Health Benefits of Okra Water

Medically reviewed by Aviv Joshua, MS

Okra water is a vegetable-infused drink made by soaking fuzzy green okra pods in water overnight. Proponents of the beverage believe it offers many health benefits, including improved blood sugar management, weight loss efforts, and digestion.

Okra, scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus but more commonly called Lady's finger, is typically grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Historically, people have used okra as a food, appetite booster, astringent (a tightening agent often used in skincare), and more. You can consume immature okra pods as a vegetable or use the extract as a thickening agent for various recipes, such as gumbo.

More recently, okra water has become a popular way to consume the plant and potentially gain some of its benefits. However, while some research supports the health benefits of the okra plant, research on okra water specifically is lacking.

<p>Design by Health / Getty Images</p>

Design by Health / Getty Images

May Support Blood Sugar Control

Although research is limited regarding okra water's effects on blood sugar levels, okra has been used in diabetes treatment for years.

A recent study analyzed the impact of whole okra on various lab values in people with type 2 diabetes. One group of 60 participants took 1,000 milligrams (mg) of okra whole fruit oral capsules every six hours for eight weeks. Researchers gave a separate control group a placebo dose. The group that received the okra capsules experienced decreased fasting blood sugar, blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1C levels.

This type of research leads many people to believe that okra water may help improve blood glucose control. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of research to back such a claim. It's important to determine a diabetes management plan with your healthcare provider and discuss any new additions such as okra water before implementing it in your diet for diabetes.

May Support Weight Loss Efforts

Okra contains many compounds that have been linked to weight loss support. For example, it contains dietary fiber and protein, contributing to satiety, fat binding, and reduced overall calorie intake.

In an animal-based study, researchers administered okra extract to mice with diabetes and found that they lost significant amounts of weight over eight weeks. However, further research is still needed to understand okra's role in weight management, especially involving human subjects.

Okra water is often touted as an aid for weight loss, but research is lacking. However, drinking okra water supports hydration, which may boost the body's metabolism and encourage weight loss.

May Improve Digestion

Okra water offers potential digestive benefits. Okra is rich in soluble fiber, which when mixed with water, creates a gel-like liquid that may support smooth digestion.

While research regarding okra water and the gastrointestinal tract is limited, the vegetable's bioactive compounds have been studied extensively. Mucilaginous, the slimy component of whole okra, is naturally alkaline (non-acidic) and helps neutralize stomach acid associated with peptic ulcers in the stomach and small intestine. It also provides a protective coating in the digestive tract, which can help speed up the recovery process from many gastrointestinal-related concerns.

However, okra water should not replace routine gastrointestinal care recommended by a medical practitioner. You can also meet your fiber needs from a variety of sources. Many foods contain soluble fiber, including apples, beans, carrots, and citrus fruits.

May Improve Skin Appearance

The skin is the largest organ in the body, acting as a barrier between the internal organs and the outside world. A well-balanced diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, is essential for maintaining optimal skin health. Okra contains vitamins A and C, leading some experts to believe that drinking okra water may benefit the skin.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in skin immunity, helping to fight infections and inflammation. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen synthesis and provides antioxidant protection against UV radiation.

One cup of raw okra contains 36 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A and 23 mg of vitamin C, which is 4% and 25% of the Daily Value (DV) respectively. However, it's important to remember that water infused with okra pods will not offer the same amount of nutrients as whole, raw okra.

Nutrition of Okra Water

There are currently no standardized nutrition facts for okra water, as it's a homemade infused beverage. However, raw okra boasts an impressive nutrition profile, providing a significant portion of your daily needs for many vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K, among many other essential nutrients.

One cup of raw okra contains:

  • Calories: 33

  • Fat: 0.19 grams (g)

  • Sodium: 7 mg

  • Carbohydrates: 7.45 g

  • Fiber: 3.2 g

  • Protein: 1.93 g

  • Vitamin C: 23 mg, or 25% of the DV

  • Folate: 60 mcg, or 15% of the DV

  • Vitamin K: 31.3 mcg, or 26% of the DV

  • Magnesium: 57 mg, or 13% of the DV

Okra water will likely contain minimal amounts of these nutrients as you're only consuming an infused beverage and not the whole vegetable. A healthcare provider, such as a registered dietitian, can offer guidance on incorporating okra water into a balanced diet.


Okra water is generally considered safe for most people. However, it may cause adverse reactions in people who are allergic to okra.

Also, okra is considered a high-fructose vegetable. While consuming fructans in moderation is typically safe and well-tolerated, consuming large amounts may cause digestive issues in some people. It may be difficult to determine how many fructans are present in your okra water, so it's best to start with small amounts and notify your healthcare provider of any adverse side effects.

Lastly, okra water may not be an appropriate beverage choice for those with a history of kidney stones. Okra contains oxalates, which are known to contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

Tips for Consuming Okra Water

Okra water is a relatively new trend, so many people are embracing the beverage on a trial-and-error basis.

You can make okra water by soaking okra pods or thinly sliced okra in water overnight. Make sure to refrigerate the okra water while it soaks. In the morning, remove the okra and strain the water before drinking it.

Many people believe that drinking okra water in the morning maximizes its health benefits, but there is no research to back up that claim. Discuss okra water's health implications with your healthcare provider before incorporating it into your routine for potential weight loss or blood sugar control.

You can also enjoy whole okra in many different ways. The pods can be roasted, baked, boiled, pickled, or eaten fresh.

A Quick Review

Okra water is an infused beverage made by soaking okra pods in water overnight. The drink is thought to offer health benefits like reducing blood sugar levels, supporting weight loss, and improving digestion. While whole okra has been linked to these impressive health benefits, there is limited research surrounding okra water and its biological mechanisms.

Drinking okra water can support hydration by increasing water intake, which could offer some health benefits. Okra is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, although it's unclear how many nutrients would remain in okra water. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about the benefits and safety of okra water for you.

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