Eggplant, otherwise known as aubergine or brinjal, is a deep, purple glossy pear-shaped vegetable. It belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables which include tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. There are many different varieties that all differ slightly in taste, texture and, one can describe them as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. Read on below for our Top 5 Health Benefits of Eggplant!
1. Weight loss
Eggplants contain no fat or cholesterol and therefore are a great vegetable for people trying to lose weight, or combat obesity. It is also filling, due to its fiber content, which inhibits the release of ghrelin, the hormone which tells our mind that we are hungry again. By reducing appetite and making you feel fuller for longer, they help to lower overall calorie intake.
2. Helps manage diabetes
Eggplants help regulate diabetes due to their high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content. These components help manage the glucose and insulin activity in the body. Include this powerful plant in your diet if you are concerned about your blood glucose and insulin levels. When insulin levels in the body are stable and there are no drastic changes in blood sugar levels, the symptoms of diabetes can be controlled.
3. Promotes healthy skin
Rich in vitamins (A and E) and minerals, eggplants are beneficial for healthy skin and complexion. Niacin found in eggplant is amazing at reducing, treating and preventing acne and other skin conditions. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation properties and is very effective in treating skin diseases. Vitamin A is known to help fight skin cancer, acne and wrinkles. Vitamin E is an anti-aging nutrient, strengthening the capillary walls and improving the moisture and elasticity in your skin.
4. Bone health
Eggplant innately has the right chemicals to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. This vegetable produces large amounts of copper, Vitamin K and phenols which are what give them their colour, help delay osteoporosis, increase bone mineral density, strength and overall bone health. Copper maintains collagen formation of connective tissues and bones.
5. Combats anemia
Eggplants have a good amount of iron which combats anaemia. Anaemia is a lack of iron in the diet which can potentially be dangerous to your overall health. Common symptoms associated with low iron include headache, migraine, fatigue, weakness and depression. As mentioned, its copper content helps improve the health of red blood cells within your bloodstream giving you a boost in energy, strength whilst eradicating anxiety.
When buying eggplants choose ones that are firm and somewhat heavy. When cooking eggplants do not fry them as this counteracts the many health benefits as they absorb a large amount of fat. Baking, steaming or lightly cooking will help retain many of the nutrients without negatively impacting your health. Adding eggplant to your diet may just be one of the best health decisions you make! Eggplant is widely available and can be purchased at almost every supermarket, farmer’s market or health store in different sizes, shapes and colours. Got an eggplant recipe or a special use for it? Tell us below or @KeepfitKingdom !