Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Eggplant

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eggplant-image-design-1Eggplant, also known as aubergine in some parts of the world, is a purple vegetable that is very popular for those losing weight. It’s traditionally used in Mediterranean diets, but you can add the vegetable to almost anything. It’s particularly beneficial in stews and curries.

The eggplant is one of the most beneficial foods for the health in the world. You’ll hear many experts encourage you to eat it. Not only does it offer various nutrients, but it has a high water content to help you get everything you could possibly need.

So, it’s time to add more eggplant to your diet. If you don’t believe me yet, here’s a look at everything you need to know about the health benefits, with sections broken down to find out exactly how it will help you.

The Nutritional Makeup of the Eggplant

Raw eggplants

One eggplant will usually do you a full meal for four people. You’ll only need a cup of cubed eggplant to benefit tremendously. If you do get a cup, you’re eating just 35 calories, but while you get few calories, you will be full by the end of your meal.

You’re getting 10% of your daily recommended amount of fibre from that one cup of eggplant. If you eat the full aubergine, you’ll end up with 40% of your recommended amount of the food group. Why is this so important? We’ll get more into it later on, but it is full of benefits for your digestive system and will help with the weight loss.

You’re also getting 7% of both copper and vitamin B1, 6% of manganese, 5% of vitamin B6, 4% of vitamin B3, 3% of potassium, vitamin K, and folate. All of this just from that one cup of the vegetable. And these are your most common types of nutrients that you’ll get from other fruits and vegetables. It’s not often that you can get a mixture of B vitamins, without opting for the traditional and sometimes boring green vegetables.

So, now that you know the makeup, it’s time to look at all the ways you will benefit from getting the vegetable into your diet. We’ll also look at some of the downsides.

This Is About Moderation in a Healthy Diet

Yes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. One of the biggest issues with focusing on foods for a healthy diet is that we tend to go a little overboard. We find out that one specific item of food offers many great benefits, and then solely focus on that food in our diets.

We can get too much eggplant. This will take a while and having two or three cups of the vegetable instead of one isn’t going to be a problem. Consuming it on a daily basis for one of your meals isn’t going to be the issue.

The problem arises when you focus only on getting eggplant. The nutrients mentioned aren’t all the ones that your body needs. You’ll find that you need many other nutrients to keep your system working fully.

That means you will need to consume the eggplant within a healthy and balanced diet. This doesn’t just mean getting plenty of other fruits and vegetables in your diet. You’ll need to make sure you get all four of the important food groups: protein, carbs, fibre, and fat. When you get all four, you’ll find it more likely that you’ll get all the nutrients you need.

While eggplants are low in calories and healthy, you will still need to make sure you do some exercise throughout the week. Add more water into your diet, too. These are often linked to weight loss, but they are great for the overall health and to make sure you can absorb all the nutrients from the eggplant.

Melanzane ripiene al forno - Stuffed Eggplant oven baked

Eggplant Is the Food of the Weight Loss Gods

Let’s start with your weight loss efforts. If you’re trying to lose a lot of weight in a fast period of time, you’ll be looking for the best foods to do that. Well, this is where eggplant definitely comes in use. It is the food of the diet gods. There are even some diets that are created specifically around vegetables like eggplant.

First, let’s consider the lower amount of calories. You’re getting just 35 calories in a serving, which is considerably less than in many other foods that are available. You’ll be able to eat much more without worrying too much about your waistline, so you’ll feel like you’re not consuming anything naughty. It’s a great ingredient for padding out your meals, especially if you’re on a low-calorie diet.

On top of that, the fibre in the vegetable helps with satisfaction while eating. When we eat more fibre, we don’t feel as hungry. This is because the fibre breaks down in the body slowly, so it makes the body feel like it is still full hours later. You don’t feel the need to consume as many calories, which you would if your meals didn’t have that much fibre within them.

You can get this benefit from the majority of fruits and vegetables. They are all high in fibre, especially when you eat them whole.

The benefit of feeling full is that you’re not trying to convince yourself that you don’t need any more food to eat. You’re not constantly telling your brain to stop feeling hungry because you must wait. There’s no need to constantly crave something because your stomach keeps telling your body that it is completely satisfied instead. That means you’re less likely to break and start binging on food that you think you do need to eat.

