Top 10 Health Benefits of Eggplants
Eggplants are a delicious inclusion to any diet. They have a texture and density that makes them a great addition to soups and stews. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eggplants.
They can also be consumed perfectly by themselves or be baked, mashed into a dip, roasted, grilled, or be sautéed.
Eggplants tend to have a slightly bitter and acidic taste that most people may not like, but they offer impressive health benefits beyond the taste.
They are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs for proper health and function.
1. Eggplants are good for digestion
Eggplants are rich in dietary fiber, an essential element of a balanced diet.
Fiber plays an essential role in promoting regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and stimulating the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate food processing and nutrient absorption.
2. May improve bone health
Eggplants are high in phenolic compounds that have been shown to strengthen bones, increase bone mineral density, and lower the signs of osteoporosis.
It’s these phenolic compounds that give eggplants their various skin pigmentation.
Also, eggplants contain potassium and calcium, which work together to enhance general bone health and strength.
Potassium aids calcium absorption in the gut while calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones.
Iron is another essential bone-health mineral present in eggplants.
3. Contains powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cell damage when oxygen reacts with harmful substances in the body known as free radicals.
This cell damage may disrupt normal cell function and cause inflammation which can initiate different chronic conditions.
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants will help neutralize the free radicals, thus preventing oxidation and its effects.
Nasunin is the most abundant type of anthocyanin antioxidant contained in eggplants. It helps fight oxidative stress and inflammation, which is a foundation for most diseases. It also protects against cell mutations, cell death, and DNA and cell membrane damage caused by oxidation.
Read more about the research into the antioxidants in eggplants and their benefits here.
4. Prevents cancer
Eggplants are rich in various cancer-fighting compounds, including anthocyanin, solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (SRGs), and chlorogenic acid that have been shown to offer cancer-protective benefits.
Chlorogenic acid, in particular, prevents free radicals from forming cancerous cells and inhibits tumor growth and cancer cell proliferation.
Chlorogenic acid also acts as an anti-microbial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and helps lower bad cholesterol.
5. Helps lower cholesterol
Eggplant’s fiber content is great for managing cholesterol levels. It also has antioxidants that have been shown to possibly lower the LDL levels in the body.
Adding eggplant to your diet is easy and so beneficial.
6. Promotes weight loss
The high fiber content in eggplant is highly filling and inhibits the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which prompts one to eat.
Eggplant is also low in calories meaning there will be no extras to be converted to be stored as fat.
7. Improves heart health
Eggplants are rich in bioflavonoids, which are great at lowering blood pressure. This, in turn, will reduce the strain on the heart, improve circulation and generally promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
The fiber in eggplant may reduce the bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which are risk factors for developing heart disease.
Low HDL may also lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
The anthocyanins in eggplant also help lower inflammation which may increase the risk for heart disease.
8. May help in the management of diabetes
Including eggplant in the diet will increase your fiber intake, which will help regulate glucose levels.
Since fiber slows down digestion and absorption of sugar in the body, it will keep your sugar levels steady. This will allow for controlled insulin secretion, thus giving your cells time to heal and be more insulin sensitive and receptive.
In addition, the American Diabetic Association recommends an eggplant-based diet as a diet of choice in the management of type 2 diabetes.
9. Improves brain function
Eggplants are rich in phytonutrients, natural plant compounds known to promote mental health and cognitive functions.
They also protect against free radicals and improve blood flow to the brain, which delivers oxygen and other nutrients that the brain needs.
Also, eggplant contains scopoletin, a compound that regulates the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain. This may help improve mood and reduce depression and anxiety.
Eggplant is also rich in B vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9, which help your body manage stress better.
10. Promotes skin and hair health
Eggplants are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging your skin cells.
This helps promote healthy and youthful skin while preventing premature signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, age spots, and saggy skin.
The anti-inflammatory effects of eggplant also minimize different skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis.
Also, the minerals in eggplant, including iron, zinc, folate, and potassium, increase blood circulation to the scalp, improve scalp health, strengthen hair strands, and promote the growth of new hair follicles.
Final thoughts on the top 10 health benefits of eggplants:
Eggplant is highly nutritious with beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Its regular consumption may improve digestion, promote strong and healthy bones, aid weight loss, improve digestive health, prevent anemia, lower the risk of developing cancer, regulate sugar levels, and improve brain function.
You can enjoy eggplant in different recipes such as soups or stews, roasted, grilled, sautéed, or baked.
More Health Benefits Articles:
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- 10 Health Benefits Of Mangoes
- Health Benefits of Broccoli
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