Also popularly known as brinjal or aubergine, eggplant is a fruit consumed for its distinctive taste and medicinal properties. Though it is considered a fruit, botanically it is classified under berry, and used as a vegetable in cooking. Eggplants are a rich source of natural vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. This space highlights the health benefits of eggplant.
1. Improves blood circulation
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.
2. 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.
They provide fiber, which protects the digestive tract. In fact, regular intake of eggplants can protect you from colon cancer.
4. 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.
5. Prevents counter pressing (hypertension)
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.
6. Helps keeping diabetes in control
The eggplants are a very rich source of fiber and low soluble carbohydrates. Thus they are highly beneficial for regulation of blood sugar levels and also to control the absorption of glucose. This makes them the best option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
7. Helps in iron production
We all require iron for proper functioning in our day to day life. However, too much of iron in the body is not a good sign. The content of nasunin that is present in eggplant helps remove excess iron from the body. This brings down the risk of getting heart attacks as it damages the existence of the free radicals in one’s system.
8. Helps quit smoking
Eggplant has small amount of nicotine which helps those who want to gradually quit smoking.
9. Anti bacterial properties
The eggplant has good amounts of vitamin C which make it an effective anti-viral and anti- bacterial source.
10. Helps Manage Cholesterol Levels
Studies have been done that have found eggplant to help significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels (the cholesterol in artery walls, and in the aortas), while improving blood flow at the same time (wall of the blood vessels relaxed). These effects were attributed to several terpene phytonutrients found in eggplant, such as nasunin. Free radical formation is also reduced by nasunin, helping protect blood cholesterol from peroxidation.
11. Higher Weight Loss
Any nutrient dense food is great for weight-loss really. All the fiber helps to make you feel full for longer, while also reducing your cravings. Drinking eggplant juice before a meal is even thought to help your body absorb fewer fats. Though I wouldn’t recommend doing this all the time because your body needs healthy fats to function properly.
12. Improves Brain Function
Phytonutrients within an aubergine, as some refer to this vegetable, have been known to increase cognitive ability and benefit overall mental health. By fighting off free radicals, these substances protect the brain against disease and toxins, and also promote blood flow throughout the brain. More blood flow transports higher amounts of oxygen to your noggin, which enhances memory and analytic thought.
13. Beneficial during pregnancy
Folic acid is imperative if you are expecting, because it protects infants from defects within the neural tube. Folate is important to every one’s nutrition, but should especially be increased if you are carrying a baby to protect their brain development as well.
14. Bone Benefits
This powerful plant produces a great amount of copper and Vitamin K, along with phenols, which also help to prevent osteoporosis, increase bone mineral density, strength, and overall bone health. This is because copper maintains collagen formation of connective tissue and bones. The myth of nightshade plants such as eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers triggering osteoporosis has been busted! The oxalic acid present in these foods does inhibit the absorption calcium, but only if consumed every day in high amounts.