The eggplant benefits are many! This amazing fruit is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can provide a host of health benefits. Eggplant, or aubergine, is a species of nightshade native to India. Eggplant is a popular ingredient in many cuisines, and is known for its distinct, slightly bitter taste. Eggplant is also a source of numerous vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
The most notable nutrients in eggplant include dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Additionally, eggplant contains several antioxidants that may offer health benefits such as reducing inflammation and protecting against certain types of cancer. So whether you’re looking to add some flavor to your meals or boost your intake of essential nutrients, eggplant may be a good option for you.
What are Eggplants?
Eggplants are a type of nightshade plant that is native to India. The fruit of the eggplant is typically oval or pear-shaped, and it can range in color from deep purple to white. They are a popular ingredient in many cuisines, and they are often used as a meat alternative due to their hearty texture.
They are a good source of fiber and antioxidants, and they have been shown to have numerous health benefits. For instance, eggplants have been found to lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. They are usually cooked before being eaten, as they can have a bitter taste when raw. When cooked, eggplants are often used in dishes such as ratatouille, moussaka, and caponata.
Eggplants come in many different varieties, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Depending on the variety, eggplants can be small and round, or long and slender. They can be deep purple, lavender, green, white, or even striped.
There are seven main types of eggplant that are harvested and made available throughout most “Western” countries, including the most popular types, the Italian (purple oval) and small Japanese eggplant.
Some eggplant varieties include:
- Japanese/Chinese eggplant
- Italian eggplant
- Western or globe
- Graffiti/Sicilian eggplant
- White eggplant
- Little green eggplant
- Indian eggplant
- Thai eggplant
- Black beauty
- Black magic
- Little fingers
- Slim Jim
The health benefits of eggplant nutrition seem to be consistent across the different types, with the exception of the variety known as “black magic” eggplant. This strand, which is sold commercially in U.S. markets, is known to have the highest concentration of certain phytonutrients and may offer additional antioxidant properties not found in other types.
While all eggplants are edible, some varieties are better suited for certain dishes than others. For example, slender Japanese eggplants are often used in stir-fries, while larger globe eggplants are often used in baked dishes. To get the most flavor from your eggplant, choose one that is ripe. Ripe eggplants will be firm to the touch and will have shiny skin. Avoid eggplants that are soft or have brown spots. When storing eggplants, place them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. This will help to keep them fresh for up to a week.
Eggplant benefits and eggplant nutritional data
They are nutrient-dense food, providing a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and manganese.
They are also low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain phytonutrients that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These nutrients include phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids and anthocyanins.
100 grams cooked – boiled Eggplant contain the following nutrients:
- 35 calories
- 8.7 grams carbohydrates
- 0.23 grams fat
- 0.83 grams protein
- 2.5 grams fiber
- 0.086 milligrams Vitamin B6 (7% of RDI)
- 0.076 milligram Vitamin B1 – thiamin (7% of RDI)
- 0.11 milligrams manganese (6% of RDI)
- 123 milligrams potassium (5% of RDI)
- 14 micrograms Vitamin B9 – folate (4% of RDI)
- 11 milligrams magnesium (4% of RDI)
- 0.6 milligrams Vitamin B3 – niacin (4% of RDI)
- 2.9 micrograms Vitamin K (3% of RDI)
- 0.25 milligrams iron (3% of RDI for men, 1% of RDI for women)
- 0.41 milligrams vitamin E (3% of RDI)
- 1.3 milligrams Vitamin C (2% of RDI)
- 0.02 milligrams Vitamin B2 – riboflavin (2% of RDI)
- 15 milligrams phosphorus (2% of RDI)
- 0.075 milligrams Vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid (2% of RDI)
- 0.12 milligrams zinc (2% of RDI)
- 6 milligrams calcium (1% of RDI)
- 37 IU Vitamin Α (1% of RDI)
- 0.059 milligrams copper (>1% of RDI)
- 1 milligrams Sodium (>1% of RDI)
- 0.1 micrograms Selenium (>1% of RDI)
- 22 micrograms Carotene, beta
Health benefits of eggplants
Eggplants are nutrient-dense food that offers several health benefits. They are an excellent source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion and prevent constipation. They are also a good source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. In addition, eggplants contain phytonutrients that have been shown to protect against certain types of cancer. And research suggests that the antioxidants in eggplants may help improve heart health. Given all of these health benefits, it’s no wonder that eggplants are a staple in many nutritious diets.
1. Promotes weight loss
One of the health benefits of eggplant is that it can promote weight loss. It is high in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and can promote feelings of fullness. Also, it is low in calories and fat, making it a good option for those looking to lose weight.
Eggplant contains a compound called nasunin, which has been shown to inhibit the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. Therefore, including eggplant as part of a healthy diet could help to reduce caloric intake and promote weight loss.
