Okra, to me, brings visions of those green slimey pods a lot of people wouldn’t even consider eating.
However, the okra nutritional value I’ve learned, contains healing properties making okra worth another look.
Okra has been in diets since the ancient Egyptian times of Cleopatra. Having survived through the centuries makes it pretty clear that okra has sustainable value. Combing through its history it was interesting to find out that okra is a nutritional powerhouse.
Okra’s Nutritional Benefits When Added to Your Diet
Not only is it an excellent source of dietary fiber but the okra nutritional value provides benefits of:
- Coating the digestive tract helping to neutralize stomach acids and heal ulcers
- Lubricates the intestinal tract reducing the inflammation that can lead to colorectal cancer
- Since okra absorbs water, it ensures there is added bulk to stools for better digestion
- Regular diets including okra benefit from reduced sore throats and prevention of irritable bowel syndrome and lung inflammation
- Okra lowers risk of diabetes and helps prevent cataracts
- It’s high in anti-oxidants needed for improved skin texture, smoothness and preventing acne
Great Okra Nutritional Value in this Chicken Soup Recipe
With all this good news about the okra nutritional value, I found a simple healthy recipe for chicken and okra soup which is actually very filling and satisfying. This soup recipe using chicken and okra has more than just the okra nutritional value, too.
This recipe also includes butternut squash. If you didn’t already know, the butternut squash health benefits are about as good as those in okra.
Butternut squash is low in fat like a lot of vegetables but is also packed with good dietary fiber which makes it heart healthy.
Like the okra nutritional value, the butternut squash in this chicken and okra soup recipe contains significant amounts of potassium.
Potassium is essential for bone health and vitamin B6 which is needed for the healthy function of our immune and nervous systems.
This chicken and okra soup recipe has become a fall favorite that I hope you enjoy as well.
- 2 cups of shredded, chopped or diced cooked chicken (store bought rotisserie chicken works well)
- 8 cups of low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
- 3 cups of frozen, sliced okra (approximately 10 ounces)
- 2 cans diced, unseasoned tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups of frozen or fresh corn kernals
- 1-1/2 cups of cubed, peeled and seeded butternut squash
- 3 bay leaves, small or 2 large
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large dutch oven or soup pot.
- Bring ingredients to a rapid boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until butternut squash is tender.
- Serve topped with Parmesan cheese, a side salad and a crunchy baguette.
- Flavors improve if made a day ahead and refrigerated.