8 Excellent Reasons to Eat More Eggplants
I have always been an eggplant lover. I was shocked to hear that the Hindi word for them, ‘baingan,’ is actually derived from another word that means ‘without merit,’ since the eggplant has for long time been misunderstood as a non-nourishing food.
Whoever floated this idea, should be eating their words—and more eggplants! Here’s what the humble eggplant can do to help you live healthier:
• The iron, calcium and other minerals in eggplant supply the essential nutrients required by the body. All this, while relishing a highly flavorful veggie, is a good deal, indeed! Stuff, grill, bake, roast, stew your eggplants—they’re delicious in most avatars!
• Eggplants contain certain essential phyto nutrients which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. But remember—these nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the eggplant, so don’t char and throw it away.
• They provide fiber, which protects the digestive tract. In fact, regular intake of eggplants can protect you from colon cancer.
• Eggplant is low in calories, with just 35 per cup. It contains no fat and its high fiber content can help you feel full.
• For centuries, eggplants have been used for controlling and managing diabetes. Modern research validates this role, thanks to the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content of the eggplant.
• Eggplants have a role in heart care, too. Research studies show they can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. But you must cook them the right way to get these benefits. Fried eggplant soaks up a lot of fat, making it harmful and heavy. Instead, bake it at 400 degrees, which brings out glorious flavor and gives you all the goodness an eggplant holds!
• The heart-healthy benefits of eggplant don’t end with limiting cholesterol. Eggplants are high in bioflavonoids, which are known to control high blood pressure and relieve stress.
• Regular consumption of eggplant helps prevent blood clots—thanks again to Vitamin K and bioflavonoids, which strengthen capillaries.
Health benefits of Eggplant (aubergine)
Eggplant is very low in calories and fats but rich in soluble fiber content. 100 g provides just 24 calories but contributes about 9% of RDA (recommended daily allowance) of fiber.
Research studies conducted at the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University; Brazil suggested that eggplant is effective to control high blood cholesterol.
The peel or skin (deep blue/purple varieties) of aubergine has significant amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that these anti-oxidants have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
Total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of aubergines is 993 µmol TE/100 g. At value 15; they are one of the low glycemic index (GI) vegetables.
It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
Further, this vegetable is an also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium. Manganese is used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte that helps counter pressing (hypertension) effects of sodium.