Do You Really Know Your Okra or Okro?

Here in Nigeria we love eating what many of us love calling Okro, which is also called okra.

But on this post the idea is not to talk about what Okro can and cannot do.

Rather the idea is to tell you a bit about it. Some details you don’t get to find everyday.

But which I believe you need as someone onn the healthy living pathway.

Okra is sometimes called

  • Gumbo
  • Ladies Finger
  • Ochro

Place of Origin

The actual place of origin is still a matter under dispute. The three regions below are the contenders.

  • West Africa
  • Ethiopian
  • South Asian

But origin or no origin okra (Okro) is very good for your health one natural commodity that can replace some pills on your shelf.

  • The word okra is from the Igbo ọ́kụ̀rụ̀.
  • The leaves are also eaten raw in salads.
  • Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee .


Raw okra is 90% water, 2% protein , 7% carbohydrates and negligible in fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, raw okra is rich (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) in dietary fiber , vitamin C and vitamin K , with moderate contents of thiamin , folate and magnesium (table).

Okra, Okro,

Now let’s talk a bit about what the disputed origin of Okra.

The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. Supporters of a South Asian origin point to the presence of its proposed parents in that region. Supporters of a West African origin point to the greater diversity of okra in that region.

The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arabic word for the plant, bamya, suggesting it had come into Egypt from Arabia, but earlier it was probably taken from Ethiopia to Arabia . The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb straight to the Arabian Peninsula , rather than north across the Sahara, or from India. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216 and described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal .

From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil . It was further documented in Suriname in 1686.

Okra may have been introduced to southeastern North America from Africa in the early 18th century. By 1748, it was being grown as far north as Philadelphia .

Thomas Jefferson noted it was well established in Virginia by 1781. It was commonplace throughout the Southern United States by 1800, and the first mention of different cultivars was in 1806.

About Felix Brambaifa 322 Articles
Felix Brambaifa is a writer and blogger from Nigeria. The founder of Naturally Healthy People and other niche blogs.

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