Losing weight means that you will benefit your health overall. You get rid of the visceral fat that is around your abdomen—the fat around your organs. You’re at a lower risk of developing an enlarged liver, preventing it and other organs from working effectively. Your energy levels will get a boost, and you’ll feel more confident as you fit into smaller sizes.

Let’s not forget about the benefits to your heart health. With less weight, your body doesn’t have to deal with as much strain. That means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to get the blood pumping around your system to fuel all your organs.

Of course, you can help your weight loss efforts in other ways. You can’t just get it from eating eggplant. You should also focus on an overall healthy diet and focus on getting more exercise into your life. All together you will burn more calories than you eat, and you’ll start seeing the weight drop off. Food plays just 80% part in weight loss. The other 20% is made up of exercise.

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Nutrients Benefit Your Heart Health, Too

Now that we’ve considered the benefits to your weight has on your heart health let’s look at other benefits that the aubergine can offer. Benefits come from the vitamin B6, potassium, and fibre, along with other nutrients that are available in smaller amounts.

Eggplant is full of flavonoids, which have been linked to reducing the risk of mortality due to heart disease through studies. You don’t even need to consume that many flavonoids, as it is all about the quality and not the quantity. Anthocyanins are most beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease, which is something that you will find in eggplant.

The nutrients also help you to reduce your cholesterol levels, which will help with protecting the health of your heart. Your blood flow is better supported, and you’re at a lower risk of clotting. This is especially the case with the higher amounts of vitamin K in eggplant compared to many other foods.

With fewer clots, you’re at a lower risk of high blood pressure. This is a silent killer, so you’re at a lower risk of developing a stroke or from dying.

Let’s Not Forget About the Benefits of Lower Cholesterol Levels

Bad cholesterol isn’t just bad for your heart. It’s an overall problem, as it affects your blood flow. When you have high cholesterol levels, you make it harder for the oxygenated blood to get around the whole body. Your body is working much harder, so you’re at a much higher risk of developing high blood pressure. As we’ve said, a high blood pressure is a silent killer. There are no symptoms at all.

But let’s not also forget the affect high cholesterol levels can have on the weight—and vice versa.

One of the downsides is that there are low good and bad cholesterol levels in eggplants. Why is this a bad thing? Well, not getting that much good cholesterol can cause your bad cholesterol levels to increase. When you get good levels of the HDL (good) cholesterol, you can keep your bad cholesterol levels under control. The good cholesterol lines the blood vessels to protect them.

Bad cholesterol otherwise has the chance to cling to the blood vessels and narrow the pathway for the blood to flow through. This is why there is more of a risk of clotting and other health problems.

If you’re going to reduce the bad cholesterol, include food in your diet that will help with boosting the good cholesterol levels. This is a major reason why aubergine needs to be added to a healthy and balanced diet.

Eggplant rolls with cheese, tomato and basil

Eggplant Can Help to Both Prevent and Slow Progression of Cancer

If you’re looking for something that will help to prevent cancer, eggplant is the vegetable to eat. It is full of antioxidants, including anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid that help with the protection of the cells. Natural occurring free radicals will usually attack the cells and cause them to grow abnormally, but the antioxidants help to limit the damage that the free radicals can do.

It’s not just preventing cancer that aubergine can help. The vegetable helps with slowing down and preventing the progression of the disease. If you are currently suffering from it, you can improve the chances of fighting it off and living a fuller life.

Fighting the progression comes from helping to protect the rest of the cells in the body. There’s a lower chance of the free radicals affecting cells to help with the growth of the abnormal cancerous ones.

At the same time, there’s a detoxifying enzyme within the vegetable, which helps with the fighting of cancer. Not only will you prevent the spread of the cancerous cells, but you can kill off the ones that are currently in your body with the use of eggplant.

Antioxidants are also powerful for other health benefits. They help to keep the immune system health and fight against many other diseases that will affect you. When you’re suffering from cancer, your immune system is already compromised, so it’s worth giving it a boost to hold off any other health problems.

