The Health Benefits of Eggplant are so abundant that if previously you are not a fan, you would feel different after learning about them. Eggplant is the type of fruit that people tend to have love/hate relationship because it is indeed somewhat tricky in its taste. Some find it rather bland while some see it as a wholly bitter thing to cook.
Some, meanwhile, really love it that it is frequently being included in their regular meals. In fact, the whether or not eggplants is fruit is a subject constantly being debated all the time. Some people choose to calling it fruit while others argue that it is strictly vegetable. This is an age old dispute that nobody seems to find a way out of.
Eggplant is of berry family; the fruit bears multiple seeds. Hence, it is suffice to say that eggplant is indeed a fruit. However, to say that it is strictly a fruit is somewhat incorrect as well for eggplant cannot be eaten raw the way most fruits can be. Well, it can be eaten raw as a side dish primarily in Asian cuisines but that only applies to eggplant type that is smaller in size. People have been aware of eggplant benefits for a long time.
Cultivation of eggplant has started even since prehistory, with records showing that it was widely cultivated in eastern and southern parts of Asia. There are many words in Arabic and South African to refer to eggplant but the plant has no name in either Greek or Roman. This goes to show that there is a big probability that the plant was brought to the area of Mediterranean as far back as early middle ages.
Its common English name, “eggplant”, was derived from some cultivars widely grown in 18th-century Europe, which shaped like goose’s eggs. Scientific name designated for eggplant is Solanummelongena. Seen from its genus name, then, it can be concluded that eggplant is in the same class with tomato and potato. Also, this places eggplant in the family of nightshade. Thus, at one point in the past, the plant was deemed poisonous.
Today, however, due to the many Health Benefits of Eggplant, the plant is considered one of the most widely cultivated in the world for consumption. Still, over-ingesting the plant’s leaves and flowers in large quantities might be fatal as solanine is most concentrated in those parts of the plant. Its association with nightshades also lends eggplant its status in folklore. Eggplant was considered being able to trigger insanity in 13th-century Italy. In 19th-century Egypt, increase in more violent cases of insanity happened in summertime, when eggplant season also kicked in.
Being of berry class, eggplant has multiple seeds within its fleshy fruit. These seeds are edible. But if eaten raw, it has somewhat astringent-like quality. They could be bitter, too, as a significant amount of nicotinoid alkaloids is concentrated in this area. Cooking the fruit would alter this taste, after which it would become a lot tenderer and bear complex flavor.
When cooked, eggplant can absorb oil and sauces. A process called degorging can be performed to limit this absorbent nature of the fruit so benefits of eggplant can be preserved. Degorging is done when you salt, rinse, and drain the sliced eggplant fruit. Some may choose to use eggplant to substitute meat in both vegetarian and vegan recipes. This is because eggplant has density and texture that somewhat matching that of meat. Its skin can also be eaten so you do not have to peel it off before consumption.
The use of eggplant is prevalent in Indian cuisines. In fact, the fruit is quite versatile that its use in Indian cuisines can be found in both every day meals and festive dishes. Due to this versatility and the various eggplant benefits, the fruit earns its moniker as being the vegetable king. Stewed eggplant is found in ratatouille of French origin. Examples of fried version of dishes made of eggplant can be found in Italy, Turkey, and Greece, in the form of parmigiana di melanzane, karniyarik, and musakka, respectively.
Even though eggplant is less poisonous as opposed to other plants in the same family, it can still cause allergy, which goes against the kind of benefits of eggplant you should be looking for. Cases of allergic attack caused by eggplant ingestion aresmall in number but it does not mean it cannot happen. A study was held to investigate this matter in 2008. As much as 741 people were taken as study sample in India and research showed that 10% of the total subjects displayed symptoms of allergy following consuming eggplant.
Out of those people, 1.4% showed symptoms as quickly as two hours after initial exposure. Eggplant is high in histamine contents; those who are genetically predisposed to have allergic hypersensitivity will react antagonistically toward eggplant.Possible culprit for allergic reactions might be found in some proteins contained in the fruit plus one secondary metabolite.
Skin contact with the plant’s leaves and exposure to its pollen may also induce allergic attacks. Cooking eggplant works for someone in preventing allergic reactions and to derive health benefits of eggplantbut even with the most thorough cooking process, one protein remains active so it can still be possible to trigger allergic attacks.
Symptoms of allergic reactions from exposure to eggplant fruit or its other parts include stomach upset, headache of mild level, and itchiness on the mouth and skin.It goes without saying that if you have a history of allergic reactions in the past, you should consult your doctor first before trying to pursue Health Benefits of Eggplant.
Also, as previously mentioned, eggplant absorbs a lot of oil when cooked. As such, deep frying the fruit is not a recommended way of processing it. You may open yourself to likeliness to develop heart- and blood vessel-related diseases. The most recommended way of cooking eggplant is by baking it. Baking an eggplant will not compromise its nutritional constituents and it does so without additional bad stuff into the dish in the process.
