The eggplant, also known as the aubergine, is an edible fruit belonging to the genus Solanum, related to the tomato and potato. They are cultivated in many shapes, sizes, and colors ranging from large and round to long and skinny, from vibrant, glossy purple to white. Eggplants grow in a matter like tomatoes where they hang from the vines. When eaten eggplants have a spongy texture to go with the mildly bitter taste.
Adding eggplants to your diet can help boost your health depending on the variety of diverse types. Here are the 7 health benefits of eggplants.
1. Eggplants can help aid in weight loss.
Eggplants are a nutritionally-dense food with few calories, no fat, and no cholesterol. One large eggplant at approximately 536 grams contains only 136 calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Also, eggplants have 16 grams of dietary fiber. A fiber-rich diet can help fill your stomach for more prolonged periods decreasing your chances of consuming unnecessary calories.
2. Eggplants can help improve your digestive health.
Adding fiber to your diet can be vital to your gut health. Most people who eat a Western diet do not eat enough fiber, which puts them at an increased risk of complications like fecal compaction, diverticular disease, duodenal ulcer, colon cancer, and heart disease. One eggplant contains 16 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommendation for dietary fiber is 25 grams to 38 grams for women and men respectively.
3. Eggplants can help improve your blood pressure.
People who consume Western diets do not eat enough potassium and overeat sodium. Several studies have found links between low potassium intake and high blood pressure. Other studies have found that people with high blood pressure can significantly lower the systolic blood pressure by eating more foods with potassium. This could occur because potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. The daily recommendation of potassium is 4,700 milligrams. One eggplant has 1255 milligrams of potassium and only 11 milligrams of sodium!
4. Eggplants may help control your blood sugar levels.
The fiber in eggplants could help people with type 2 diabetes. Soluble fiber can lower your blood sugar levels by slowing the rate of digestion and absorption of sugar in the body thus preventing blood sugar spikes. Also, polyphenols that are found in eggplants have been found to reduce sugar absorption and increase insulin secretion.
5. Eggplants could help improve your brain health.
Eggplants contain a phytonutrient and antioxidant called nasunin. Nasunin has been found to potentially help slow the process of aging and boost cognitive function.
6. Eggplants could be heart-friendly.
Research has shown to eggplant could be heart-friendly. Although the research from an animal study, eggplants have been found to fight inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to stronger arteries and decreased cholesterol levels.
7. Eggplants could help improve your liver health.
Research published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology suggested that the antioxidants in eggplants could help protect the liver from toxins like tert-butyl hydroperoxide.