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Summer squash vs. Okra — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo David Alanakyan by David Alanakyan | Last updated on May 10, 2021
Medically reviewed by Jack Yacoubian Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Summer squash
vs
Okra

INTRODUCTION

Okra is a vegetable that has edible pods filled with seeds. The pods have a wide range of usages in the culinary world. They can be used in stews, soups, or fried. They originated in western Africa and southern Asia. However, nowadays they are found nearly all around the world. Fresh okras are available seasonally.
Summer squash is vegetables that belong to the squash family. They are harvested when immature and they have similar culinary usage as okras. Summer squash was first cultivated in Central America.

In this article, we will be comparing the nutritional data and health impacts of both okra and squash. 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT COMPARISON

Taking the overall nutrient profile of okra and summer squash, we can conclude that okra is richer in almost all nutrients. Squash is richer in Vitamin B2, B6, and polyunsaturated fats. On the other hand, the nutritional profile of both foods is very similar, although a difference exists while comparing both of them however, these differences are not very significant. It is important to note that, the amounts of calcium and magnesium are remarkably different: Okra contains 5 times more calcium and 3 times more magnesium. Explore the charts below for more details.

HEALTH IMPACT

The impact on health is similar for both foods because of the similar nutritional structure. There is one medical study that involves Okra which showed that Okra extract suppresses oxidative stress and insulin resistance, thus improving blood glucose level. (1)
Both foods are very healthy because of their antioxidant properties, B-complex vitamins, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin content. (2) 

SUMMARY

The foods are not radically different, having a similar price, equal glycemic index, and mineral content, but okra contains 3 times more vitamins A, 1.5 times vitamin E, and 10 times more vitamin K which makes it a better choice in terms of nutrition.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26706676/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278829/
Article author photo David Alanakyan
Education: Foodstruct Founder
Last updated: May 10, 2021
Medically reviewed by Jack Yacoubian

Infographic

Summer squash vs Okra infographic
Infographic link

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains less Sodium -71.4%
Contains more Calcium +446.7%
Contains more Iron +77.1%
Contains more Magnesium +235.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +60.5%
Contains more Potassium +14.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Copper +113.7%
Contains more Manganese +350.3%
Contains more Selenium +250%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 14% 13% 17% 24% 1% 8% 17% 23% 2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 25% 24% 41% 27% 27% 1% 16% 37% 103% 4%
Contains less Sodium -71.4%
Contains more Calcium +446.7%
Contains more Iron +77.1%
Contains more Magnesium +235.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +60.5%
Contains more Potassium +14.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Copper +113.7%
Contains more Manganese +350.3%
Contains more Selenium +250%

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
9
Okra
Contains more Vitamin B2 +136.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +258%
Contains more Vitamin E +125%
Contains more Vitamin C +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +105.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +58.1%
Contains more Folate +106.9%
Contains more Choline +83.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +943.3%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.215
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 12% 3% 0% 57% 12% 33% 10% 10% 51% 22% 0% 4% 8%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 43% 6% 0% 77% 50% 14% 19% 15% 50% 45% 0% 7% 79%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +136.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +258%
Contains more Vitamin E +125%
Contains more Vitamin C +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +105.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +58.1%
Contains more Folate +106.9%
Contains more Choline +83.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +943.3%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.215

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +59.5%
Contains more Carbs +122.4%
Contains more Other +37.1%
Equal in Fats - 0.19
Equal in Water - 89.58
3% 95%
Protein: 1.21 g
Fats: 0.18 g
Carbs: 3.35 g
Water: 94.64 g
Other: 0.62 g
2% 7% 90%
Protein: 1.93 g
Fats: 0.19 g
Carbs: 7.45 g
Water: 89.58 g
Other: 0.85 g
Contains more Protein +59.5%
Contains more Carbs +122.4%
Contains more Other +37.1%
Equal in Fats - 0.19
Equal in Water - 89.58

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +229.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -40.9%
Equal in Monounsaturated Fat - 0.017
30% 11% 60%
Saturated Fat: 0.044 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.016 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.089 g
37% 24% 39%
Saturated Fat: 0.026 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.017 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.027 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +229.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -40.9%
Equal in Monounsaturated Fat - 0.017

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Glucose +134.4%
Contains more Fructose +66.7%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +1900%
2% 43% 55%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0.03 g
Glucose: 0.75 g
Fructose: 0.95 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
19% 33% 17% 31%
Starch: 0.34 g
Sucrose: 0.6 g
Glucose: 0.32 g
Fructose: 0.57 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Glucose +134.4%
Contains more Fructose +66.7%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Sucrose +1900%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Summer squash Okra
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Summer squash Okra Opinion
Net carbs 2.25g 4.25g Okra
Protein 1.21g 1.93g Okra
Fats 0.18g 0.19g Okra
Carbs 3.35g 7.45g Okra
Calories 16kcal 33kcal Okra
Starch 0.34g Okra
Fructose 0.95g 0.57g Summer squash
Sugar 2.2g 1.48g Okra
Fiber 1.1g 3.2g Okra
Calcium 15mg 82mg Okra
Iron 0.35mg 0.62mg Okra
Magnesium 17mg 57mg Okra
Phosphorus 38mg 61mg Okra
Potassium 262mg 299mg Okra
Sodium 2mg 7mg Summer squash
Zinc 0.29mg 0.58mg Okra
Copper 0.051mg 0.109mg Okra
Manganese 0.175mg 0.788mg Okra
Selenium 0.2µg 0.7µg Okra
Vitamin A 200IU 716IU Okra
Vitamin A RAE 10µg 36µg Okra
Vitamin E 0.12mg 0.27mg Okra
Vitamin C 17mg 23mg Okra
Vitamin B1 0.048mg 0.2mg Okra
Vitamin B2 0.142mg 0.06mg Summer squash
Vitamin B3 0.487mg 1mg Okra
Vitamin B5 0.155mg 0.245mg Okra
Vitamin B6 0.218mg 0.215mg Summer squash
Folate 29µg 60µg Okra
Choline 6.7mg 12.3mg Okra
Vitamin K 3µg 31.3µg Okra
Tryptophan 0.011mg 0.017mg Okra
Threonine 0.028mg 0.065mg Okra
Isoleucine 0.042mg 0.069mg Okra
Leucine 0.069mg 0.105mg Okra
Lysine 0.065mg 0.081mg Okra
Methionine 0.017mg 0.021mg Okra
Phenylalanine 0.041mg 0.065mg Okra
Valine 0.053mg 0.091mg Okra
Histidine 0.025mg 0.031mg Okra
Saturated Fat 0.044g 0.026g Okra
Monounsaturated Fat 0.016g 0.017g Okra
Polyunsaturated fat 0.089g 0.027g Summer squash

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Summer squash Okra
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
17%
Summer squash
31%
Okra
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
12%
Summer squash
30%
Okra

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Summer squash
Summer squash contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Summer squash
Summer squash is lower in glycemic index (difference - 13)
Which food is cheaper?
Summer squash
Summer squash is cheaper (difference - $1)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Okra
Okra is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.72g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Okra
Okra is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.018g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Okra
Okra is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Okra
Okra is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Summer squash - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170487/nutrients
  2. Okra - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169260/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.