Health Benefits of Eggplant

Health Benefits of Eggplant

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What is Eggplant?

Eggplant (Solanum melongena), also known as brinjal or aubergine, belongs to genus Solanum and to species nightshade. It got its name because of its resemblance to the white eggs from hens and geese. Its colors vary from white, and dark purple to green. It is also called guinea squash, melongene.

Some interesting facts about brinjals are
  • They are called mala insana or “crazy or mad apple”.
  • Aubergines are not vegetables but berries.
  • Eggplants contain some nicotine
  • It is believed that brinjal has no positive attributes.

Eggplant Nutrition Facts

Eggplant is a good source of fiber and it contains copper, vitamin (B1, B3, B6, and K), manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate. It contains polyphenols, anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid.

Health Benefits of Eggplant

Supports Brain Health

Eggplant skin contains nasunin, an anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals. It protects cell membranes from damage and protects the lipids or fats in the brain cell membranes. It helps to flush out the toxins and draw the nutrients in. Anthocyanins are known to inhibit neuro-inflammation and aids in blood flow to the brain and nerve cells. It improves memory and reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other cognitive disorders. Eggplants are often cooked by removing the skin, for example, when cooked on the flame or baingan bharta. Eggplant should be consumed along with its skin, whether it is roasted, fried or taken in curry form.

Prevents Heart Diseases

Chlorogenic acid present in eggplant decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels or bad cholesterol. It has been proved that increased intake of anthocyanins lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 make eggplant a heart-friendly food.

Anthocyanins in Eggplant Reduces the Risk of Heart Dieases

Fights Cancer

Eggplants are rich in phenolic compounds that are powerful antioxidants. One of them is chlorogenic acid, which is an effective free radical scavenger. Chlorogenic acid has anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties. The anthocyanins and the chlorogenic acid in eggplants help to prevent tumor growth, the spread of cancer cells and promote cancer cell death. Eggplants are anti-inflammatory, and they protect cells from damage by free radicals.

Aids in Weight Loss

Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable which is also a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fibers in aubergine provide satiety and reduce appetite. Eggplants act as bulking agents in the digestive system. Overall, it helps balance ratio of calorie intake to calorie burn. High satiety makes one consume less calories, thereby aiding in weight loss.

Eggplant Aids in Weight Loss

Strengthens Bones

Eggplant contains some amount of calcium, iron, and magnesium. Phenolic compounds in eggplant are associated with stronger bones, increased bone mineral density and reduced chances of osteoporosis.

Regulates Blood Sugar Level

Eggplant has anti-hyperglycemic effect. Anthocyanins in eggplant function as an antioxidant as well as α-glukosidase inhibitor which inhibit the rise of blood glucose levels in diabetics. Aubergines can lower blood glucose level. Diabetics can safely consume eggplant in moderation. The fiber content in eggplant also helps to keep the blood sugar levels under control.

Prevents Birth Defects

Folic acid is recommended to pregnant mothers as it protects the fetus from the neural tube defects. Eggplant contains folate, which makes it a good dietary option for pregnant women. One cup of eggplant provides about 3% daily value (DV) of folate. Folate is also known as vitamin B-9 and is naturally found in foods. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, available in form of supplements and processed, or fortified foods.

Eggplant Provides Folate For Pregnant Women & Helps Prevent Neural Tube Defects

Caveat: Nightshade species of vegetables contain neurotoxic alkaloids that can trigger a migraine. These include eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Whenever you suffer from migraine, find out whether eggplant was consumed within 24 hours of the headache.

Recipes

Grilled Eggplant Wraps

Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2-4 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • 10-12 basil leaves
For the Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
For the Garnish
  • Roasted pine nuts (optional)
  • Some basil leaves
Cooking Method - Grill

Process
  • Cut the eggplant lengthwise in thin slices of about 5mm each
  • Put them in boiling salted water for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pat them dry and place eggplant slices in a tray. Brush some olive oil on it.
  • Place a slice of tomato on the eggplant, basil leaves and cheese.
  • Add another layer of tomato.
  • Roll this combination into a wrap. Make 4 to 5 wraps.
  • Brush olive oil around the wraps.
  • Cook each side for about 5 minutes in preheated Grill.
  • Dressing – Mix all the ingredients.
  • Sprinkle pine nuts and basil leaves on the wraps.
  • Serve hot with the dressing.

Nutrition Facts for Eggplant

The nutritional values of "Eggplant" per 100 grams are:


Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 25
Protein 1 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 5.9 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 9 mg 0.9 %
Copper, Cu 0.08 mg 4.05 %
Iron, Fe 0.23  mg 1.28 %
Magnesium, Mg 14 mg 3.5 %
Manganese, Mn 0.23 mg 11.6 %
Phosphorus, P 24 mg 2.4 %
Potassium, K 229  mg 6.54 %
Selenium, Se 0.3 mcg 0.43 %
Sodium, Na 2 mg 0.08 %
Zinc, Zn 0.16 mg 1.07 %
Vitamin A 23  IU 0.46 %
Vitamin C 2.2 mg 3.67 %
Vitamin B6 0.08 mg 4.2 %
Vitamin E 0.3 mg 1 %
Vitamin K 3.5  mcg 4.38 %
Riboflavin 0.04  mg 2.18 %
Thiamin 0.04 mg 2.6 %
Folate, DFE 22  mcg 5.5 %
Niacin 0.65  mg 3.24 %
Sugars 3.53 g
Fiber 3  g 12 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 92.3 g
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 14  mcg
Choline 6.9 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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