It can be cooked raw and in ripe state. The most common variety of eggplant is the one that is oval & purple. The shapes and sizes vary and so does the taste. The cooking method also depends on the size. Some eggplants are also elongated. The colors of the vegetable vary from purple, white, yellow, reddish-purple and dark purple.
They belong to the nightshade family of vegetables that is tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers. Although the taste may vary, they commonly have a distinctly bitter taste and a spongy texture from within. The seeds are round, white and they are edible. There are many other names for eggplant like brinjal, melongene, garden egg, guinea squash and aubergine. It is botanically defined as a berry.
If only mommies could make this vegetable in a yummy way, their kids are in for a delight filled with nutrition and energy. Eggplant is low in fat, high in protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. It also has significant quantities of minerals. Some also complain of allergies on the skin, mouth, headache and stomach upset.
10 Best Health Benefits Of Eggplant
Eggplants can be cooked in many different delicious ways, and you can still get the benefits of the nutrients loaded in it. Nutrients in eggplant are vital in many ways. They are highly essential for the overall growth of the body.
1. Dietary Fiber
Fiber is very important to maintain proper bowel movements of the body. It also protects the digestive track by making their function easier. It is also revealed in some studies that regular intake of dietary fiber through eggplant can reduce your chances of colon cancer.
2. Weight Gain Control
Many foods that do promise a good amount of nutrients also come with a great load of calories. However, in the case of eggplant, it is low in calories and high in nutrition. One cup of brinjal has only 35 units of calories, which is nothing. Note this point all those beautiful boys and girls who work out hard to lose a few pounds. Those fighting obesity problems need to consume eggplants regularly.
The fiber in eggplant is unique as it stops the release of a hormone called as ghrelin. This hormone tells the mind that your stomach needs foods. So eggplants work in a two-pronged step, they fill your tummies and reduce the urge to eat food. So eventually, you end up losing a few more pounds without actually doing a lot of hard workouts.
3. Improves Blood Circulation
The phytonutrients in eggplant are essential when it comes to improving blood circulation. By improving the blood circulation, it also provides nourishment to the brain, which is the ultimate caretaker of our body. But to get all these benefits, you must make sure that the skin of your eggplant is also cooked. The phytonutrients are located in the skin of the eggplant. So don’t char them away and throw it away.
4. Heart Care
One might think that fried stuff is pleasing to the palate, but in the case of eggplants, if you know the right way to cook it – by blending the right spices, even baked eggplants a delicacy to serve. Baked eggplant gives away glorious flavor and keeps the goodness of its nutrients intact. It does not lower bad cholesterol, but they are also a storage house for bioflavonoids, which control blood pressure, it is especially useful for those being treated for high blood pressure.
It also relieves stress and makes your heart happy and healthy. Low in calories and high in fiber is always good for the heart and this is exactly what eggplants are. They not only reduce the intake of bad cholesterol but on the contrary also increase the intake of good cholesterol. The bioflavonoids in eggplants are great for reducing blood pressure. They reduce the strain and stress on the cardiovascular system and greatly improve the health of your heart.
5. Good For The Blood
Food that is good for the heart is also good for the blood. The good amount of iron, bioflavonoids and vitamin K strengthens the capillaries and improves your hemoglobin count. If regularly consumed, eggplants can go a long way in preventing blood clots. Deficiency of iron in the blood can be very dangerous for the overall health of the body.
It can lead to weakness and worse anemia. Anemia is a condition wherein the red blood cells in the body are far less than the required amount. Also, the early signs of anemia are fatigue, headaches, migraine, weakness, depression and cognitive malfunction. Due to anemia, you may not be able to focus on your everyday routine, and this will affect your personal and professional life as well.
A decent amount if iron is required to keep away from anemia and a decent amount can be found in eggplants. They are also rich in copper, which works together with iron to keep the count of red blood cells enough for the bodily functions. Without these, your red blood cells count will drastically decrease. With enough red blood cells, one can experience a boost in the body and reduce the feelings of stress or fatigue.
