Four health benefits of eggplant

A well-prepared eggplant dish is based on its mild taste and delicate, silky texture. And did you know how healthy eggplant is?

This famous purple vegetable contains anthocyanins, a natural plant pigment that is also found in berries, and which do your body a lot of good. Eggplant is also packed with soluble fiber, which plays a role in lowering cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar.

Find out what are the main health benefits of using eggplant and, if you haven’t done so yet, include it in your diet.

1. Eggplant has a lot of soluble fiber

Most healthy adult women need 25 grams of fiber per day (38 grams for men), and eggplant can help you get there: A cup of diced eggplant gives you 2.5 grams of fiber.

– Proper, regular intake of fiber from various plant sources (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) is useful for managing healthy cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and gut microbiome function – says Talia Folador, registered dietitian.

Eating five to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day can help lower cholesterol.

– Of the fiber present in eggplant, about 20 percent is soluble fiber that helps your body get rid of cholesterol that would otherwise be reabsorbed and stored in the body – explains Mackenzie Caldwell, a fertility and prenatal dietitian.

She adds that fiber is important for healthy bowel movements and supports healthy gut bacteria.

– Soluble fiber can also help control blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates – says Folador and adds:

– In your stomach, soluble fiber absorbs liquid and swells, so it takes longer to pass from the stomach to the intestines.

This slows down how quickly carbohydrates are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar levels from rising too quickly.

– Soluble fibers also bind to some of the carbohydrates, which prevents them from being absorbed into the bloodstream – Folador points out.

2. Eggplants contain polyphenols

Eggplant contains two types of antioxidant plant chemicals called polyphenols: anthocyanins, which are found mainly in the skin of the eggplant, and chlorogenic acid, which is found in the pulp. Both anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid act as antioxidants in your body.

– Antioxidants help your body get rid of things called reactive oxygen species, or ROS, which are a waste product of damage to things we’re exposed to in the environment, whether it’s pollutants in the air, water or soil, UV rays from the sun, and even exercise produces some ROS – says Caldwell.

– When ROS levels in your body are too high, it can lead to excessive inflammation, which can cause cell breakdown, weaken the immune system and damage DNA – says Folador.

Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid help keep your body from producing too much ROS, minimizing cell damage that can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

3. Eggplant is a source of potassium

Eggplant provides your body with potassium, an essential mineral that plays a role in keeping blood pressure in a healthy range.

– Eating foods rich in potassium can help blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure – says Folador.

In addition, potassium prevents the effect of sodium, which raises blood pressure. When potassium from food enters your bloodstream, your kidneys end up removing more sodium from your blood, which in turn lowers your blood pressure.

It’s important to remember that if you have kidney disease or are taking medications that affect how the body handles potassium, you need to talk to your doctor about how much potassium you can have per day.

4. Eggplant is a good source of manganese

“Speaking of essential minerals, eggplant is also a source of manganese, which helps with carbohydrate and fat metabolism, the process your body uses to break down food components, such as carbohydrates and fats, to use as energy,” says Folador.

The body uses manganese to produce enzymes that break down carbohydrates and fats into these smaller, usable components. This lesser-known mineral also plays a role in the production of antioxidants to prevent high levels of ROS in the body, it says “Real Simple“.

Source: Vesti online by

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