Antioxidants in food play a vital role in protecting our body against oxidative tissue damage, neurodegeneration and ageing. The antioxidant properties of food are ascribed mainly to their phenolic contents. Okra has been used as a popular vegetable in many countries including Malaysia and is mostly consumed cooked and less frequently as a salad.  Cooking of vegetables often causes loss in some nutrients, especially of heat labile vitamins. Okra has been reported to contain polyphenols and used as a folk remedy for several ailments. This study was conducted with a view to examine the effect of cooking on the health beneficial effects of okra. Three different cooking methods namely blanching, boiling and backing were used. Total phenolic content was determined by FCR, phenolic constituents analyzed by RP-HPLC, antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH radical scavenging and ABTS radical assay. Most cooking methods except backing increased total polyphenol and overall antioxidant activity compared to fresh okra pod. The pattern of HPLC profile of cooked and fresh pod extracts indicated better polyphenol release on cooking and subsequent breakdown. Thus, it could be suggested that consuming cooked okra would not cause any appreciable loss of antioxidant power and its regular intake thereby might help reduce hyperglycemia, neurodegenerative and hypertensive complications.

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