Eggplant – also known as aubergine – is a species of nightshade belonging to the Solanum genus. It’s cultivated for its fruit that is used in cooking. Eggplants are classified as a berry. The fruit has a soft flesh with equally soft seeds and is eaten entirely.
Eggplant is extremely low in calories but high in fiber. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In today’s post, we are giving you five reasons why you should add eggplants to your daily diet:
It’s Loaded with Essential Nutrients
The humble eggplant is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K and folate. It’s also loaded with phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamin A, B, and C strengthen the immune system and protect the nerves. These vitamins also improve resistance to various diseases. Minerals found in eggplants prevent heart disease, bone diseases, and chronic disorders. Even better, eggplants are packed with fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient that keeps the heart healthy and the guts in tip top shape. It prevents colon cancer and curb cravings too!
Rich in Chlorogenic Acid
Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant that protects from oxidative stress. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service found that chlorogenic acid inhibits free radical damage faster than other antioxidants. It’s also able to lower bad cholesterol in the blood. chlorogenic acid also contains anti-mutagenic properties. This compound literally stops cells from mutating into cancer cells.
Packed with Nasunin
Eggplants contain not one, but two antioxidants! Nasunin is a compound that contains powerful anti-angiogenic properties. According to Cancer Center at the Angiogenesis Foundation, angiogenic compounds trigger the production of blood cells and increasing the blood supply. This might sound like a good thing, but it’s not.
When cancer cells reach the angiogenesis stage, the cells will demand more blood supply. This leads to a tumor that demands more nutrients and blood. The mass will start growing at a much faster rate. The nasunin in eggplants prevents angiogenesis from happening in the first place. This compound literally starves tumors of nutrients to delay growth.
Keeps the Heart Healthy
Eggplant is one of the most heart-friendly foods around. Consuming eggplants regularly lower bad cholesterol in the blood. It also contains fiber that regulates cholesterol level and glucose level in the body. Eggplant is also high in bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids help control blood pressure and relieve stress. Eggplant is also a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a natural blood thinner. It prevents blood clots and strengthens the capillaries.
Factors to Consider
There is no doubt that eggplants are very nutritious and delicious. But to maximize its benefits, you have to cook it the right way. The flesh of eggplants is so spongy that it will literally soak up any oil and fat. This is why cooking it in oil or butter is a no-no. We recommend baking, steaming or grilling eggplants instead of frying to prevent fat from being soaked by the vegetable.
In addition, eggplants contain low calories, mostly from complex carbohydrates. Just a cup per day is all you need to keep the body healthy!