Dear Readers, Eggplants belong to the family of Solanaceae, also called as the nightshade family of vegetables that include tomatoes, habaneros, bell peppers, jalapenos, paprika, potatoes and bell peppers. They grow hanging from the vines of the plant which grows a few feet in height, similar to tomatoes.
A Brief about Eggplants
Scientific Name:-Solanum melongena
Origin:-Eastern and Southern Asia
Other Names:-Garden egg, Aubergine, Brinjal, Melongene, Guinea Squash, Baingan etc.
India is believed to be the native country of eggplant. And, botanically, eggplant is a fruit, a kind of berry, and not a vegetable.
Variety, Shape and Color
They are usually distinguished by their egg-like shape and best known for their dark purple color. But they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes like that of a golf ball, round, long, skinny, bulgy, short and oblong. They are also available in a range of shades including lavender, green, jade green, yellow, orange or white.
Different varieties of eggplant slightly differ in taste and texture but they can be generally described to have a pleasant and unique taste and spongy texture. Eggplants can be prepared whole, sliced or cubed. They can be fried, baked, steamed, grilled or roasted. But they should not be eaten raw.
The season of eggplant is usually from August to October, but nowadays they are available all year round.
There are 7 different types of eggplants:
- Japanese Eggplant:- They are long, thin, dark and glossy.
- Chinese Eggplant:–They are similar to the Japanese one, but a little longer and lighter in color.
- Bianca Eggplant:–This is an Italian variety that is round and huge with a light purple and white color.
- Santana Eggplant:–Another Italian variety that is dark purple and is in the shape of a tear drop.
- Thai Eggplant:–It is golf ball-sized and is bitter to taste. It has a light green tint with white/yellow stripes.
- Tango Eggplant:–This is a special variety that is white in color. Its shape is like an egg or pear.
- Graffiti Eggplant:–This is a beautiful variety that got its name because of the striped and scattered marks on its skin.
Eggplant is rich in various important nutrients that aid in the proper functioning of our body.
One cup of raw eggplant contains:
- 20 calories
- 4.82 grams of carbohydrate
- 2.5 grams of dietary fiber
- 0.8 grams of protein
- 0.15 grams of fat
One cup of serving equals to:
- 11% of daily fiber needs
- 10 % manganese
- 5 % potassium
- 5 % vitamin B6
- 3 % vitamin K
- 3 % vitamin C
- 3 % copper
- 3 % vitamin B
- 4 % folate
- 2 % magnesium
- 1 % iron
Along with the above-mentioned nutrients, eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
Eggplant is an unusual vegetable that has a wide range of health benefits, from the ability to aiding in the building of strong bones, reducing symptoms of anemia, increasing cognitive function, improving cardiovascular health, aiding weight loss, reducing stress and even protecting infants from birth defects.
- Eggplants are rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Dietary Fibre.The vitamins present in eggplants improve the overall health of the body and improve resistance to various diseases by boosting the immune system.
- The minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium present in eggplants help prevent diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart diseases.
- Eggplant is a great source of dietary fiber that protects against colon cancer, helps digestive system, and keeps your stomach feeling full for a long time.
- They are also very nutritious and aid in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, hair loss, acne, and obesity.
- Eggplants are low in carbohydrates, calories and also they do not contain fats. Hence, they can be included in the daily diet without fear of gaining weight.
- Studies also indicate that the leaves and roots can make a tonic for throat and stomach troubles, toothache, rheumatism, inflammation, coughs, anorexia, asthma, skin diseases, intestinal hemorrhages and foot pain.
- Many nutritional benefits are also obtained from the skin of eggplants. It is full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Hence, it is recommended to consume it along with the skin.
- Studies also revealed that regular consumption of eggplant decreases the risk of obesity, develops overall mortality, controls diabetes, and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Eggplants also promote flawless complexion and reduce the signs of aging. The water content in eggplants keeps your body and skin hydrated, imparting a soft, clear and supple skin.
- Eggplants also nourish your scalp from within, provide stronger roots, enhance hair growth and impart a healthy shine to your hair.
- Since eggplants are low in calories, you can make it a part of a healthy and low-calorie diet. It helps in increased energy and aids in weight loss.
Here is a detailed list of health benefits of eggplant:
- Improves heart health
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Fights cognitive functions
- Helps in weight management
- Combats colon cancer
- Improves brain function
- Aids in better blood flow to the brain
- Assists in better digestion
- Helps in secreting gastric juices
- Helps people suffering from anemia
- Regulates and controls diabetes
- Helps in diabetes management
- Helps in prosperous pregnancy
- Improves bone density and health
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps quit smoking
- Have antibacterial properties
- Help reduce blood clots
- Enhances liver health
- Aids in better cardiovascular health
- Prevents birth defects
- Removes excess iron from body
- Treats Acid reflux
- Prevents congenital disorders
- Strengthens immune system
- Cures Insomnia
- Relieves constipation
- Treats Gout
- Cures haemorrhoids
- Treats peptic ulcers
- Aids in treating warts
- Gives flawless, soft and glowing skin
- Prevents skin cancer
- Promotes anti-aging
- Makes hair stronger, shinier and healthier
- Prevents dandruff, itchiness and scalp diseases
The best part about eggplants is that it is not only a flavorful and delicious addition to your meals but is also a very healthy vegetable that helps you living a healthier and happier life.By unlocking the nutritional and health benefits of eggplants and including them in your diet plan, you can uplift your well-being and avoid falling victim to illnesses.