optimizes any possible health advantages.
However, there is no evidence about the claim that drinking okra water in the morning will give more health benefits as compared to drinking it at other hours of the day. You may drink okra water whenever you like.
You should combine okra water with a balanced diet full of foods high in nutrients, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lentils.
Can I Eat Pickled Okra When Pregnant?
Pregnant women frequently have cravings, and many of them yearn for pickled foods. Pickled okra is harmless to consume during pregnancy if prepared properly. Pickled foods, like pickled okra, are can be consumed while pregnant if they are pasteurized and don’t sprout.
This is necessary to make sure the pickles are hygienic and safe for expectant mothers. It’s vital to keep in mind that pickled okra includes salt, and too much sodium can raise blood pressure.
Pick a good low-sodium kind of pickled okra if you intend to eat it. Pregnant women should consume no more than 3000 mg of salt each day.
What Should I Do if I Don’t Seem to like Okra Water’s Taste While Pregnant?
The best vegetable to eat when pregnant is okra. So, don’t worry if you dislike drinking okra water when pregnant. It doesn’t matter how you prepare the okra pods—fried, boiled, masala, etc.—they will still serve the same function. Go ahead and prepare whatever you choose, but try to include it in your regular diet.
Additionally, there is no set period throughout pregnancy that you should consume the okra water; you may consume it whenever you feel comfortable. Even so, you are permitted to omit it occasionally.
There are many okra recipes on the Internet; pick one that suits your preferences and indulge. You may also try my favorite okra dish, okra pickle. However, exercise caution since using too many spices might result in acidity.
Does Okra Water Increase Chances of Vaginal Delivery?
As mentioned above, there is no scientific evidence that okra helps to ease labor pain or increases the probability of having a vaginal delivery. However, it has been traditionally used in many cultures for the same purpose. This does not mean that one should give up on eating it since the mixture of other vitamins makes okra good during pregnancy.
Okra for a Healthy Pregnancy
Okra is a great vegetable for any pregnant woman. With its health benefits, not only is it good for the mother, but it is also great for preventing neural tube defects and birth defects in the baby and for the baby’s immune system.
Additionally, it may be eaten in a variety of ways, including pickled, fried raw okra, and even with water. It is advised that pregnant women make a habit of eating okra at least a few days a week to get better nutrition in the form of fiber, vitamins, and potassium. These nutrients, though not confirmed, can also help in labor.