10 Amazing Eggplant Benefits
Eggplant is an unusual vegetable that has a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce symptoms of anemia, increase cognitive function, improve cardiovascular health, protect the digestive system, help lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce stress, protect infants from birth defects, and even prevent cancer.
Eggplants are native to the Indian subcontinent, but are now found throughout the world in a number of different cultural cuisines. In England, the vegetable is called “aubergine”, and it also goes by the name brinjal, melongene, and guinea squash. The purple or black glossy fruit can grow more than a foot in length in wild varieties, though they are considerably smaller in normal agriculture. It reached the Middle East and the Mediterranean region approximately 800 years ago, and was being referenced in England by the 16th century.
There are a number of varieties used throughout the world, and they are included in cuisines in many different ways. It is commonly called the “king of vegetables”, at least in India, as it is one of the most versatile and functional foods in the cultural gamut. It has the consistency of tomato, in terms of texture and density, and it is a perfect addition to soups, stews, sauces, as well as a stand-alone item in many dishes. The best part about the food, it is not only a flavorful and delicious addition to many meals, but also a massively healthy vegetable that can help you live a healthier and happier life.
Nutritional Value of Eggplant
The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from its vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content. Eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K,vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. It is also contains almost no cholesterol, or saturated fat.
Health Benefits of Eggplant
Digestion: Eggplants, like many other vegetables, are great sources for dietary fiber, a necessary element in any balanced diet. Fiber is essential for gastrointestinal health, as well as for the regular movement of the bowels. Fiber bulks up your bowel movements so they pass more easily through the digestive tract, while also stimulating peristaltic motion, the contraction of the smooth muscles that move food through the body. Finally, fiber stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate absorption of nutrients and the processing of foods.
Fiber has also been linked to a reduction in heart disease as well, since it eliminates some of the “bad” cholesterol that can clog arteries and veins, resulting in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Weight loss: Since eggplants contain almost no fat or cholesterol, it is a very healthy food for people trying to lose weight, or battle obesity problems. The fiber content is also very filling, which inhibits the release of ghrelin, the hormone which tells our mind that we are hungry again. By filling us up and reducing our appetite, the chances of overeating are greatly reduced, so weight loss attempts are more successful.
Cancer prevention: Along with the beneficial effects of fiber, eggplants are also great sources of antioxidants, one of the body’s best lines of defense against a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Eggplants contain vitamin C, which is a key part of the immune system, since it stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells. Also, eggplants contain manganese, a natural antioxidant and essential mineral. Finally, your body can benefit from nasunin and chlorogenic acid, two organic antioxidants that are somewhat unusual, but have exhibited inhibitory activity against free radicals, as well as antiviral and antibacterial qualities. Free radicals are the by-products of cellular metabolism that can attack healthy cells and deconstruct the DNA into potentially carcinogenic cells. Having high levels of antioxidants in your body will make sure that organ systems throughout your body are protected from harmful infections and diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Nasunin, which is an anthocyanin, has specifically been linked to inhibiting detrimental behavior in the brain. Free radicals are partially responsible for neural degeneration and the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The studies have mainly focused on the effects of nasunin on animals, but it is very encouraging news for those that suffer from cognitive disorders.
Bone health: There are a number of benefits to bone health that come from eggplants, which is very good for those who are at high risk for bone degradation and osteoporosis. Phenolic compounds are what give eggplants and many other fruits their unique coloration. Phenolic compounds have also been linked to reduced signs of osteoporosis, stronger bones, and increased bone mineral density.