There’s an Anti-Inflammatory Response Within the Body

When the body is ill or injured, it responds in ways to help promote healing. Inflammation is one of those natural responses, whether it is visible on the skin or within the body where you can’t see it. The problem is that inflammation can happen without any healing needing to take place. The body is confused and believes that it needs to fight off some sort of infection or disease.

Unnecessary inflammation leads to pressure on the nerves and can lead to chronic pain and disease. Some of the most common diseases linked to unnecessary and sometimes unexplained inflammation include fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Arthritis has also been linked to inflammation within the joints, causing pressure on nerves and tissues.

So, what if you could reduce the inflammatory response? This is where eggplant comes in. This vegetable is full of antioxidants and elements that promote an anti-inflammatory response. It’s much better getting the anti-inflammatory properties naturally since you don’t always know all the chemicals and ingredients added to the anti-inflammatory medication.

You can help to reduce the flare-ups of various chronic illnesses that you suffer. They can even become a thing of the past if you get the right diet for your inflammatory needs.

image_5Your Brain and Cognitive Functions Will Improve

Inflammation also causes a problem within the brain. As the vessels narrow, the blood flow is restricted. It’s much harder to get the oxygenated blood to all necessary parts of the brain. That means you lose some cognitive and brain functions.

In fact, inflammation has been linked to the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. No matter how much you do to protect your brain, if the blood can’t get around to it all because of the inflammation, then you won’t see all the benefits. Eggplant helps to keep the inflammation to a minimum, only cause the problem when there has been an injury to the head.

There are now studies that show aubergine works in other ways. The vegetable skin has nasunin, which is a type of anthocyanin and power for protecting the brain from the damage that free radicals can cause. We’ve already discussed how free radicals can lead to cancer, but what about other issues from cell growth abnormalities?

Cognitive damage occurs when the brain cells are damaged and don’t grow back properly. Protecting the cells from the free radicals will help to preserve the cognitive health.

You can still help your cognitive health and memory by doing regular brain training. There are other foods that you should include as part of your healthy and balanced diet. Omega 3 is a fatty acid that you will need, which is in abundance in oily fish. The great news is eggplant and oily fish work extremely well together when it comes to health meals to aid with weight loss, heart health, and cognitive life.

While you’re protecting the cells, the eggplant also offers phytonutrients, which help to improve the blood flow around your system. You will get more blood flowing to your brain, especially if the vessels are protected with the good cholesterol levels. With good blood flow, you’ll find that your memory and brain health are better supported.

Balance Your Mood with Eggplants in Your Diet

There’s another reason for improving the blood flow to your brain. It helps to keep you energised and awake. Not only do you feel more capable of doing everything in your life, but your mood levels will be balanced. Good energy levels help with the release of the right chemicals around your body.

When you have the right balance of hormones and chemicals, you will be a happier person. You also get the right levels of natural pain relief, so even if there is inflammation,it won’t be as bad as it could be. Just think of how much more you can get done when you have a more positive feeling in life.

Let’s also go back to that pain issue. When the levels of pain and inflammation are under control, you will also find that your mood gets a boost. Just think about how depressed you can feel if you are constantly in pain. Sometimes you can’t even move without feeling the pain. Well, with the right levels of natural pain relief in the body, you help to boost your mood because of the lack of pain.

And then there is the benefit of the fibre. You feel satisfied after a meal with eggplant in it, especially if it has other types of vegetables or high fibre/high protein foods. When you feel satisfied, you don’t have that constant niggling feeling of needing something to eat.

Eggplant puree with tomato

If you’re constantly feeling hungry, you end up binging on more food. You’ll end up gaining weight, and this affects your mental health as you’re disappointed with yourself. Of course, rather than focus on ways to lose weight, you end up consuming more calories that you don’t need and end up gaining more weight. It’s a difficult cycle to break and negatively affects your mental health.

By keeping your weight and satisfaction under control, you will keep your mental health more positive. You’ll also have more confidence in life, which can help boost your mental health further. More confidence helps you get the things you want in life, so you end up feeling even more confident about yourself.

If you are on antidepressant medication, it’s worth sticking to a smaller limit of eggplant. The vegetable has been known to interact and stop antidepressant drugs from working properly. The best thing for your heath is to follow that health and balanced diet.

