Eggplant benefits and side effects- Brinjal benefits
Brinjal benefits and side effects
Eggplant is known as a vegetable having a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce the symptoms of anemia, and increase cognition.
It improves cardiovascular health and also protects the digestive system. Eggplant is also good for weight loss, managing diabetes, reducing stress, protecting infants from birth defects, and even preventing cancer.
What are Eggplants?
In some places, eggplant or brinjal is often referred to as the ‘King of vegetables’ and it is not without cause. It has a wide array of health benefits. It helps you get strong bones and offsets the onset of osteoporosis.
It helps you to deal with symptoms of anemia, increases cognitive function, improves cardiovascular health and, even, protects the digestive system. Furthermore, it also helps you to lose weight, reduces stress levels, helps to protect infants from birth defects and also fights some strains of cancer.
The eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg, guinea squash, melongene, and brinjal, usually has an egg-like shape and a vibrant purple color.
It is rich in fiber, low in calories, it provides a range of nutrients, and it features in the Mediterranean diet.
Although the dark purple version of eggplants is best known, the shape, size, and color can vary from small and oblong to long and thin, and from shades of purple to white and green.
This article will focus on the nutritional benefits of the traditional purple eggplant.
Eggplants Nutrition Facts
Eggplant is not the highest in many nutrients as some of the superfoods out there, but it is unique. Eggplant contains a somewhat rare and extremely beneficial type of antioxidant known as nasunin.
Nasunin is a type of anthocyanin antioxidants found in all types of eggplant varieties in addition to other deeply colored fruits and vegetables.
The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from their vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content.
According to USDA National Nutrient Database, eggplants are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. They also contain almost no cholesterol or saturated fat.
Eggplants are rich in a wide range of nutrients which are beneficial for our health. It is rich in dietary fiber, Vitamin B1 and copper.
Other nutrients like manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and Vitamin K are also found in good quantities. Eggplant or brinjal is low on cholesterol or saturated fat. It contains phytonutrients like nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
Health Benefits of Eggplants
Health benefits of eggplant include the following
1) Eggplant Benefits For Heart health
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health.
In addition, eating foods containing certain flavonoids, including anthocyanins, may be associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease, according to a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) in 2008.
In one study, those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables per week containing anthocyanins had a 34-percent lower risk of heart disease than those who consumed less.
In another, an increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.
2. Eggplant Aid in Digestion
Eggplants, like many other vegetables, are great sources of dietary fiber, a necessary element in any balanced diet. Fiber is essential for gastrointestinal health, as well as for regular bowel movements.
It bulks up your stool so it passes more easily through the digestive tract, while also stimulating peristaltic motion, meaning the contraction of the smooth muscles that help food pushed out of the body. Finally, fiber also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate the absorption of nutrients and the processing of foods.
Fiber has also been linked to the reduction in heart diseases as well, since it eliminates some of the bad LDL cholesterol that can clog arteries and veins, resulting in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
3. Helps Protect Against Cancer
It’s believed that there are amazingly 13 types of protective phenolic acids present at significant levels within eggplant. Different types of eggplants have varying levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, but all share similar qualities in their ability to fight cancer.
Eggplant nutrition contains disease-fighting nasunin as previously mentioned, in addition to many other phytonutrients like chlorogenic acid. Cholorogenic acid is found in the cell walls of certain plants and known to be very beneficial in stopping free radicals from forming cancerous cells and leading to cancer tumor growth.
In addition to its anti-mutagen and anti-tumor effects, cholorgenic acid is believed to act as an anti-microbial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol), and also an anti-viral, meaning it protects against various levels of inflammation and disease formation.
4. Improve Bone Health
Eggplants are very good for people at a high risk of bone degradation and osteoporosis. Phenolic compounds are what give eggplants and many other fruits their unique coloration.
These compounds have also been linked to reduced signs of osteoporosis, stronger bones, and increased bone mineral density.
Eggplants also have significant amounts of iron and calcium, which are integral to bone health and overall strength.
Finally, the amount of potassium in eggplants helps in the uptake of calcium, making eggplants a comprehensive and highly useful booster for osteoporosis and bone health.
5. Cognitive function
Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin in the eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell membranes from free radical damage.
It also assists in the transport of nutrients into the cell and moving waste out.
Research has also shown that anthocyanins help prevent neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain.
This could help improve memory and prevent age-related mental disorders.
Eggplant benefits and side effects
6. Helps Lower High Cholesterol
Studies have shown that eggplant can be beneficial to heart health due to its ability to fight inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to healthier arteries and more balanced cholesterol levels .
Eggplant nutrition has been shown to be beneficial in maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels because of its phytonutrients’ ability to improve circulation and reduce plaque buildup in the main arteries, including the aorta.
While your body does need a certain amount of cholesterol, consuming eggplant is correlated with balancing the amount that is held within your blood vessel walls and improving blood flow.
Studies have shown that eggplants containing potent cardio-protective compounds judging by their ability to increase left ventricular function (one of the main blood-pumping chambers of the heart) and to reduce apoptosis.
