Around the world, it is also known as okra, ladies’ fingers, bhindi, bamia, quibombo and gombo — just to name a few. In Trinidad and Tobago we simply call it ‘ochro’.
Available year-round in our backyards and gardens, this sturdy fruit with slimy insides is a nutritional powerhouse and can be enjoyed in many ways — in salads, stews, soups, fish dishes, rice dishes and many more.
Serving Size: 100 grams
Amt. per serving:
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Dietary Fibre: 3 g
Protein: 2 g
Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 8 mg
Health Benefits of Ochro
Ochro is packed with nutrients and minerals. A 100-gram serving contains only 30 calories and zero saturated fats and cholesterol.
Here are a few reasons you should eat ochro:
Fibres: rich in fibres, which improves digestion and heals the bowels. It helps us easily dispose of toxins in the intestines.
- Diabetes: helps reduce blood sugar levels. It stabilises blood sugar by regulating the rate at which sugar is absorbed.
- Pregnancy: ochro is rich in folates, which helps in fetal development. It prevents miscarriage and defects in the fetal neural tube.
- Bones: strengthens your bones and prevents osteoporosis because it is rich in vitamin K and folates, which makes the bones denser.
- Asthma: it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties. All of that prevents the development of asthma and asthma attacks.
- Respiratory problems: the leaves and flowers of are used in treating pneumonia, bronchitis and common cold and flu.
- Constipation: the fibres facilitate proper absorption of water, lubricates the large intestines and ensure bowel movements. This works as a natural laxative.
- Colon cancer: the fibres also reduce the risk for colon and rectal cancer. They clean our intestines tract, while the antioxidants eliminate the free radicals.
- Cholesterol: it lowers the cholesterol levels because it is rich in soluble fibre Pectin. The Pectin lowers the bad cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis.
Skin Detoxifier: it cleans our skin from wastes and repairs our tissue. It prevents skin pigmentation, reduces acne, and prevents psoriasis and other conditions.
- Hair: brings your hair to life; it acts as hair conditioner, it moisturises your scalp while preventing dandruff. Your hair will look shiny and fresh.
- Detoxification: yet another benefit from the fibres; they bind cholesterol and bile acid and eject toxins.
- Immunity: boosts your immune system with the help of the antioxidants and vitamin C and other essential minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and iron. These help your body fight against free radicals.
- Eyesight: rich in beta-carotenes, lutein and xanthine, which prevent glaucoma and cataracts.
- Anaemia: with the help of vitamin K, folate and iron the ochro will help your fight against anaemia. Hemoglobin forms, the blood coagulates, and the production of red blood cells is increased.
- Ulcers: it neutralises acids and speeds up the healing of peptic ulcers by providing a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
- Genital disorders: eat ochro if you want increased sexual potency. The ochro can also improve disorders like gonorrhea, leucorrhoea, syphilis and dysuria and prevents excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Proteins: ochro seeds are rich in proteins, which is perfect for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. They are also rich in oils, amino acids like cysteine, tryptophan, and other.
- Blood network: support your blood capillaries by eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as ochro.
- Probiotics: ochro aids good bacteria thrive in your intestines, which helps for a healthy intestinal tract.
Ochro, Avocado, and Tomato Salad with Chili and Lime Juice
- 1 pound of ochro
- 1 jalapeno pepper (minced; optional: seeded)
- 1 avocado, cut in small dices
- 1 pound of tomatoes, cut in small dices
- ½ cup of chopped cilantro (chardeau beni)
- 5-6 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice
- Optional: 1 small red or white onion, chopped and soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, then drained and rinsed
- Optional: 1-2 ounces of crumbled queso fresco or feta
Trim the stems and tips of the ochro, and place ochro in a steamer with about 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for about four minutes or until it is crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, then slice about ¼-inch thick and transfer to a large bowl.
Mix in the jalapeno peppers, avocados, tomatoes, and onions (optional). Season with salt and toss. Add the lime juice and cilantro and mix well. If desired, serve garnished with the crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese.
Makes four to six servings. It is best to serve this dish immediately.