Eggplant, or aubergine, is a species of nightshade grown for its fruit. It is related to the tomato and the potato. It was first made into food by humans from wild nightshade species, thorn species, or bitter apple species. Although many people consider eggplants to be vegetables, they are fruits, as they contain edible seeds and are classed as berries. Culinary artists love using eggplant because it tastes different based on how it is prepared and because of its vibrant color. It’s a foodie favorite found in dishes worldwide, from eggplant parmesan to Thai curry to ratatouille. It also works well as a meat substitute, satisfying vegan and vegetarian eaters. This purple delight is not just good for your taste buds, but it can also be good for your health!
Eggplant Nutrition Facts
Eggplants are low in calories and a good source of fiber. One pound (453 grams) of raw eggplant contains the following nutritional benefits:
- 113 calories
- 27 grams of carbohydrates
- 14 grams of fiber
- 4.5 grams of protein
- 0.381 milligrams of vitamin B6
- 2.944 milligrams of niacin
- 0.177 milligrams of thiamin
Moreover, eggplants are a good source of potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, and vitamins C and K. They also contain phytonutrients like nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
Health Benefits of Eggplant
Here are some of the health benefits of eggplants.
Eggplants Promotes Heart Health
Eggplants contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6. These are all known to help lower the risk of mortality from heart disease. Studies have shown that eating these leads to lower rates of heart disease, even in smaller quantities. A recent study showed that people who eat vegetables such as eggplant containing these nutrients have a 34% lower risk of contracting heart disease than those who do not. Eggplant also contains vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and helps prevent calcification of the arteries, preventing dangerous plaque deposits that may cause blockages.
Eggplants May Improve Bone Health
One of the health benefits of eggplant is that it may improve bone health. It is because it contains copper and manganese, both of which are essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones. Additionally, eggplant contains calcium, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth.
Eggplants Lower Blood Pressure
Eggplants contain a red-blue flavonoid plant pigment called anthocyanin, which has been found to help with dropping blood pressure significantly. Lower blood pressure lowers the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and blood clots. Eggplant also contains vitamin E, which is good for treating and preventing chest pain, blocked or hardened arteries, and high blood pressure.
Eggplants May Prevent Some Cancers
Research has shown that eggplants contain polyphenols known for their anti-cancer properties. Eggplants have anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid, which are antioxidants. They fight inflammation and oxidative stress-related damage found in the body. Studies have found that they can prevent tumor growth and help stop the invasion and spreading of cancer cells. Eggplant contains vitamin A, which may be beneficial in treating cancers such as lung, breast, bladder, oral, and skin cancer.
Eggplants Help With Anemia
Eggplants have been studied for their ability to help those who have iron deficiencies. Eggplant has many essential minerals, including iron and copper. These minerals assist in improving the health of red blood cells within the bloodstream. Studies have shown that consuming eggplant if you are anemic can help boost energy and strength and eradicate feelings of exhaustion and worry.
Eggplants are Good in Controlling Diabetes
Eggplants contain a lot of fiber and are low in soluble carbohydrates. One recent study found that a more eggplant-based diet can help manage or prevent type 2 diabetes. More research is needed to back up these figures. Eggplants contain high amounts of alpha-glucosidase and angiotensin compounds that can control glucose absorption. Plus, eggplants have phenols that help insulin break down carbohydrates slowly, which aids in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Eggplants are High in Antioxidants
Eggplants are high in antioxidants. The body’s free radicals are protected from harm by antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to reduce the incidence of various chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
In addition to their brilliant color, eggplants contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant pigment. Anthocyanins found in eggplants include Nasunin. Numerous test-tube studies have shown that it protects cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Eggplants May Also Improve Brain Function
Eggplants are high in phytonutrients, natural plant chemicals that have been shown to improve mental health and cognitive functions. They also shield against free radicals and enhance blood flow to the brain, which delivers oxygen and other nutrients that the brain requires.
Eggplant is also high in B6, which promotes mental wellbeing. Scopoletin, a component found in eggplant, modulates the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain. It may aid in treating depression and anxiety by improving mood and lowering stress. Eggplant is high in B vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. These vitamins help the body manage stress better.
Eggplants Could Help With Weight Loss
Any weight-loss regimen would benefit from eggplants, which are high in fiber and low in calories. Fiber moves slowly through the digestive system, promoting fullness and satisfaction while decreasing calorie consumption.
Raw eggplant contains 3 grams of fiber and just 20 calories per cup (82 grams). Additionally, eggplant often replaces high-calorie components with their low-calorie, high-fiber counterparts.
Eggplants are Very Easy to Add to Your Diet
It is easy to incorporate eggplant into your diet since it is healthy, low-calorie food. It can be baked, roasted, grilled, or sautéed and served with a drizzle of olive oil and a quick shake of salt.
It may also be used as a low-calorie alternative for many high-calorie components. It can help you lose weight while increasing the fiber and nutritional value of your meal at the same time.
Eggplants May Combat Dry Skin and Wrinkles
Eggplants are a good source of biotin, also known as vitamin B7. This vitamin is essential for your skin, hair, and nails health. It plays a role in producing collagen and keratin, two proteins that keep your skin hydrated and free from wrinkles.
Eggplants May Prevent Signs of Aging
Eggplant contains vitamin C, which helps our skin and body from oxidative damage. Vitamin C also inhibits the formation of additional signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.
Eggplants May Boost Hair Growth
Eggplants have enzymes that promote healthy hair growth and can help to repair and moisturize dry, brittle strands. Eggplant is also high in water content, which helps to restore and soften damaged hair. Use eggplant juice to keep your hair’s natural sheen and luster.
Learn more about the 5 types of Eggplant here
Guide to Tasty Eggplant Recipes:
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