Hi, I am Mohanadas and happy to present an article on'Benefits of eggplant'.
Eggplant or Brinjal is a perennial vegetable belonging to the nightshade or Solanaceae family which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes.
It often grows to a height of 16 to 57 inches with spiny stems. Its fruits are used as vegetable generally found in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Dark purple variety is common and available in markets throughout the year.
Some historians believe that its origin is in India. At present it is extensively cultivated in most of the countries. Eggplant has got its name from a popular variety of the vegetable found in North America that resembles a pear-shaped egg.
Egg plant wasn’t a popular vegetable because the early varieties were bitter. But cultivation and cross breeding have greatly improved the flavour. Now this fruit vegetable has become one of the most useful and important one for its nutritional benefits and its use as a low calorie substitute for meat.
This versatile vegetable can be used in a variety of delicious dishes. Baked eggplant parmesan, meatless stir-fry, grilled eggplant burgers, etc, are some of them.
If we are talented or have interest in cooking it is possible to make any vegetable delicious. But we must be aware about the benefits of each vegetable we take. So let us move on to the benefits of eggplant.
1. It is a nutritious vegetable – Its nutrition value per 100 gm is as follows: Vitamin A – 30 l.U., Vit. B – 04 mg, Riboflavin – 0.05 mg, Niacin – 0.65 mg, Vit. C – 5 mg, Calcium – 15 mg, Iron – 0.4 mg, Phosphorus – 37 mg, Potassium -390 mg, Fat – 2 gm, Carbohydrates – 5.5 gm, Protein – 1.1 gm, Calories – 24.
2. Egg plant has a very high fibre content which helps our digestive process.
3. Egg plant can help stomach ulcers.
4. It reduces the high risk of heart diseases- Iron is necessary for many biological processes in our body. But excess accumulation of iron in our body is harmful to us because it causes production of free radicals and is associated with heart disease. The nasunin, a phytonutrient present in eggplant removes the excess iron to reduce the free radicals.
5. Potassium in egg plants brings a balance in salt intake and maintains a good level of hydration.
6. The potassium level also plays an important role in regulating blood pressure of the body.
7. It prevents cancer-In the process of chelating iron, nasunin reduces the formation of free radicals leading to the peroxidation and prevention of cellular damage that may cause cancer.
8. Protect brain cells - Nasunin present in this vegetable has been found to prevent damage of cell membranes. As a result, egg plants are believed to protect brain cells.
9. It lowers the strained nerves - It is believed that this vegetable can lower psychological stress and shock since it has scoparone and scopoletin, two ingredients that can aid in opposing epilepsy, as well as various other factors of stress.
10. Eggplant's ample bioflavonoids may be beneficial in preventing strokes and hemorrhages.
11. It inhibits tumor - According to the National Cancer Institute the phytochemical monoterpene present in eggplant may inhibit the production of steroidal hormones that encourage tumor growth.
12. It lowers hypertension – The high levels of potassium and low levels of sodium in egg plant helps to lower hypertension effectively.
13. It helps fighting microbes – Chlorogenic acid in eggplant is beneficial in several ways as it steps up activities against bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes and thus increasing the body resistance against different diseases.
14. Eating a lot of eggplant can reduce swelling, clear stagnant blood, reduce bleeding, comfort bleeding hemorrhoids, and treat dysentery.
15. Tools of contraception - Several eggplants come with high solasodin that can be effectively put to use as tools of contraception. Not only that, but it can also increase a human being’s libido.
16. Good for uterine tumors – Some practitioners of Eastern medicine may consider eggplant beneficial in treating uterine tumors.
17. The eggplant is good for brain function, red blood cell regulation and production of genetic material.
18. It removes toxins from the body - Eggplant is very low in sodium, fat and cholesterol, and contains substantial amounts of many essential nutrients. One cup of cooked eggplant has only 28 calories, and it is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which helps to remove toxins from the body.
19. Eggplant reduces the level of cholesterol.
20. Taking lot of this vegetable reduces the risk of colon cancer.
21. It cures rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the damage in joints due to the presence of free radicals. Eating eggplant reduces the free radicals present in the body and helps cure rheumatoid arthritis.
22. It also helps to improve the flow of blood through blood vessels because of the presence of nasunin along with other terpene phytonutrients present in eggplant.
23. Good for diabetes – Because of the presence of high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content, National Diabetes Education Program of NIH, Mayo Clinic and American Diabetes Association recommend eggplant-based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes. The free radical scavenging-linked antioxidant activity in eggplant inhibits the diabetes causing enzymes alpha-glucosidase, angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) by controlling glucose absorption and reducing associated hypertension, respectively.
24. Good for scorpion bites – Apply raw eggplant directly on the affected area.
25. Good for frostbite – Prepare a tea of eggplant, bring it to room temperature, and apply a compress to affected areas.
26. Good for healthy bones, cartilage and skin as it contains manganese.
27. Magnesium an essential mineral present in eggplant improves the health of bones, teethand kidneys.
28. It is good for proper muscular function as it contains potassium in high amount.
29. Being naturally low in calories, eggplants are excellent choice for anyone looking to lose weight.
30. This versatile vegetable can be used as a low-calorie substitute for meat in a variety of dishes.
I hope you are surprised by the above nutritional and health benefits in egg plant. But it is a fact. So include this beautiful, cheap and easily available one in your list when you go for the next shopping.
When buying, choose eggplant with a bright and glossy purple color, look for eggplants that are firm, heavy, and free of scars. Smaller, slender
selections usually have smaller seeds and are more tender. Avoid eggplant with brown or blue streaks, or that are shriveled and flabby.
Prior to cutting the vegetable, wash it properly under cold running water and cut off the ends. Then using a stainless steel knife cut the vegetable into slices. Use of carbon steel knife is not advisable as it reacts with the phytonutrients present in the plant causing the vegetable to turn black.
Author Brief Bio --- Mr. Mohanadas is an administrator, teacher, environmentalist and a social worker. He has established a few educational institutions. Presently working as the Head of a Middle School. Side-by-side he is pursuing “Advanced Diploma Course in Counseling and Guidance”. He is interested to work for the upliftment of the poor and the downtrodden. His main hobbies are reading and gardening.