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Top 5 Benefits Of Eating Okra (Mandhandhi)

Okra, known as mandhandi in Xitsonga is one of the biggest staple foods grown by most Xitsonga people in their households.

It is a flowering plant valued for its edible green seed pods. According to Curejoy.com, okra is “Ethiopian in origin, Abelmoschus esculentus or Hibiscus esculentus is known by many names around the world – okra, okro, lady’s finger (England), gumbo (U.S.), guino-gombo (Spain), guibeiro (Portugal), Kacang bendi (Malaysia), and bhindi, gombo, and bendakai (India). The fact that it even has that many names suggests its global popularity and widespread cultivation. Some people eat it as a vegetable in a salad, broths, stews, stir fry and Xitsonga people have it with pap. As slimy as it may look because of how Xitsonga people cook it, it has numerous health benefits, read below

  1. Lots of nutrients. Okra is known as an effective economical tool for fighting malnutrition because of the Nutrients it contains. These are protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc.
  2. Curbs hunger. Because it is loaded with soluble fibers, you get full quicker and stay full for a long time. This assists in cutting down the number of calories you take and weight loss.
Image: Pixabay

3. Decreases exhaustion. Okra helps delay fatiguing due to the antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids it has, they promote glycogen storage in the liver, a body fuel reserve. Having more glycogen in the liver means you take longer to get tired.

4. Strengthens bones and prevents excessive bleeding. Because of the Vitamin K it has, okra helps in strengthening bones and promoting clotting of blood.

5. Boosts immunity and improves eyesight. Due to moderate levels of vitamin A it has, okra plays a role in encouraging the production of white blood cells; these are key players in your immune system.

Images: Pixabay

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Hlulani Masingi

Hlulani Masingi, also known as Hlulz; is a young, vibrant and witty black South African Tsonga woman with a solid education and seven years media experience. She graduated at the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelors Degree in Media Studies and English Literature and Honours Degree in Media Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in African Languages and Linguistics in the Media at the same institution.

Born in Johannesburg and raised at ka-Mhinga, an underpriviledged village in Limpopo, Hlulani is a determined individual and regardless of her impoverished background, she has a variety of interests that include PR, Communications, Marketing and Events, her passion is Creative Writing. She has always had a strong thirst for knowledge and could already write the word ‘mother’ in her home language at the age of four. She started her first year of varsity at the age of 16. After working as an Online Editor from 2014 until 2017, Hlulani Masingi founded Shangazine – an online title focused on celebrating Xitsonga people’s traditional and contemporary lifestyle.


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