November 6, 2009

Eggplants, or aubergines, or Guinna Squashes, are dark purple shiny veggies, which have great nutritional value and are used for cooking really delicious meals. These relatives of peppers and tomatoes came to the Western countries from China, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. Eggplants are very popular in the Middle East and used for cooking a great variety of meals, starting from amazing stews with hard cheese and ending with deserts. These purple veggies were introduced in Europe in the end of the 17th century, and very soon a famous scientist and botanist Thomas Jefferson started cultivating eggplants in the US.

Health Benefits of EggplantThough nowadays eggplants are available throughout the year, their best season is late summer and autumn. 100 g of this vegetable has 27 calories. The most valuable element of eggplants is dietary fiber that forms soft spongy texture of the veggie. Eggplants can be a great source of B group vitamins, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, tryptophan, folate and other useful elements, which play a key role in providing us with the most important health benefits of eggplant.

High content of dietary fiber in these vegetables can assist in supporting our digestive system and fighting against heart disease. However, one of the main health benefits of eggplant is its property to lower bad cholesterol level in our blood. Many studies have proven this property of eggplant juice, but some experts are still not sure that the scientific evidence is enough. At the same time, all specialists agree that regular consumption of eggplant is linked to better brain activity. Due to high content of nasunin, a phytonutrient and a powerful antioxidant, eggplants can protect our brain cells from damage and help our body remove excessive amounts of iron.

Health Benefits of EggplantThe researches leaded by the specialists at American Diabetes Association showed excellent effects of eggplant for prevention and management of such a disease as type 2 diabetes, which can be achieved due to high content of fiber and substantial content of low soluble carbohydrates. Antioxidant and phenolic compounds can provide eggplant eaters with effective free-radical protection and lower chances to develop cancer. Finally, such properties as diuretic, antiviral and anti-bacterial effects should be also taken into account as important health benefits of eggplant.

If you do not have an allergy on this veggie, add it to your diet and enjoy the above mentioned therapeutic effects. There is a variety of ways of cooking eggplant, starting from boiling and ending with baking or grilling. As the skin of the vegetable is very useful and contains the most of antioxidants and polyphenols, choose only fresh eggplants that are free of scars, and cook them without peeling. Do not forget to keep the veggies in salty water for 20-30 minutes before cooking, this way you can get rid of natural bitter taste of the flesh. Finally, be careful with eggplants if you have problems with gall bladder or kidneys because these veggies contain oxalates which can crystallize in the body and cause serious health problems.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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