Eggplant and its Health Benefits

 

Eggplant also known as “Garden Egg” contains many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to one’s health. Eggplants are not as popular as other vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce, but they are nutritious and therefore good for one’s health. The nutrients found in eggplants not only promote good health, but also help prevent health problems such as cancer. Nutritionists advised that People should include eggplant in their daily diet, because it provides various health benefits and it is a good source of nasunin, chlorogenic acid, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Eggplants provide many health benefits that cannot be provided by other vegetables. For instance, nasunin is only found in eggplants and cannot be acquired from other vegetables. Eggplants are low in carbohydrates and calories, and do not contain fats, so they can easily be included in one’s daily diet without the fear of gaining weight. Eggplants can be cooked in various ways and make excellent side dishes. Many health experts agree that one cup of eggplant per day will help keep diseases and health problems away.

While eggplants don’t have an overwhelming supply of any one nutrient, they do contain an impressive array across the board of many vitamins and minerals, such as excellent amounts of fiber, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.

Studies indicate that eggplant has a number of health benefits from all these ingredients, as well as traditional uses. Sometimes, the leaves and roots are juiced or boiled to make a tonic for throat and stomach troubles, asthma, skin diseases, rheumatism, inflammation, intestinal hemorrhages, foot pain, coughs, anorexia, toothache, or as a general stimulant.

Modern-day scientists found that the Black Magic variety of eggplant contains nearly three times the amount of antioxidant phenolics they found in other eggplant types. Phenols are known to be one of the most powerful free radical scavengers, which can prevent cancer development and heart disease, but it’s these very attributes that give eggplants a slight bitter taste.

Another study found that anthocyanin phytonutrients in the skin of eggplants, called nasunin, is a potent antioxidant that zaps free radicals and protects the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes from damage.

One interesting aspect of eggplant is its shady connections, since it’s a member of the nightshade family of plants with tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers, as well as chili peppers, habeneros, jalapenos, and paprika. Many nutritionists caution that too many servings of eggplant might cause problems. In fact, ancient Mediterranean people reportedly nicknamed it “mad apple,” believing that eating eggplant every day for a month would cause insanity.

 

Eggplants and its Health Benefits

Heart health

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease. Consuming even small quantities of flavonoid-rich foods may benefit human health.2

Blood cholesterol

Research on the effects of eggplant consumption in animal studies has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.

Cancer

Polyphenols in eggplant have been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and in turn prevent tumor growth and invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.

Cognitive function

Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin within eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lipids comprising cell membranes in brain cells from free radical damage. It has also been proven to help facilitate the transport of nutrients into the cell and wastes out.

Weight management and satiety

Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. Since eggplant is already low in calories, it makes a great part of a healthy, low-calorie diet.

CAUTIONS:

Eggplants also contain oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can lead to acute oxalate nephropathy or even kidney death. Consuming foods containing oxalates, such as eggplant, is not recommended for those prone to kidney stone formation, and it is suggested that those suffering from kidney stones limit their intake of oxalate-containing foods.8

It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

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