6. High Quantity of Minerals
Eggplants contain calcium and other essential minerals like copper, magnesium, manganese, folate, potassium, phosphorous, thiamin, niacin and various fatty acids. Although the body needs the in small quantities, they are required for the normal functioning of the organs.
7. Healthy for Diabetic Patients
Since age old days, eggplants have been known for controlling and managing diabetes. The high fiber content and the low soluble carbohydrates in the vegetable make it a healthy food for those suffering from high sugar in their blood.
It regulates the glucose in the body and the insulin activity. Once the insulin quantity in the body is managed, the body can naturally control the sugar level in the blood and stop the sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Once you can control the sugar spike, it is easier to avoid the other dangers of diabetes.
8. Cancer Control
Being a rich source of antioxidants, eggplants act as the best line of defense against various diseases and conditions. White blood cells are the reason for a better immunity system in the body, a good number of white blood cells helps defend various viruses and bacteria.
Eggplants can stimulate the growth of these white blood cells because eggplants have a rich source of vitamin C in them. The manganese in eggplant is a natural antioxidant and also an essential mineral. Free radicals need to be dealt with efficiently so that they do not cause any further damage to your skin or internal organs too.
The two organic antioxidants found in eggplants Nasunin and Chlorogenic acid have exhibited strong fighting power against the free radicals. They also have antibacterial and antiviral properties as well. Free radicals are formed due to the cellular metabolism.
They are the by-products that attack the healthy cells and deconstruct the DNA into potential carcinogenic cells. Carcinogenic cells are cells that cause cancer in the body. By fighting free radicals, the high content of anti-oxidants in the eggplants go a long way in preventing cancer.
The antioxidants make sure that all your body organs function properly and also provide with a protective cover against harmful infections and diseases which also include cancer and heart disease.
9. Cognitive Skills
The brain is a highly important body part, and so it is protected naturally protected by a hard skull. However, from within, the brain can be attacked by many things. Many negative components can fight the brain from within, and eggplants can defeat such attacks.
To be specific, nasunin is an anthocyanin and has been linked by several studies to inhibit detrimental behavior in the brain, which means it can stop the negative behavior in the brain. Free radicals are also responsible for neural degeneration and also commonly found in old people, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
These are related to the neural cells and your brain. If not immediately but eggplants can tackle such neural damaging free radicals and provide you relief when you get wrinkled. The studies of effects of Nasunin on the brain, until date have been focused only on animals but the results are positive. It is good news, especially for those who suffer from cognitive disorders.
The phytonutrients are also known to boost the cognitive activity of the brain and also for general mental health. They do not just fight against the free radicals, which are a primary cause of concern when we talk about the various cognitive disease, but they keep your body and brain away from toxins and another such disease.
It increases the blood flow in the brain, thereby, keeping the brain active. Eventually, your memory power and analytical thoughts are enhanced. The potassium in brinjal also acts as a vasodilator, which means that it widens the arteries and veins so that there is no increase in blood pressure. It is for this reason that many call eggplants as the “brain’s superfood”.
10. Strong Bones
Our skeleton is the framework of our body. If the bones are healthy, you will never face any problem even if you grow old. Eggplants play a major role in keeping your bones healthy, especially for those who are at high risk of bone degeneration or osteoporosis. The phenolic compounds found in eggplants and many other fruits are given them their distinct color.
These same compounds can reduce signs of osteoporosis and give you stronger and healthier bones. They also improve your bone density. Eggplants are also known to have a good amount of iron and calcium in them, which are natural building blocks for the bones within us.
Although you might take in food with plenty of calcium, for example, milk, it is important that your body can absorb all that calcium. The amount of potassium found in eggplants also triggers good health of the bones as it increases the intake of iron and calcium, making eggplants significantly effective and an overall healthy food for healthy bones.
Now that you know the benefits of eggplant, be sure to include it in your diet as much as possible. While choosing an eggplant, make sure that it is firm and free from worms. While checking for worms, you can see the vegetable from outside and search for spots. It should also not be very large.