Aubergines, more commonly known as eggplants, belong to the nightshade family of plants and are used in many different dishes across the globe.Oft considered to be a vegetable, these flowering plants are technically a fruit.
There are many varieties that range in size and colour. And while eggplants with a deep purple skin are most common, they can be red, green or even black.
In addition to bringing a different texture and flavour to recipes, eggplants bring a number of potential health benefits as well.
Here are 5 health benefits that aubergines have to offer.
1. Rich in Nutrients
Aubergines are nutrient-dense, which means that they contain a large amount of vitamins, minerals and fibres in very few calories.
One cup (82 grams) of raw eggplant contains the following nutrients:
• Calories: 20
• Carbs: 5 grams
• Fibre: 3 grams
• Protein: 1 gram
• Manganese: 0.1 mg
• Folate: 0.18 mg
Eggplants also contain tiny amounts of other nutrients, including niacin, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K,vitamin C and copper.
2. High in Antioxidants
Eggplants also boast with a high number of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances that aids in protecting the body from harm caused by substances known as free radicals. Several studies have shown that antioxidants could prevent many types of chronic disease, such as heart disease and cancer.
Aubergines are specifically rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that is responsible for their vibrant colour. An anthocyanin in eggplants called nasunin is very beneficial.
3. May Promote Blood Sugar Control
Adding aubergines to your meals might help keep your blood sugar under control. This is mainly because eggplants are high in fibre, which passes through the digestive system intact.
Fibre can lower blood sugar by slowing the rate of digestion and absorbing the sugar in the body. A slower absorption rate keeps your blood sugar levels steady and prevents spikes and crashes. Aubergines fit well into dietary recommendations for controlling diabetes, which include a high-fibre
diet rich in whole grains and veggies.
4. Could Help With Weight Loss
Aubergines are high in fibre and low in calories, making them an excellent addition to any weight loss programme.
Fibre moves through the digestive tract slowly and can promote fullness and satiety, reducing calorie intake on the long run.
Each cup (82 grams) of raw eggplant contains 3 grams of fibre and just 20 calories.
5) May Have Cancer-Fighting Benefits
Aubergines contain several substances that could potentially fight cancer cells. For instance, solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (SRGs) are a type of compound found in some nightshade plants, including eggplant.
Though research on the topic of aubergines and cancer is limited, SRGs have been shown to be effective against skin cancer when applied directly to the skin.
Aubergines can be a great addition to any diet, with the benefit of it being a replacement for many higher-calorie options, such as meat in pasta. Contact Michelle Mina for a healthy meal plan or weight loss programme.