Eggplants are also commonly known as aubergines all over the globe. This is actually a fruit that originated in the Indian subcontinent, only to spread to the rest of the world through trade and cultural exchange. Today eggplants are widely consumed as a vegetable. It has a glossy purple outer skin with a soft white inner flesh. It can be used in a variety of recipes and tastes best when eaten in lasagne, soup, pasta, deep fry, polenta, curries, dips, and even pizzas! Eggplant contains dietary fibre, antioxidants, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, thiamine, iron, copper, and vitamin B6 (B complexes), C and K. Now you know why eggplant is called the ‘king of vegetables’!
The various ways in which eggplant or aubergine boosts your health are:
1. Improves digestion:
Eggplant is a great source of dietary fibre that helps improve gastrointestinal health. Fibre stimulates the gastric enzymes that help in processing the complex foods and add bulk to your stool, so that it passes smoothly through the digestive tract and the intestines. A quarter of an eggplant eaten daily is great for your digestive system.
2. Promotes weight loss:
A good digestive system leads to a controlled weight management mission. Eggplant helps reduce constipation and hence leads to a reduced rate of internal bloating. One of the marvels of this vegetable is that it makes you feel full for quite some time, which helps you keep away from unnecessary cravings and snacking. Moreover, the high concentration of dietary fibre helps increase the rate of metabolism and hence converts more fats into energy. The higher the metabolism, the better is your weight management programme!
3. Prevents cancer:
Eggplants are a great source of concentrated antioxidants, which prevent the free radicals in your body from multiplying and spreading. Manganese is another key ingredient in eggplant that helps in prevention of the development of carcinogenic content in the body. Vitamin C is another component that boosts overall immunity, along with an increase in the number of white blood cells that are vital for fighting free radicals. Half an eggplant daily is bound to decrease the potential risk of stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and intestinal cancer.
4. Improves bone health:
Eggplant contains a handsome level of calcium, magnesium, and iron. All these three components are extremely helpful in maintaining a robust bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Furthermore, potassium that is present in this vegetable enables the body to absorb the calcium fully. A bowl of eggplant soup can increase your bone density, along with boosting their overall strength!
5. Prevents anaemia:
Eggplant contains high concentrations of iron and copper, both of which are excellent for maintaining the growth of red blood cells. These cells help prevent anaemia, enabling blood flow and regeneration of new cells. About 200 grams of eggplant consumed on a daily basis, helps prevent anaemia to a large extent, by nearly 23%.
6. Improves neurological health:
Eggplants are an excellent source of phytonutrients and antioxidants that are well known for boosting mental health by preventing the free radicals in the brain from spreading toxins. These ingredients also increase the grey cell count in the brain by enhancing blood flow, thereby improving its functioning. Potassium, which is present in high concentration in aubergines/eggplants, acts as a vasodilator, which improves memory and cognitive abilities.
7. Improves cardiac health:
Eggplant prevents cardiac diseases as it is helps control cholesterol and blood pressure. The high concentration of dietary fibre present in eggplant helps reduce the bad cholesterols (LDL) and stimulate the growth of the good cholesterols (HDL). This prevents the arteries from getting blocked and leading to severe cardiac arrests. Research says that consuming 350 grams of eggplant can boost your cardiac health by neatly 31%.
8. Controls blood sugar:
As eggplant contains high levels of fibre, it regulates the level of insulin and ensures proper burning of the carbohydrates and sugar. Moreover, the increased metabolism that eggplant provides due to its iron, magnesium, and folic acid content, is phenomenal in preventing the sugar levels from spiking. You feel healthier and more energetic!
Along with all these nutritional benefits, the only negative characteristic of eggplant is that numerous people are allergic to it. The early signs of eggplant allergy are itchy tongue and throat, nausea, diarrhoea, acute stomach ache, swelling of the tongue, and bloated throat. If you notice any of these signs, stop eating this vegetable and get yourself screened to detect the form of allergy and to receive appropriate medication. If the result declares you positive for an eggplant allergy, skip this veggie and opt for other greens that can provide you with the same nutrients! Otherwise, stir up some sassy recipes and enjoy your eggplant the way you like!