Get a Boost to Your Energy Levels

And remember that the improved blood flow will help your energy levels. You’ll find that you’re able to do more throughout the day. Your organs work more effectively, and you will find that you can burn more calories daily. This can all help with losing some of your excess weight.

Of course, losing weight will make you feel like you have even more energy. Your body is no longer trying to hold onto the excess pounds. Getting up the stairs will be easier, and you’ll feel like a much healthier person. This can actually help make sure you stick to that healthy diet that you want to follow right now.

Let’s then not forget that improved energy levels mean improved concentration. You’ll be more productive at work, so you can prove to your boss that you’re worth a high salary. This can soon help to improve your overall life, and not just your health.

The lack of sugar in the vegetable also helps with your energy levels. Instead of getting a sudden boost and then a crash, you end up with a more continuous breakdown of the food. Your energy levels are maintained throughout the day with a diet that has eggplant and other health foods.

The energy levels are also supported by the amount of potassium in the aubergine. There’s not as much as the likes of bananas, but still, a good amount to keep you going throughout the day.

Extra energy levels are great for doing more exercise or activity throughout the day. By doing more exercise, you’ll also find that your energy levels increase—yes, it really does work that way! Your brain gets a boost in blood flow, and you’ll find more positive chemicals are released. Of course, the extra activity helps with weight loss, and you’re benefiting in so many other ways just by adding more aubergine to your diet.

You’ll Find That Type II Diabetes Is No Longer a Major Issue

Your bad diet is putting you at risk of developing Type II diabetes. This is due to the glucose in your body, which causes insulin spikes. As your body becomes resistant to the insulin, you start to need more. Your body just can’t deal with higher levels.

Type II diabetes is a major health condition. It doesn’t just mean a change in your diet, but a complete change in your life. You’re at a higher risk of issues including amputations. In fact, around 7,000 amputations in the United Kingdom alone are carried out on patients with Type II diabetes, because of this disease.

So, finding a way to keep your risk of diabetes to a minimum is important. Eggplant will help with this because it is low on the glycaemic index. That means you don’t get that much sugar released into the body when you consume the vegetable. There’s no glucose and no need for the insulin response. Remember, your energy levels are maintained throughout the day, and this is another reason why.

You will need to follow a balanced diet to help with the diabetes levels. If you eat eggplant and chocolate only, you will still find that you put your health at risk. By following an overall healthy diet, you can keep your risk of diabetes to a minimum.

If you currently have Type II diabetes, you can help to reduce the medication that you need to take to a minimum. This isn’t just from eating eggplant, but it certainly helps. You’ll need to focus on an overall healthy diet.

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You’ll Support Your Digestive System Throughout the Day

Just how often have you felt your digestive system needs a bit of a boost? Eating something with fibre is definitely the way to help, and you can get that from eggplant. I told you there was another benefit tofibre than just helping with your weight loss efforts.

The fibre will help you to pass more food throughout your system, as it keeps the whole digestive system working. You can reduce bloating that you feel and keep cramping to a minimum. There’s also the benefit of reducing the risk of constipation, which is common with a low fibre diet.

Getting the fibre is more than getting a laxative. It’s about removing all the toxins and creating a lining for your intestines. You’ll find that other foods don’t do as much damage as they would if there wasn’t fibre within the system.

It’s Time to Get Hydrated

Eggplant is a very moist root vegetable. This is great for those who struggle to get hydrated throughout the day. Be honest with yourself. Chances are you don’t drink the eight glasses of water that you should, so you need to get it through your diet in other ways.

Hydration is important to keep all your organs functioning as they should. You’ll also find that your blood flow and energy levels are improved. Let’s not forget the benefit you have to your brain.

Your skin will also appreciate the extra liquid being added to your diet. It needs water to remain soft and smooth. When it dries out, you’re more susceptible to the signs of ageing. Isn’t it time you made a change?

This doesn’t change the need for drinking water throughout the day. But it will help to top up the amount of liquid that you get, so you’re not as likely to be dehydrated throughout the day.

Did You Know You Can Eat Too Much Eggplant?

Baked eggplant with cheese and tomato

Remember when I told you about everything in moderation? That’s because there are some downsides to eating too much eggplant. You can end up removing all of the benefits that you would have gained if you’d have stuck to the balanced diet.

