Little ol’ dictionary says ‘Eggplants’ are egg-shaped, purple or black in colour and glossy-surfaced fruits. Of course, dictionaries have the habit to state the truth in the bluntest and honest ways. Medically speaking, they belong to genus Solanum and Family Solanaceae, commonly known as nightshade family. The botanical name of eggplant is Solanum Melongena. It is cultivated as annual in a warm environment of south-east Asia. People consume it as a cooked vegetable in different continents; hence it has many names. Other names of eggplant include Guinea squash, Brinjal in India, Barenjena in Spanish and Patlican in Turkish. The eggplant is also called aubergine and is full of nutrients, like any other natural vegetable. However, what makes eggplants so unique? In this article, we will first see Nutrition Value of our special little Eggplant and then explore the health benefits in detail as well.
Eggplant Nutritional Value
Eggplant has several health benefits due to its rich nutrition value. I’m sure what you’re thinking ‘You say that about everything.’ And you’re not technically wrong. You see, every little organic fruit or vegetable around us has unique and special qualities. Similarly, an eggplant has extraordinary nutrition value and health benefits that you won’t find in anything else. But don’t get so easily convinced by my sweet sugar talk. Just see for yourself.
According to USDA, 100g of eggplant in its raw form has 25 kilocalories energy. It contains 0.98g protein, 5.88g carbohydrate, 0.18g fats, 3g Dietary Fibre, and 3.53g sugar. Also, it is rich in minerals such as 229mg Potassium 24 mg Phosphorous, 14mg Magnesium, 9mg Calcium, 2mg Sodium, 0.16mg Zinc, and 0.23mg Iron. Moreover, it is an excellent source of Vitamin-B family and has 0.039mg Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), 0.037mg Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), 0.649mg Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.084mg Vitamin B6, and 22mg Vitamin B9 (Folate). Additionally, it has 1µg Vitamin A, 2.2mg Vitamin C, 0.3mg Vitamin E, and 3.5 µg Vitamin K. In terms of fatty acids, eggplants have 0.034g saturated fatty acids, 0.016g monounsaturated and 0.076g polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pretty amazing, right? Wait till you hear about all the health benefits these crazy eggplants have.
Health Benefits of Eggplant
Eggplant is high in nutritional value with a wide range of fantastic health benefits. You probably think I’m overselling here again, but to be honest, I’m not. Let’s take a look at some main advantages of eating eggplants.
1. Constipation and Bowel Health
As per the data by “The American Heart Association”, Dietary Fibre per day intake should be 25-30g. A balanced diet contains a bulk amount of fibers, and Eggplant is an excellent source to meet the fiber needs of the body. Fibre, roughage, or bulk is the undigested part of vegetables and fruits that you have eaten. It promotes the movement of stool through the alimentary canal and making it easier to pass. Thus, it prevents constipation by keeping the digestive system healthy.
2. Weight Loss:
Aubergines are very healthy for weight loss and obesity. Its high content of fibre inhibits the release of a hormone called “Ghrelin”. Ghrelin or Hunger is the hormone that stimulates hunger. Therefore, no ghrelin means no overeating. Hence, it can help in losing weight by reducing appetite.
3. Eggplant for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Eggplant contains phytonutrients, also known as plant nutrients. They help to improve the cognitive activity of the person. Its skin contains nasunin, an antioxidant that fights off the free radicals. Nasunin prevents cell damage and premature aging. Phytonutrients, along with potassium act as a vasodilator. It means, it dilates or makes the blood vessels wide so that more amount of blood can rush through it. Vasodilation provides the brain with more oxygen-rich blood. Thus, it protects against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
4. Pigments and Antioxidants
Eggplant is purple due to the presence of a pigment called “Anthocyanins”. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that protects their cells from external damage. Furthermore, it contains other antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and chlorogenic acid. These protect the body from viral activities and serve as an anticancer nutrient.
5. Eggplant for Anaemia
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) report, around 1.62 billion people in the world suffer from Anaemia. There are six types of Anaemia, one of them which is Iron-deficiency Anaemia. It is caused by the shortage of Iron in the body. As a result, an anaemic person can feel tiredness all the time with absent-mindedness and difficulty in concentrating. Eggplant contains Iron and Iron is a crucial element in Haem part of haemoglobin- a molecule in blood that functions as an Oxygen carrier in body. Thus, the right amount of iron can lead to enough oxygen supplied throughout the body cells. Therefore, eating eggplant can reduce the risks of Anaemia.
6. Cardiovascular Diseases
Out of several benefits of eggplant, one of them is its ability to control cholesterol level. Study shows, Eggplant not only has zero cholesterol content, but it can also help in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. Therefore, eggplant can help in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family, and nightshade members have the chemical called “solanine” in them. Solanine may cause Solanine Poisoning. It can also increase the inflammation in the body, making diseases like Arthritis, worse. However, no authentic research is available to support the idea. In rare cases, it can trigger the allergy in the body.
Eggplant is a healthy fruit with high nutrition value. Also, it has several health benefits, from preventing diseases like cancer to boosting the immune system of the body and weight loss. Undoubtedly, eggplant is full of nutrients and minerals. It can surely be a healthy addition in your nutritional diet routine. I hope you’re fully convinced to grab a bunch the next time you see some beautiful eggplants