Eggplants, also known as the garden egg and guinea squash, is known for its vivid purple color and egg-like contour. In fact eggplants can and do come in different sizes and shapes, but regardless of the shape or color, there’s no changing the fact that they provide several health benefits.
- Full of Flavonoid
Eggplants are full of flavonoid, to be more specific anthocyanins. Flavonoids are natural phytochemicals that flush out toxins in your body, and in addition a study published in WebMD suggests that these also reduce your risk of developing a heart condition, aside from improving your general sense of wellbeing.
The eggplant’s skin is rich in fiber, which acts like a sponge and absorbs the toxins and unhealthy elements in your body and discards them. Aside from its high fiber content, eggplants have high amounts of magnesium and potassium, and combined the three increases your oxygen retention capability. The higher your oxygen capacity is, the less likely free radicals will develop.
- Protects the Heart
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), foods that are rich in flavonoids like eggplants reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides flavonoids, eggplants are also full of vitamin B6, vitamin C and polynutrients, all of which contribute to your heart’s well being.
The AJCN study shows that consuming flavonoids –even just small amounts- substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Health experts in fact noted that eating three servings of fruits and vegetables including eggplants makes you 35% less vulnerable to developing heart disease than those who don’t. The same study –backed by clinical trials- also revealed that anthocyanins reduce blood pressure by a significant margin.
- Controls Blood Cholesterol
One of the most important benefits of eggplants is managing blood cholesterol, as this minimizes your risk of contracting various diseases. Research conducted at Cambridge University revealed that rabbits with high cholesterol which were given eggplant juice enjoyed a drastic reduction in blood cholesterol levels, and they also lost weight. Although this study was conducted on animals, the evidence strongly suggests that same benefits will be felt by people who eat eggplants.
Extensive studies on eggplants revealed that its phenolic compounds have high levels of chlorogenic acid, one of nature’s most potent scavengers of free radicals, and it also increases your LDL (good) cholesterol level. In addition, chlorogenic acid acts as a natural anticarcinogenic, antiviral and antimicrobial agent, making you less vulnerable to infections.
- Improves Cognitive Function
Findings in Cambridge University proved that eggplants are rich in nasunin, an anthocyanin and a powerful antioxidant that safeguards the lipids making up the membranes in your brain cells. Without anthocyanin, your brain cells will become susceptible to damage. The same study also showed that anthocyanin facilitates the movement of nutrients in cells and eliminates wastes.
Additional studies suggest that anthocyanins play a pivotal role in preventing neuro-inflammation, and it also ensures that blood flows smoothly in the brain. Not only does this improve cognitive functions, but it enhances memory and can prevent mental disorders and other age related issues. Anthocyanin is found on the eggplant’s skin, but you’ll also benefit by eating the entire eggplant.
- Weight Management
As was mentioned earlier, eggplants contain plenty of fiber, and this is the reason why it helps you lose weight. Thanks to eggplant’s high fiber content, the fruit works as a bulking agent inside your digestive system. The more eggplants you eat, the more you’re going to lose weight because it acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
The compounds in eggplants reduce your appetite and increase your satiety, so it makes you feel fuller. Since you’re eating less, your calories will drop, making the fruit an essential part of your diet.
Adding Eggplant to Your Diet
If you’re going to buy eggplants, get those that are heavy and avoid those that have discolored, bruised and withered skin. For the best results you should get only eggplants with smooth skin and the color needs to be vivid. To keep eggplants fresh, you should store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to consume it. Also, remember that the skin has to be kept intact when you’re storing the eggplants so it doesn’t get spoiled.