Here Is What Okra Does To Pregnant Women [Must Read]

I have come to realize that people pay paltry attention to foods that are common or rather cheap. They prefer to buy ones that are expensive while believing they are more nutritious. So is the case of this finger like, readily available vegetable called okra. Sometimes this is a complete misconception.  This versatile vegetable can be added and prepared with other vegetables to suit your appetite. In this short post, I will be sharing with you why pregnant women should include servings of okra into their diets at recommended allowance before and during pregnancy.

The economy of our country has affected everything. Gone are those days when couples plan to get pregnant. Now, they only wake up to visit the clinic to find out from the Medical Doctor that the wife is pregnant without having a serious intention for the unborn baby.

fresh okra

It is essential that prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy, the woman ought to change her eating habits and consume certain foods that help the health of a pregnant woman. One of such foods is Okra vegetable. I have been privilege to work with children with developmental challenges. Asides from other complications which could lead to some of these developmental conditions, lack of folate or folic acid in a woman’s diet can cause Neutral Tube Defects such as Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida. These are not common birth defects but children with these conditions exist. Okra contains a reasonable amount of folate which helps in reducing the chances of a pregnant woman producing a baby with these conditions.

RECOMMENDED READING: Know more about Folic acid & Its Benefits

Besides being high in folate, Okra is low in calories and loaded with plenty vitamins such as A, thiamine, B6, C, riboflavin and minerals such as calcium, zinc and dietary fiber.  The fibre helps in preventing constipation, while the low calorie of the vegetable helps in proper weight management during pregnancy. While no one should lose weight during pregnancy, it is essential to avoid being obese. It is clearly unhealthy.

Ensure you properly wash your okra vegetable to avoid contaminants and you cook them under low heat to avoid loss of nutrients that are essential in the proper development of the foetus.

Okra Nutritional value per 100 g

Energy                             30 kcal 150 kJ

Carbohydrates               7.6 g

Dietary fiber                    3.2 g

Fat                                    0.1g

Protein                             2.0 g

Folate                              (Vit. B9) 87.8g 22%

Vitamin C                        21 mg 35%

Calcium                          75 mg 8%

Magnesium                   57 mg 15%

Vitamin A                      (660 IU)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

Source: Wikipedia

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Oladipupo Abioye
Oladipupo is a Pediatric Nutritionist with Lagos State Ministry of Health. He is an adventurous foodie and loves to teach and render presentations on foods and nutritional topics at different symposia. He loves Messi but Chelsea FC is his baby.


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  1. However, another study has demonstrated that Okra may reduce the fertility rate in a man. The journal and research done by some Nigerian students carried out on rats is online as I speak. So, I no know which one to follow again o! May God see Us thru. Amen

    1. What I can just tell you is that the article talked about its benefits to pregnant women and not men. I am going to leave the question for the author to really answer.

  2. @Ahmed; I understand you and the article. I’m not refuting what the author has written- that is the reason I started my comment with the word “However”. I suppose my comment should serve as a contribution okay.

    1. Thank you for your observation @ nonix. Clearly, there is report that Okra triggers infertility in Men but the reasearches are inconclusive and so cannot be communicated as that. What can confirm to you is the numerous benefits if Okra to pregnant women. Thank you.

  3. a very educative information. i was just hoping there is a twitter handle of facebook profile one could use to follow your daily publications. really appreciate the info. remain blessed.

  4. How about dry okro? Does it have the same amount of nutrients as the fresh one, cos i find it difficult consuming the fresh one.

    1. @Aisha, the process of drying is to extend the shelf life of any food item or to convert them into more stable form for consumption. However, the downside of drying is that most of the water soluble vitamins are lost coupled with minerals. It is better you chose fresh okra. If you prepare it well…..You will definitely love it.

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