Originally from Africa, okra is now widely used in cuisines such as Caribbean, Creole, Cajun and Indian. It's also known as bhindi or lady's fingers, in reference to the long, elegantly tapering shape. Ridged along its length, the green, slightly fuzzy pod contains rows of edible seeds that release a mucilaginous (sticky, viscous) liquid when chopped and cooked, which has led to it being used to thicken soup and stew recipes, such as Cajun gumbo, but it's also served whole as a side dish. Its flavour is quite subtle, so it benefits from being cooked with strong, spicy ingredients. By eating okra, you can improve your heart health and lower your risk of experiencing oxidative damage and blood clots.