Eggplant is arguably an unusual type of fruit/vegetable in that it contains a multitude of advantages when consumed. Health Benefits of Eggplant are available in wide range; it can help to fight off cancerous cells, offer protections for infants against birth defects, provide a chance to defend against stress, help manage diabetes, aid in weight loss, improve digestive tract, and prevent osteoporosis from developing by supporting good bone structures.
A plant native to India, it is known in the England as aubergine. Mention about eggplant benefits has been shown to have existed in the country as early as 16th century. The plant bears fruits that are blackish or purple in color, have glossy look on the surface of their skin. In wild, the fruits are relatively small in normal agriculture but out in the wild, eggplant can expand to a size of more than a foot long.
The Health Benefits of Eggplant can be derived from its rich nutritional constituents, ranging from mineral to dietary fiber to vitamins. Eggplant is high on the following nutritional values (in no particular order: manganese, potassium, folic acid, dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Its cholesterol content is minimal, if not at all exist.
Now let’s take a deeper look at eggplant benefits as super-food. Being rich in dietary fiber, eggplant is obviously helpful for your digestive tract, as is the case with most vegetables there are out there. Maintaining good gastrointestinal tract in your stomach requires a considerable amount of dietary fiber—in which eggplant is rich.
Consuming enough amount of fiber can significantly boost your bowel movement. Fiber is not chemically digested in your stomach; instead, it is left in it post-mastication form: shredded to bits. These bits of fiber then go through your digestive tract, bulking up the remains of other food components you just ingested. In its journey throughout the tract, it carries these remains with it up to the final point where they are ready to evacuate.
During its passing, fiber activates a series of gastric enzymes, all of which is important in absorbing nutrients. Fiber also plays a role in reducing heart disease risks. Fiber binds to bad cholesterol and brings it out of the system. In the process, it helps tackling issues such as strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
High fiber content in eggplant is also beneficial in supporting weight loss program. Consumption of fiber in enough amounts could lead to inhibition of ghrelin—a type of hormone that signals your brain to tell your body that it should eat again, even right after one meal.Reducing obesity risks is obviously one of the Health Benefits of Eggplant you should derive.
One of the most prized eggplant benefits would be cancer prevention. In the fruit, there are a lot of antioxidants, which are your body’s most potent defense to fight off free radicals, which, as you have guessed, the primary cause of cancer formation. Vitamin C is also present in abundance within eggplant fruits and this vitamin has been known for a long time for being the booster of white blood cells production. Eggplant is also packed full of manganese (an essential mineral with natural antioxidant properties).
Two more natural and organic antioxidant components are also observed in eggplants: chlorogenic acid and nasunin. These two components are shown to display inhibitive properties against free radicals as well as antibacterial and antiviral attributes. Nasunin, in particular, inhibits free radicals so they cannot damage neural system as well as showing potential in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Health Benefits of Eggplant can also be felt on the bones. Bone health is also promoted by consuming eggplant and this is exceptionally a good thing for anyone carrying high risk factor of developing both osteoporosis and degradation of skeletal integrity. If you notice just how unique eggplant color is, that is because of phenolic.
Phenolic is a type of compound that is linked directly to countering risks of developing osteoporosis, strengthening of bone structures, and increase in mineral density of bone structures. Eggplant is also high in calcium and iron, which are essential in keeping bones healthy, as well as potassium, which allows for maximum absorption of calcium.
Treating anemia is also possible through consumption of eggplant. High iron and copper concentration in eggplant gives boost to red blood cells production. Increased production of red blood cells impacts on reduced anemia risks and more efficient energy generation. Fatigue and stress are then eliminated, which is why you need to get more eggplant benefits.
Health Benefits of Eggplant are also effective to aid in the function of brain. Phytonutrients in the fruit can improve mental health and cognitive activity. Those nutrients are able to flush free radicals, toxins, and some forms of diseases off the system, resulting in fresher, healthier blood supply to the brain. As a result, your memory can be maintained to stay in shape and analytic capability will also preserve in the process.
Eggplant benefits also extend to management of diabetes. The plant is rich in dietary fiber as well as having soluble carbohydrates in low amount. Eggplant works as a regulator for activities and interaction between insulin and glucose. While keeping insulin level of the body in check, you can expect normal activity of blood glucose; as a result, diabetes should be manageable in the process.
The last piece in the long list of Health Benefits of Eggplant is that it is capable of preventing birth defects. Pregnant women especially require folic acid in sufficient amounts. Folic acid in eggplant is quite capable of protecting fetus from possible defects to its neural tube.
Damage to this neural tube could present itself in a large number of possible ways later when the baby is birthed. Sufficient intake of folic acid, therefore, becomes a very pressing matter for expecting women. And as eggplant is a delicious vegetable to be made into food, future moms can enjoy having good times snacking while at the same time covering the basic needs their baby has.