Eggplant is a very popular cooking ingredient. Those who speak French will identify it through its name “Aubergine” while though who live in South Asian and African region will know it better through the term “brinjal”. Records seem to suggest that the origin of the eggplant is Asia.
Although the dark purple version of eggplants is best known, they actually come in a variety of shapes and colours from small and oblong to long and skinny, from shades of purple to white and green.
This article will focus on the nutritional benefits of the traditional purple eggplant.
- Improves Brain Function: Phytonutrients within an eggplant, 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.
- For Healthy Heart: Animal studies show that eggplant may help lower overall cholesterol in the body and help to improve blood flow. The antioxidant compounds in eggplant help to prevent oxidative stress to the cardiovascular system and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease. Eggplant is also a good source of fibre, which is needed to maintain good cardiovascular health.
- Stronger Bones: 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. Don’t worry; you can counteract this by pairing them with other foods high in calcium like cheese!
- Regulates Blood Sugar Level: Eggplant is very suitable for the individuals who are suffering from diabetes. This is because they are low in carbohydrates and consuming them don’t cause a sudden rise in the blood glucose level of our body. In addition to this, the dietary fibre present in eggplant also plays an important role in diabetes management.
- Cancer Prevention: Many doctors and scientists believe that a compound in eggplant can effectively treat certain types of skin cancer. The phytochemical, known as BEC5, is believed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. BEC5 cream is purported to have worked in thousands of cases, mainly in Australia and England with a success rate of nearly 100% when used for 12 weeks. There are conflicting reports as to its effectiveness and the FDA has not approved its use in the U.S. It is not known whether obtaining BEC5 from eating eggplant will help to prevent or treat cancer.
Water – g 92.3
Energy – kcal 25
Protein – g 0.98
Total lipid (fat) – g 0.18
Carbohydrate, by difference – g 5.88
Fiber, total dietary – g 3
Sugars, total – g 3.53
Calcium, Ca – mg 9
Iron, Fe – mg 0.23
Magnesium, Mg – mg 14
Phosphorus, P – mg 24
Potassium, K – mg 229
Sodium, Na – mg 2
Zinc, Zn – mg 0.16
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – mg 2.2
Thiamin – mg 0.039
Riboflavin – mg 0.037
Niacin – mg 0.649
Vitamin B-6 – mg 0.084
Folate, DFE – µg 22
Vitamin B-12 – µg 0
Vitamin A, RAE – µg 1
Vitamin A, IU – IU 23
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – mg 0.3
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) – µg 0
Vitamin D – IU 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) – µg 3.5
Fatty acids, total saturated – g 0.034
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated – g 0.016
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated – g 0.076
Fatty acids, total trans – g 0
Cholesterol – mg 0
Caffeine – mg 0