2. May improve bone health
Eggplant is a good source of several minerals that are important for bone health, including potassium, calcium, and manganese. Potassium and calcium work together to promote strong bones and increase bone mineral density. Manganese is also necessary for the formation of a healthy bone structure. It helps with the metabolism of calcium and the creation of enzymes that are essential for strong bones. Eggplant is a low-calorie food that is also high in fiber, making it a great choice for those who are looking to improve their bone health.
3. Contains powerful antioxidants with an anti-inflammatory effect
Eggplant Contains powerful antioxidants with an anti-inflammatory effect. These antioxidants work by preventing the formation or damage of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Inflammation is a contributing factor to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. By consuming foods that contain antioxidants, we can help reduce the amount of free radical damage and prevent these diseases. Eggplant is a good source of antioxidants, specifically the anthocyanin antioxidant nasunin. Studies have shown that nasunin is effective in reducing the risk of inflammation-related illnesses and in preventing cellular mutation and oxidation.
More specifically, play a role in protecting against lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and cell death. Nasunin has been shown to bind to metal ions such as lead, arsenic, and mercury, making them more absorbable by the body and aiding in detoxification. Studies have also demonstrated that eggplant skin contains other beneficial natural plant compounds like phenolic acids and flavonoids, which provide additional protection against oxidative stress and cell damage.
Antioxidants like nasunin are important for helping cells receive and use nutrients from food and for eliminating waste. When the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants, toxins and waste can build up, leading to diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. Therefore, consuming eggplant regularly may help to reduce inflammation and protect against various chronic diseases.
4. May help in the management of diabetes and balance blood sugar levels
Eggplant has been shown to help in the management of diabetes and balance blood sugar levels. The skin of the eggplant contains a compound called nasunin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Nasunin has been shown to protect cells from damage, and it also helps to balance blood sugar levels. In addition, eggplant is a good source of fiber, which helps to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Eggplant has been shown to have anti-hypertensive effects and can improve heart health due to its ability to fight inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to healthier arteries and more balanced cholesterol levels. Eggplant nutrition has been shown to reduce plaque buildup in the main arteries and improve circulation. Consuming eggplant is correlated with balancing the amount of cholesterol in your blood vessels and improving blood flow.
In addition, some studies have shown that eggplants contain cardio-protective compounds, based on their ability to increase left ventricular function and reduce apoptosis.
As a result, eggplant may help to reduce the risk of diabetes, improve blood sugar control and be beneficial in maintaining healthy normal cholesterol levels.
5. Improves memory and brain function
Eggplants are not only delicious, but they also offer a host of health benefits. One such benefit is their ability to improve cognitive function and memory. This is due to the presence of phytonutrients and compounds like scopoletin and nasunin, which have been shown to protect brain cell membranes and improve blood flow to the brain. Additionally, eggplants are a good source of B vitamins, which can help the body to manage stress more effectively. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your brain power, consider adding eggplant to your diet.
6. Eggplants are good for digestion
Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system functioning properly. Adequate fiber intake helps to keep bowel movements regular and prevents constipation. Fiber also helps to bind together toxins and excess cholesterol, helping to remove them from the body.
In addition, eggplant contains water and electrolytes, which are essential for keeping the digestive tract hydrated. These nutrients help to keep the colon clean and prevent intestinal blockages. Eggplant is also low in calories and fat, making it a healthy food choice for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Including eggplant in your diet can help to improve your digestion and overall health.
7. Boost hair growth, combats dry skin and prevents skin cancer
Eggplant is a nutrient-rich vegetable with many benefits for skin and hair health. Its healthy enzymes stimulate follicle hair growth, resulting in thicker, healthier hair. In addition, eggplant is high in B vitamins, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. These vitamins work to protect the skin against free radicals and improve overall skin health. Eggplant is also effective in treating various skin problems such as acne and dermatitis. Furthermore, its high vitamin C content helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
Eggplant extract is a highly concentrated cream that has been clinically proven to help fight skin cancer. The 10 percent concentration of solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC) in the cream helps to attack cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. In addition, eggplant extract helps to protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation. As a result, this natural remedy can be an effective way to prevent skin cancer.
8. Prevents cancer
Eggplant contains many cancer-fighting ingredients like anthocyanins, solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides and chlorogenic acids which have proven cancer-protecting properties. Chlorogenic acid is especially effective at inhibiting cancer formation and preventing cancer growth. Chlorogenic acid has antimicrobial, viral, antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering properties, making it a powerful weapon against cancer. So next time you’re looking for a healthy and delicious addition to your meal, reach for the eggplant!
What to look for when buying Eggplant?
While eggplant is a delicious and versatile addition to any kitchen, it can be tricky to choose the perfect one at the grocery store. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for eggplant.
- Look for a fruit that is smooth and firm with glossy skin. Avoid any eggplant that is bruised or has brown spots.
- Smell the eggplant; it should have a faint, earthy aroma. If it smells unpleasant, it is likely past its prime.
- Check the stem; if it is brown or withered, the eggplant is probably old.
- Consider the size of the eggplant. If you are planning on using it in a dish that requires slicing, then you will want to choose a larger fruit. However, if you are looking for something to roast or grill, then a smaller eggplant will be more suitable.
