Eggplant is considered as the king of vegetables in India, where it was believed to have first existed. Philosophers in ancient Persia believed that it can treat all kinds of ailment. It was first cultivated in 5th century China and later on in the Middle Ages. It was then introduced to Africa and soon after to Italy in the 14th century. It eventually spread all over Europe, the Middle East and the Western Hemisphere.
This Superfood belongs to the family of Solanaceae, or the nightshades as it's commonly known. They are valued for their glossy and deep purple appearance. Eggplants have a unique spongy texture and a pleasantly bitter taste. Would you believe that they are actually a fruit? Just like tomatoes, which are frequently thought of as a vegetable. In fact, they are berries! They grow in vines and come in a variety of colors like light yellow, jade green and lavender and are in season during the months of August to October.
Now, let’s get more interesting and see the power of this super veggie fruit.
They contain an array of nutrients that include both soluble and insoluble fibers, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and a lot more. They also have phytonutrients like phenolic compounds and flavonoids loaded with antioxidant properties.
The skin of eggplants contains nasunin, a very potent antioxidant has been known to protect the cell membrane of the brain from free radicals that can cause damages.
Eggplants can lower the risk of heart diseases. Its potassium keeps the body hydrated, making sure that there is no fluid retention. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also maintained by the eggplant.
The low soluble carbohydrates and rich fiber content of eggplant help control the consumption of glucose in the body thereby regulating the blood sugar level. Works well with people having type 2 diabetes.
It’s an effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral source due to the high amount of vitamin C it holds. It also gives the skin a smooth tone. The enzyme it holds stimulates the hair’s follicles making your hair healthier.
The low calorie and high water content of eggplant make it ideal for people wanting to lose weight and while at it, stay looking young by eating the skin of eggplant which has an anti-aging agent called anthocyanins.
As for its side effect, it’s best to be avoided by individuals with an allergic reaction to it.
Eggplant is by and large safe to eat, but in moderation. It is among a number of foods that contain oxalates, which when taken frequently or in large amount can crystallize in the body and cause health risks. It’s definitely a no-no for people with kidney and gallbladder issues.
Photo by: http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/new/Sorting/CATALOGUE/eggplant-harvest.jpg