Eggplants, also known as aubergines, belong to the nightshade family of plants and are used in many different dishes around the world. Although often considered a vegetable, they’re technically a fruit, as they grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds.
There are many varieties that range in size and color. And while eggplants with a deep purple skin are most common, they can be red, green or even black. In addition to bringing a unique texture and mild flavor to recipes, eggplant brings a host of potential health benefits.
This article takes a deep look at 7 health benefits of eggplants.
Rich in Many Nutrients
Eggplants are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in few calories. One cup (82 grams) of raw eggplant contains the following nutrients: Calories: 20, Carbs: 5 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Protein: 1 gram, Manganese: 10% of the RDI, Folate: 5% of the RDI, Potassium: 5% of the RDI, Vitamin K: 4% of the RDI, Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI.
Eggplants also contain small amounts of other nutrients, including niacin, magnesium and copper.
High in Antioxidants
In addition to containing a variety of vitamins and minerals, eggplants boast a high number of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful substances known as free radicals. Studies have shown that antioxidants could help prevent many types of chronic disease, such as heart disease and cancer.
Eggplants are especially rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that’s responsible for their vibrant color. In particular, an anthocyanin in eggplants called nasunin is especially beneficial. In fact, multiple test-tube studies have confirmed that it’s effective at protecting cells against damage from harmful free radicals.