Eggplant is one of the most commonly known vegetables, and it is oozing with essential nutrients. These nutrients give eggplants the ability to improve cardiovascular health, protect the digestive system, build strong bones, increase cognition, reduce symptoms of anemia and prevent osteoporosis, among other things. There is more to eggplant than meets the eye. If you want to learn more about this vegetable, give this article a read!
What is Eggplant?
Eggplant is actually a fruit. Native to India but now grown around the world, people use it in various dishes. Depending on where you are, eggplant may also be called aubergine, guinea squash, melongene or brinjal. The purplish black glossy vegetable can grow to be over a foot long, especially in the wild, but they tend to be smaller when cultivated on farms. Eggplants reached the Mediterranean and Middle East about 800 years ago, after which it was introduced to England in the 16th century.
There are many varieties of the eggplants around the world. Even though they’re a fruit, they’re often referred to as the king of all vegetables due to their functionality and versatility. Similar to tomatoes in terms of consistency and density, eggplants make a great addition to sauces, soups and stews. One of the best thing about them is that they are tasty, not to mention how healthy they are for you.
Nutritional Value of Eggplants
The amazing health benefits of eggplants mainly come from the essential vitamins and minerals in them. Studies show that the food is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin K and vitamin C. Not only that, it is also a great source of manganese, potassium, folic acid, dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin and thiamin. Moreover, it contains almost zero cholesterol and saturated fats. Please refer to the figure below to learn more about the nutritional content of eggplants.
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.19 grams||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||3.40 grams||9%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.281 milligrams||6%|
|Vitamin A||27 IU||1%|
|Vitamin C||2.2 milligrams||3.5%|
|Vitamin E||0.30 milligrams||2%|
|Vitamin K||3.5 micrograms||3%|
Health Benefits of Eggplants
Here are some of the most wonderful health benefits of eggplants:
- Helps manage diabetes. Since eggplants have high levels of fiber and low amounts of carbs, they are ideal for managing diabetes. They are also essential for stabilizing insulin levels, which is necessary for avoiding blood sugar spikes.
- Helps improve heart health. Eating eggplants can reduce bad cholesterol. bioflavonoids in it are also essential in reducing stress and strain on the cardiovascular system, thus greatly enhancing the durability and health of the heart.
- Helps improve brain health. Eggplants are known to have a great number of phytonutrients, which help boost cognition and general mental health. Furthermore, the potassium in them acts as a vasodilator and brain booster.
- Helps prevent anaemia. Eggplants are rich in copper, which is a great component for red blood cells. The same goes with iron. Combined, these two are essential in preventing anemia.
- Helps prevent cancer. This is one of the best health benefits of eggplants. There is a great amount of fiber and ample antioxidants in the food, both of which are a great line of defense against any illnesses. These antioxidants fight the free radicals in the body that cause the onset of cancer.
Cautions Against Eggplant Consumption
Eggplant is a member of the nightshade vegetable family, known for causing severe allergic reactions. Still, they are not as common an allergen as tomatoes and bell peppers. Anytime you add a new food to your diet, you should consult with your doctor before consuming large amounts, and pay attention to any unreasonable reactions from your body. When cooking them, don’t fry them! Frying food will cause it to absorb a large amount of fat, so baking it is a better means of retaining nutrients and guaranteeing yourself a long-lasting life!