The eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg, guinea squash, melongene, and brinjal, is usually distinguishable by its signature egg-like shape and vibrant purple color.
Although the dark purple version of eggplants is best known, they actually come in a variety of shapes and colors from small and oblong to long and skinny, from shades of purple to white and green.
Health benefits of eggplant
Fruits and vegetables reduce our risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like the eggplant decreases the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease, and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and lower weight.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health.
Several studies show that consumption of a type of flavonoids known as anthocyanins can help lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular study revealed that those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables per week containing anthocyanins had 34 percent less risk of heart disease than those who consumed less.
In another clinical study, researchers found that increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.
Research has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.
Vegetable contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid, one of the most powerful free radical scavengers found in plants. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to decrease low-density lipid (LDL) levels, and also serves as an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic agent.
Polyphenols in eggplant have been shown to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and, in turn, prevent tumor growth and the invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.3
Eggplant has powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell membranes from free radical damage. It also assists in the transport of nutrients into the cell and move waste out.
Research has also shown that anthocyanins inhibit neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent age-related mental disorders and also improves memory.3
Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering the overall calorie intake. Since eggplant is already low in calories, it makes a great part of a healthy, low-calorie diet.