10 Amazing Benefits of Eggplant Nutrition

by John Staughton last updated -

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Eggplant is known as a vegetable having a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce the symptoms of anemia, and increase cognition. It improves cardiovascular health and also protects the digestive system. Eggplant is also good for weight loss, managing diabetes, reducing stress, protecting infants from birth defects.

What are Eggplants?

Eggplants are fruits, originally native to the Indian subcontinent and are now found throughout the world in different cuisines. In England, they are known as “aubergine”, and are also called 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 generally.

There are many varieties of eggplants that are used throughout the world, and they are included in cuisines in many different ways. Although they are fruits, eggplants are commonly called the “king of vegetables”, at least in India, as they are one of the most versatile and functional foods in the cultural gamut. They have the consistency of a tomato, in terms of texture and density and are a perfect addition to soups, stews, and sauces. The best part about these foods is, 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.

Click here to learn how to cook eggplant!

Eggplants Nutrition Facts

The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from their vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content. According to USDA National Nutrient Database, eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. They also contain almost no cholesterol or saturated fat.

Health Benefits of Eggplants

Health benefits of eggplant include the following:

Aid in Digestion

Eggplants, like many other vegetables, are great sources of dietary fiber, a necessary element in any balanced diet. Fiber is essential for gastrointestinal health, as well as for regular bowel movements. It bulks up your stool so it passes more easily through the digestive tract, while also stimulating peristaltic motion, meaning the contraction of the smooth muscles that help food pushed out of the body. Finally, fiber also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate the absorption of nutrients and the processing of foods.

Fiber has also been linked to the reduction in heart diseases as well, since it eliminates some of the bad LDL cholesterol that can clog arteries and veins, resulting in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Weight Loss

A study funded by USDA and NIH, conducted by Dr. Edward Saltzman et al. says, ” Mean dietary fiber intake in the United States is currently only 15 g/day (i.e., approximately half the American Heart Association recommendation of 25–30 g/day), efforts to increase dietary fiber in individuals consuming >25 g/day may help to decrease the currently high national prevalence of obesity.”

Since eggplants contain a minimal amount of fat or cholesterol, they are a very healthy food for people trying to lose weight or battle obesity. Fiber is also very filling, which means it 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.

Anti-cancer Potential

Solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides, an extract found in eggplant peel, has shown potential in killing skin cancer cells. According to a 2011 report by Bill E. Cham, published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine, two cases showed that this extract, when used topically in a cream formulation, was effective in the treatment of large non-melanoma skin cancers.

Nutrition Facts

Eggplant, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
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]0.04
Riboflavin [mg]0.04
Niacin [mg]0.65
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.08
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]0.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Improve Bone Health

Eggplants are very good for people at a high risk of bone degradation and osteoporosis. Phenolic compounds are what give eggplants and many other fruits their unique coloration. These compounds have also been linked to reduced signs of osteoporosis, stronger bones, and increased bone mineral density. Eggplants also have significant amounts of iron and calcium, which are integral to bone health and overall strength. Finally, the amount of potassium in eggplants helps in the uptake of calcium, making eggplants a comprehensive and highly useful booster for osteoporosis and bone health.

Prevent Anemia

A deficiency in iron can be very dangerous to overall health, and it can manifest in anemia. Anemia is characterized by headaches and migraines, fatigue, weakness, depression, and cognitive malfunction. Therefore, eating foods high in iron can combat anemia, and eggplants have a decent amount of iron in them. Eggplants are also very rich in copper, another essential component of red blood cells (RBCs), just like iron. Without these two minerals, the red blood cell count in the body will continue to decrease, since they are perpetually being used up. With healthier red blood cells coursing through your veins, you will see a noticeable boost in energy and strength, which will eliminate feelings of fatigue or stress.

Improve Brain Function

Eggplants are wonderful sources of phytonutrients, which have long been known for boosting 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 also increase blood flow to the brain. By delivering more oxygen-rich blood to the brain, they stimulate neural pathways to develop, boosting the memory and analytical thoughts. The potassium in eggplants also acts as a vasodilator and a brain booster, so overall, they should definitely be called “brain food”.

eggplantinfo2

Improve Heart Health

There are different ways through which eggplants benefit your heart health, including fiber. They have been known to reduce the presence of bad LDL cholesterol in the body, and stimulate the uptake of good HDL cholesterol. The balance of cholesterol in the body is always fluctuating based on the food we eat, but the more HDL cholesterol we have, the better. Reducing LDL cholesterol levels can prevent heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis. Finally, the bioflavonoids in eggplants are great for reducing blood pressure, which reduces the strain and stress on the cardiovascular system, thereby greatly improving the health of your heart.

Manage Diabetes

National Diabetes Education Program of NIH and American Diabetes Association recommend eggplant-based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes. Due to their high-fiber content and low amounts of soluble carbohydrates, eggplants are an ideal food for managing diabetes. The qualities of eggplants make them useful as a regulator of glucose and insulin activity within the body. When insulin levels are stable, and the body isn’t experiencing drastic plunges and spikes in blood sugar, so the potentially dangerous side effects of diabetes can be avoided.

Prevent Birth Defect

Eggplants are a rich source of folic acid, which makes them a delicious and useful snack or dietary addition for pregnant women. Folic acid directly protects infants from neural tube defects, which can occur in a number of ways. Therefore, it is always recommended that expecting mothers increase their intake of folic acid considering the dependent inside their womb!

Word of Caution: Eggplants are a part of the nightshade family of vegetables and are known to cause severe allergic reactions. However, they aren’t as common in terms of being an allergen as tomatoes or bell peppers, which are also considered nightshade. As with any new food in your diet, speak to your doctor before eating it in large quantities and pay attention to your body’s reactions, if any.

Secondly, when cooking eggplants, many people make the mistake of frying them. Although this is a delicious way to cook vegetables like eggplants, it also counteracts a number of health benefits and can cause weight gain and negatively impact heart conditions. When you fry eggplants, they absorb a large amount of fat, whereas baking an eggplant will hold many of the nutrients in without any negative additions like excess fat.

Other than that, this powerful and potent vegetable is one of the best ways to guarantee a long-lasting health!

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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