Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | ePaper

Health benefits of eggplant

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Life Desk :
Eggplant (Solanum melongena), also known as brinjal or aubergine, belongs to genus Solanumand to species nightshade. It got its name because of its resemblance to the white eggs from hens or geese. Its colors vary from white, and dark purple to green. It is also called guinea squash, melongene. Some interesting facts about brinjals are:
They are called mala insana or "crazy or mad apple".
Aubergines are not vegetables but berries.
Eggplants contain some nicotine
It is believed that brinjal has no positive attributes.
Eggplant Nutrition Facts
Eggplant is a good source of fiber and it contains copper, vitamin (B1, B3, B6, and K), manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate. It contains polyphenols, anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid.
Eggplant skin contains nasunin, an anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals. It protects cell membranes from damage and protects the lipids or fats in the brain cell membranes. It helps to flush out the toxins and draw the nutrients in. Anthocyanins are known to inhibit neuro-inflammation and aids in blood flow to the brain and nerve cells. It improves memory and reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other cognitive disorders. Eggplants are often cooked by removing the skin, for example, when cooked on the flame or baingan bharta. Eggplant should be consumed along with its skin, whether it is roasted, fried or taken in curry form.
Prevents Heart Diseases
Chlorogenic acid present in eggplant decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels or bad cholesterol. It has been proved that increased intake of anthocyanins lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 make eggplant a heart-friendly food.
Fights Cancer
Eggplants are rich in phenolic compounds that are powerful antioxidants. One of them is chlorogenic acid, which is an effective free radical scavenger. Chlorogenic acid has anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties. The anthocyanins and the chlorogenic acid in eggplants help to prevent tumor growth, the spread of cancer cells and promote cancer cell death. Eggplants are anti-inflammatory, and they protect cells from damage by free radicals.
Aids in Weight Loss
Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable which is also a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fibers in aubergine provide satiety and reduce appetite. Eggplants act as bulking agents in the digestive system. Overall, it helps balance ratio of calorie intake to calorie burn. High satiety makes one consume less calories, thereby aiding in weight loss.
Strengthens Bones
Eggplant contains some amount of calcium, iron, and magnesium. Phenolic compounds in eggplant are associated with stronger bones, increased bone mineral density and reduced chances of osteoporosis.
Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Eggplant has anti-hyperglicemic effect. Anthocyanins in eggplant function as an antioxidant as well as á-glukosidase inhibitor which inhibit the rise of blood glucose levels in diabetics Aubergines can lower blood glucose level. Diabetics can safely consume eggplant in moderation. The fiber content in eggplant also helps to keep the blood sugar levels under control.
Prevents Birth Defects
Folic acid is recommended to pregnant mothers as it protects the fetus from the neural birth defects. Eggplant contains folate, which makes it a good dietary option for pregnant women. One cup of eggplant provides about 3% daily value (DV) of folate. Folate is also known as vitamin B-9 and is naturally found in foods. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, available in form of supplements and processed, or fortified foods.
Prevent Neural Tube Defects
Caveat: Nightshade species of vegetables contain neurotoxic alkaloids that can trigger a migraine. These include eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Whenever you suffer from migraine, find out whether eggplant was consumed within 24 hours of the headache.
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