Nutrition & Diet

Discover the Health Benefits of Eggplant

Egg plants are fruits originally native to the Indian subcontinent and are now found throughout the world in different cuisines. In England, egg plants are known as aubergine. Other names egg plants are called include brinjal, melongene, and guinea squash.

These purple or black glossy fruits can grow more than a foot in length. In wild varieties though, they are considerably smaller in normal agriculture. The different varieties of egg plants are used throughout the world and are included in cuisines in many different ways. Even though egg plants are fruits, they are commonly called the king of vegetables in India as they are one of the most versatile and functional foods in the cultural gamut. Egg plants have the consistency of a tomato in terms of texture and density and they are a perfect addition to soups, stews and sauces.

The best part about these wonderful foods is that they are not only a flavorful and delicious addition to many meals, but also a massively healthy inclusion that can help you live a healthier life. There are different shapes, sizes and colours of egg plants. The sizes and shapes vary from small to long to thin and the shades vary from purple to white and green, although the purple is more known.

Egg plants don’t have an overwhelming supply of one nutrient but they do contain an impressive array of nutrients across board of many vitamins and minerals such as excellent amount of fibre, folate, potassium, and manganese as well as vitamin c, vitamin K, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamine, niacin and magnesium.

Fast Facts on Egg Plants

  • Egg plants come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes.
  • The anthocyanins in egg plants may protect the heart.
  • Nasunin in egg plants can help improve blood flow to the brain.
  • Cooking methods of egg plants include steaming, roasting, boiling, baking, or frying but steaming appears to preserve antioxidant levels more effectively.

Nutritional Content 

One cup of Cooked egg plants weighing about 99grams contains

  • 35 calories
  • 0.82g of protein
  • 8.64g of carbohydrates
  • 0.23g of fats
  • 2.5g of dietary fibre
  • 188mg of potassium
  • 6mg of calcium
  • 1mg of sodium
  • 0.12mg of zinc
  • 1.3mg of vitamin c
  • 0.25mg of iron
  • 11mg of magnesium
  • 15mg of phosphorus
  • 14mcg of folate
  • 65mcg of vitamin B6
  • 2.9mcg of vitamin K

Egg plants also contain flavonoids such as anthocyanins which are water soluble pigments that have many health benefits. This is what gives the egg plant it’s well known dark purple colour.

SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF EGGPLANTS  

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Heart Health 

The fibre, potassium, vitamin c, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content in egg plants all support a healthy heart. In addition, anthocyanins have been found to provide lower risk of mortality from heart disease, according to a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) in 2000.

COGNITIVE FUNCTION: Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin in the eggplant skin is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell  membranes from free radical damage. it also assists in the transport of nutrient into the cell  and moving waste out. Research has also show that anthocyaning help prevent neuroinflammation  and facilitated blood flow to the brain. this could help improve memory and prevent age related mental disorders.

Weight Management and Satiety 

Dietray fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss because they act as bulking agent in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite. They help reduce calorie intake by making a person feel fuller for longer. Eggplant is already low in calories so it can contribute to a healthful low calorie.

Improve Bone Health

There are a number  of benefits to the bone health that come from eggplants, which is very good for people at higher risk of bone degradation and osteoporosis. Phenolic compounds are what give eggplant and many other fruits their unique coloration. Eggplant also have significant amount of iron and calcium which are integral to bone health and overall strength.

Improve Brain Function 

Eggplant are wonderful sources of phytonutrients, which have long been known as boosters for cognitive activity and general mental health. They not only defend against the free radical activity and keep your body and brain safe from toxins and diseases, but they also increase blood flow to the brain. The potassium in eggplants also acts as a vasodilator and a brain booster. So overall they should definitely be called brain food.

 

 

 

Reference

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/food/show/2948

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php

http://books.google.com/books?id=w9-ggnmud4qc

http://circa.ahajournals.org/content/127/2/188.ful

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88./1138

 

 

 

 

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