- Take into account the color of the eggplant. The most common variety is deep purple, but you can also find white and even green eggplants.
Choose whichever color you prefer or whatever looks best in your dish. With these tips in mind, you can select the perfect eggplant every time.
When it’s Best?
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, from ratatouille to eggplant parmesan. While it is available year-round, eggplant is at its peak from August to October. During this time, the fruit is firm and has a glossy skin. The flesh is also moist and has a delicate flavor.
Eggplant is best when it is harvested at the peak of ripeness. For the best flavor, eggplant should be picked when it is deep purple in color and feels soft to the touch. Once picked, eggplant can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a week. When selecting eggplant at the store, look for fruit that is heavy for its size and has smooth, shiny skin. Avoid eggplant that is soft or bruised.
Eggplant can be stored at room temperature or slightly cooler, but doesn’t necessarily need to be refrigerated. It can stay out at room temp for several days after being harvested. To extend its shelf life,wrap it in a paper towel and place in a reusable container or plastic bag. This will keep the eggplant fresh for about a week. Some people find that they can store eggplants for two to three weeks in a cool place before they start to spoil. Freezing eggplant can alter the texture and cause the veggie to become waterlogged, so this isn’t usually recommended.
Healthy ways to eat eggplants (Recipes)
Eggplants are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Cook eggplant in a healthy way by roasting, grilling, or baking them.
- Add them to soups: Soup is a great option for those looking to lose weight, as it is filling without being high in calories. Eggplant soup is especially satisfying, as the eggplant provides a thick texture that can help to curb hunger. Eggplants can be used in many different types of soup, including minestrone and vegetable soup. For a complete meal, eggplant soup can be served with bread or crackers.
- Use them as sandwich stuffing: Roasted eggplant slices make an excellent choice for a meat-free sandwich. The eggplant can be seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roasted until tender. The roasted eggplant slices can then be served warm or cold on bread with lettuce, tomato and onion. For a vegan option, replace the mayo with avocado spread.
- Bake in the oven: Baking eggplant is a simple and quick way to get them cooked. Slice them in 1/2 pieces and brush them in olive oil. Then put them in a 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 15-20 seconds. Turn eggplant pieces halfway into cooking time to ensure golden brown on each side. Serve with or without sourdough dressing. This method is perfect for those who want to enjoy eggplant but don’t have the time to prepare a complicated dish. The result is a delicious and healthy meal that can be enjoyed any day of the week.
- Grill in foil: Grilling eggplant with foil is an excellent way of maintaining eggplant flavours. Slice eggplant in half and spread barbecue sauce on every piece, making sure it is covered with sauce. Cover each eggplant piece with foil and grill for 20 minutes on high-temperature. This easy grilling method will leave your eggplant juicy and flavorful.
- Grill it on skewers: For best results, slice the eggplant into rounds or wedges and then thread onto skewers with other complementary ingredients such as onions, peppers, mushrooms and pineapple. Tofu is also a great option for adding extra protein. When grilling, cook the skewers on high heat for 8-10 minutes per side.
- Make dip out of them: Roasted eggplant makes a delicious and healthy dip. To make it, simply slice the eggplant into pieces and roast in olive oil, garlic powder and pepper for 45 minutes. Then purée in a food processor until smooth. Serve with freshly prepared vegetables and crackers for a nutritious and satisfying snack.
- Make stew: To make a stew with eggplant, simmer chunky eggplant pieces in tomato soup and vegetable broth. This makes for a healthy vegetarian meal. Remove the eggplant from the soup and serve it over rice. Add a bit more cayenne pepper before serving, if desired. This dish can easily be tailored to your taste preferences.
Risks and Side Effects
Eggplants (Solanum melongena) are a member of the nightshade family and related to tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. While they are safe for most people to eat, there are some risks associated with consuming them. For example, eggplants contain solanine, a compound that can cause poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Additionally, eggplants may contribute to the formation of kidney stones in some people.
Eggplants also contain an allergy-causing component known as lipid transfer protein, which can trigger reactions such as difficulty breathing, swelling, and hives in some people. In rare cases, eggplants may even cause anaphylaxis. If you believe you may be allergic to eggplant, it is advised that you speak with a doctor before consuming it.
Finally, a phytochemical called nasunin is present in eggplants. Nasunin binds to iron and removes it from cells – a process known as iron chelation. While this property of nasunin is beneficial in terms of preventing iron overload, it may also lead to anemia if someone does not consume enough iron-rich foods. Therefore, it is important to speak with a doctor or dietitian before making eggplant a regular part of your diet, especially if you are at risk for anemia.
Despite these risks, eggplants can be a healthy and delicious addition to the diet.
Eggplant is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different dishes. It is also packed with nutrients that can offer various health benefits. For example, eggplant is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect cells from damage. It is also a good source of fiber, which can promote digestive health. Additionally, eggplant contains compounds that may help to lower cholesterol levels. Overall, eggplant is a nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.
By NutriWins team