This species of nightshade is delicious and can be cooked in numerous ways, but did you know that there are numerous health benefits of eggplant besides its versatility and yummy taste? The fruit doesn't contain an overwhelming amount of any one nutrient, but it boasts an impressive range of minerals and vitamins, as well as other highly beneficial compounds. Here are just a few of the benefits of eggplant that will make you want to add it to your diet a lot more often:
1. Brain Food
One of the most awesome benefits of eggplant is that it's rich in phytonutrients, which protect your cell membranes from the infamous free radicals and facilitate message transfer in the brain, improving your memory function. So, better stock up on eggplants before your exams!
2. Improves Digestion
Eggplants are quite rich in fiber too, which you already know is great for digestion. Fibers help push waste, chemicals and toxins out of your body, as well as prevent and treat constipation. Eating eggplant regularly will help regulate your bowel movements and keep your body healthier overall.
3. Weight Loss Aid
Now this will surely make you want to eat this fruit a lot more often. One of the most cherished benefits of eggplant is that it can be of great help if you want to lose weight. You might have already thought of this considering its fiber content, but that's not all there is to it. Eggplant has a low caloric value, is rich in water content, and also contains a nice amount of potassium, helping you keep hydrated and feeling full for longer.
4. Helps to Quit Smoking
Yes, you got that right! Eggplants contain small amounts of nicotine, and therefore can help curb your cravings for a puff while you are trying to quit smoking. Granted, you will have to eat a lot of them to get the equivalent of a cigarette, but hey, they help with weight loss, so you can kill two birds with one stone – a yummy, yummy purple stone.
5. Good for the Heart
Regular consumption of eggplant can play a pretty big role in relaxing the blood vessels in your body, keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level and improving blood flow. What's more, the phytonutrients in this fruit also help prevent heart disease and strokes.
6. Better Skin, Hair and Nails
Due to its high water content, as well as the healthy fats and varied vitamins and minerals it contains, eggplant can help you have strong, healthy hair and a smooth, glowing skin many will envy you for. Furthermore, consuming this fruit regularly will also do wonders for your nails, keeping them clear and shiny and preventing them from breaking or splitting.
7. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
This is definitely one of the most amazing benefits of eggplant! Due to its fiber content and the fact that it's also a rich source of chlorogenic acid, the fruit has been found to be especially effective in preventing colon cancer. Also, the nasunin found in the fruit's skin is known for its anti-angiogenic properties, which means it's able to prevent the transition of benign tumors into malignant ones as well as hinder tumor growth.
8. Regulates Iron Content
The aforementioned nasunin found in eggplants is also an iron chelator, normalizing iron levels in the body. Though iron is an essential nutrient necessary for the proper functioning of our organism, having it in excess is not a good thing, as it can raise the risk of cancer and heart disease and is also associated with increased free radical production.
9. Good for Diabetes
Due to its high fiber content and the fact that it is very rich in low soluble carbs, eggplant helps normalize glucose and regulate blood sugar levels. Therefore, it can be beneficial to those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
As you can see, this fruit really has a lot to bring to the table and should be part of your regular diet. How often do you eat eggplant and how do you like to cook it?