Eggplant, also known as brinjal or aubergine, is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in various ways. But did you know that it also has many health benefits? Here are some of the wonderful benefits of eggplant that you should know.
Eggplant is rich in nutrients and antioxidants
Eggplant is a high-fibre, low-calorie food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many potential health benefits. It contains vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and copper. It also provides phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, and nasunin.
Anthocyanins are pigments that give eggplant its vibrant colour and have antioxidant properties that can protect against cellular damage. Nasunin is an anthocyanin in eggplant that can protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. Chlorogenic acid is another antioxidant that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Eggplant can improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis
Eggplant is a good source of minerals that are important for healthy bones and improve bone mineral density. These include magnesium, manganese, potassium, and copper. Magnesium and manganese are involved in bone formation and prevent bone loss. Potassium can balance the acid-base ratio in the body and reduce calcium excretion. Copper can enhance the activity of bone-building cells and enzymes.
Eggplant also contains vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K can activate proteins that bind calcium to bones and prevent fractures. It can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak and brittle bones.
Eggplant can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes
Adding eggplant to your diet may help keep your blood sugar in check. This is primarily because eggplant is high in fibre, which passes through the digestive system intact. Fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and prevent spikes and crashes. It can also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.
Additionally, polyphenols or natural plant compounds found in foods like eggplant may reduce sugar absorption and increase insulin secretion, both of which can help lower blood sugar. Eggplant also has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it does not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar after eating.
Eggplant can aid weight loss and promote satiety
Eggplant is a great food for weight loss because it is low in calories and high in fibre. One cup of cooked eggplant has only 35 calories but 2.5 grams of fibre. Fibre can make you feel full for longer and reduce your appetite. It can also prevent overeating and bingeing on unhealthy foods.
Eggplant also contains water, which can hydrate your body and boost your metabolism. Water can flush out toxins and waste products from your body and improve your digestion. It can also prevent water retention and bloating.
Eggplant can fight cancer cells and lower the risk of recurrence
Eggplant has many bioactive compounds that have potential in combating cancer cells. One of these compounds is solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (SRGs), which are found in the peel of eggplant. SRGs have been shown to cause the death of tumour cells and lower the recurrence of certain types of cancer.
Another compound is nasunin, which has anti-angiogenic properties. This means it can prevent the formation of new blood vessels that feed cancer cells. Nasunin can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells by blocking an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).