7. Prevent Anemia
A deficiency in iron can be very dangerous to overall health, and it can manifest in anemia.
Anemia is characterized by headaches and migraines, fatigue, weakness, depression, and cognitive malfunction. Therefore, eating foods high in iron can combat anemia, and eggplants have a decent amount of iron in them.
Eggplants are also very rich in copper, another essential component of red blood cells (RBCs), just like iron. Without these two minerals, the red blood cell count in the body will continue to decrease, since they are perpetually being used up.
With healthier red blood cells coursing through your veins, you will see a noticeable boost in energy and strength, which will eliminate feelings of fatigue or stress.
8. Good Source of Energy-Promoting B Vitamins
Eggplant nutrition provides a good source of Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6, two of the vitamins that are included in the healthy metabolism and energy-promoting B Vitamin Complex. B vitamins are water soluble, found in many vegetables and other whole food sources, and are needed to maintain healthy energy levels, brain function, metabolism, heart health, and focus.
They are also required by the body to absorb all of the nutrients from the foods you eat, working to convert fats and carbohydrates into useable “fuel” for the body the burn.
Vitamin B6 is needed to help create amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are used for numerous bodily functions and without enough of them, problems including a lack of energy, skin inflammation, anemia, depression, chronic fatigue, and nutrient-deficiencies can all occur.
Vitamin B6 is also involved in the formation of hemoglobin (which carries oxygen to the blood), neurotransmitters (which help control your mood), as well as regulation of blood glucose. Vitamin B1, another type found in eggplant, is used for maintain a healthy metabolism, blood and heart health, brain function, and more.
Side Effects Of Eating Eggplants / Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Eggplants
Eggplant or Brinjal is a species of the nightshade family. It is known as a vegetable but botanically speaking it is a fruit.
Eggplant is native to India but is now grown in many parts of the world. Being a good source of number vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers and other compounds, they are very beneficial for us and provides a lot of health and beauty benefits.
However, there are also some side effects of eating too many eggplants and in this article, we will know about these side effects in detail.
According to India’s Central Food Research Institute, eggplant can cause allergic reactions. Severe reactions can include throat swelling and nausea, although more common reactions include itchiness and rash.
Eggplant allergies do not tend to be as common or as severe as allergies to other members of the nightshade family, such as tomatoes or bell peppers.
Still, parents should monitor their children when serving eggplant. Common antihistamines can treat most eggplant allergies.
2. Can Stimulate Menstruation
Eggplant is diuretic in nature and because of this reason, pregnant women are advised to not to consume it on a regular basis as it can stimulate menstruation in them.
In addition to this, eggplant is also a good source of phytohormones that aids in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome and amenorrhea.
Although this is an advantage of eggplant but the same advantage act like a disadvantage for pregnant women.
In 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that eggplant has the highest concentration of nicotine, the addictive stimulant found in tobacco, of any commonly consumed vegetable.
According to the New York Times, however, eggplant contains nicotinic acid, which has a similar molecular structure to nicotine, but is not the same thing as nicotine, and does not have nicotine’s addictive or stimulating properties.
The Times further states that the nicotinic acid in eggplant makes it an excellent source of niacin, an essential vitaimin for blood and brain function.
4. May Lead To Abortion
Eggplant is a good source of a number of vitamins,minerals, fibers etc. and the presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for our health but eggplant is not so beneficial for pregnant women as they contain compounds that stimulate menstruation.
Because of their menstruation-inducing properties, consumption of eggplant may also lead to absorption and for this reason, pregnant women are advised to not to consume them on a regular basis and consult their doctor about the same.
5. Too Much Potassium And Fibers Is Bad
Eggplant is a good source of a number of compounds like folate, potassium, fiber etc. and the presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for our health.
However, the excess of these compounds is bad as there are side effects associated with it. Too much of potassium can upset stomach, vomiting, can give rise to hyperkalemia.
Similarly , an excess of fiber can give rise to constipation, diarrhea, difficulty in absorption of nutrients and so on. For this reason too, it is advisable to eat eggplant in moderate quantity.
How to Cook Eggplant
While the different varieties of eggplant will range somewhat in terms of their exact taste and texture, they are usually described as having a spongy, soft flesh and a pleasant but bitter taste.
In many recipes, eggplant is used as a complementary ingredient that adds texture, volume, and balance to stronger tastes coming from other highly-flavored ingredients.
Eggplant is commonly used around the world to make the all-vegetable dish Ratatouille in France, Cury in India, Babaganoush spread or dip in the Middle East, Moussaka in Greece, or Eggplant Parmesan in Italy.
It is commonly added to Asian stir-dried dishes or grilled on the BBQ in North America and Australia, in addition to many other culinary uses.
Luckily cooking eggplant does not seem to diminish the positive effects of its phytonutrients .
In fact thermal treatment commonly used before eating it can increase the availability content and biological activity of antioxidant compounds of eggplants .
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