Draped in a gorgeous, grape-tinted skin, this misunderstood vegetable was previously rumored to have no nutritious merit. Research has shown time and time again that this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. From baba ghanoush to ratatouille, there are various vessels of indulgence for this vibrant veggie! But these “garden eggs” must be baked or grilled to cultivate the most nutrients possible, and should not be eaten raw.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Heart Healthy: Packed full of fiber, vitamins B1, B3, B6, C, K, and phytonutrients, eggplants are cardiovascular saviors. Regularly ingesting plants that harbor flavonoids are essential to lowering risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in America.
- Combats Cancer: Polyphenols in this veggie, such as delphinidin, protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, prevent development of tumors, and stop the spread of cancer cells. Other compounds such as anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Chlorogenic acid can also inspire cleansing enzymes inside of cells, which encourage cancer cell death and can ward off other viral diseases.
- Lowers ‘Bad’ Cholesterol Baking eggplant at 400 degrees can bring out both the flavorful and nutritional side of this violet garden egg. It has the power to reduce the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body. However, frying it instead won’t have hardly any advantages, since it will soak up fat from the cooking oil.
- Improves Brain Function Phytonutrients within an aubergine, as some refer to this vegetable, have been known to increase cognitive ability and benefit overall mental health. By fighting off free radicals, these substances protect the brain against disease and toxins, and also promote blood flow throughout the brain. More blood flow transports higher amounts of oxygen to your noggin, which enhances memory and analytic thought.
- Better Blood With high levels of Vitamin K along with bioflavonoids, consuming eggplant regularly can prevent blood clots and strengthen blood vessels.
- Dynamic Digestion Containing very little fat or cholesterol, this fibrous and filling vegetable is a huge help in maintaining a healthy digestive system. The fiber enables the body to easily process foods and support the absorption of nutrients by producing gastric fluids within the stomach.
- Assists Anemia Those who suffer from an iron deficiency may be able to battle some of the debilitating symptoms by including eggplant in their meals. The ample flesh of this purple plant have many essential minerals, including iron and copper, which assist in improving the health of red blood cells within your bloodstream. Eating foods with these compounds can significantly boost energy and strength, and eradicate feelings of exhaustion or worry.
- Regulates Diabetes With high fiber and low soluble carbohydrates, eggplants are ideal to include in meals if you are watching blood glucose and insulin levels.
- Prosperous Pregnancy Folic acid is imperative if you are expecting, because it protects infants from defects within the neural tube. Folate is important to every one’s nutrition, but should especially be increased if you are carrying a baby to protect their brain development as well.
- Bone Benefits This powerful plant produces a great amount of copper and Vitamin K, along with phenols, which also help to prevent osteoporosis, increase bone mineral density, strength, and overall bone health. This is because copper maintains collagen formation of connective tissue and bones. The myth of nightshade plants such as eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers triggering osteoporosis has been busted! The oxalic acid present in these foods does inhibit the absorption calcium, but only if consumed every day in high amounts. Don’t worry; you can counteract this by pairing them with other foods high in calcium like cheese!