Let’s initially start with the fibre. By eating far too much aubergine, you run the risk of eating far too much fibre on a regular basis. This can cause some bloating and digestive discomfort. You can also end up with the runs, as you soften the stool far too much.

There is also the risk of getting too much potassium in your diet. Some of the earlier symptoms of too much potassium include vomiting and stomach upsets. You can also end up developing a serious condition called hyperkalaemia.

If you’re pregnant, you will want to think about the amount of eggplant you’re eating. Consuming too much could be dangerous to your baby, but getting a healthy amount will help you get the nutrients that you and your baby need. One of the biggest issues is that eggplant can lead to menstruation stimulation. There’s the chance that your body could start the abortive process on your baby, which is why doctors recommend pregnant women only to consume eggplant in small amounts.

If you’re not pregnant, there’s still the issue of menstruation stimulation. Eggplant is a diuretic, which can also mean that you need to urinate more often. When you consume the vegetable regularly, you can find that you have more menstrual periods on a regular basis. If you are trying to get pregnant, it can be very difficult to time your cycle or keep the embryo, leading to a missed miscarriage.

Of course, the diuretic can help with dealing with the premenstrual symptoms. You’ll suffer fewer mood swings and cramps. This is a catch-22 situation, so it’s just best to keep the consumption to a minimum, especially if you are trying to get pregnant.

Is It Possible to Suffer an Eggplant Allergy?

Did you know that there are some people out there who are allergic to eggplants? This is rare, but it is something that you will need to look out for. In the majority of cases, you are going to benefit from eating the vegetable rather than not.

Symptoms of an allergy are very similar to those of other allergies. You’re likely to suffer from inflammation in the throat, itchiness, rashes, and nausea.

Who is more likely to suffer from an eggplant allergy? The vegetable is part of the nightshade family. Those who suffer from allergies to other foods in the nightshade family should look out for signs and symptoms. These foods include bell peppers and tomatoes.

You will usually find that a dose of antihistamines will help to keep the allergic reaction under control. If you are allergic, you should stay away from it completely after the first reaction.

Mixed Reports Over Eggplant and Nicotine

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It is worth sharing that there are mixed reports over eggplants and whether or not they contain nicotine. Nicotine is an extremely addictive component found in cigarettes. It may be present in eggplants.

However, there are reports that say this isn’t true. What other reports have found is nicotinic acid. Isn’t this the same thing? Not quite.

The acid does have a similar structure to nicotine but isn’t as dangerous or as addictive. In fact, the acid can offer other health benefits. It helps get the vitamins into the body that will help boost the blood flow, which leads to so many of the health benefits already mentioned above.

However, we also know that the tobacco plant, which does contain nicotine, is part of the same nightshade family as aubergine. It is possible that the nicotinic acid is the same component as in the tobacco plant. But we know that there are so many health benefits. When you opt for the vegetable in small and healthy servings, you shouldn’t see any negative side effects from the nicotinic acid.

How Can You Get Eggplant Into Your Diet?

Now it’s time to look at ways to get more eggplant into your diet. The great news is that it’s very easy to use this vegetable. It’s one of the most versatile options on the market. It’s also very easy to find in grocery stores, often in season around the summer and autumn periods. The majority of grocery stores will now have it available throughout the year, so there’s no need to plan around the seasons.

Let’s start with the ability to eat this vegetable raw. If you’re following the raw food diet, you can add this to your list. Make sure you peel the skin, as this isn’t designed to be eaten.

You can use the skin to serve your egg plant. It’s durable, even when you do decide to cook it. In fact, an eggplant pizza or a stuffed eggplant are two very common ways to eat the vegetable. You scoop out the middle and mix it with your other ingredients. For pizzas, you will need to layer it all together with your cheesy topping, but with a stuffed aubergine you can put it all together, however, you would like.

Aubergine works very well with other root vegetables and with tomatoes. It’s also a good addition to a chicken or Italian meat dish.

When cooked, the skin is a little easier to consume. You can cook your eggplant with the skin on and throw it together with a pasta dish. Remember that this is a popular Mediterranean vegetable, and is commonly used in Moroccan curries, Greek pasta dishes, and southern Italian cooking. Mix it with some yellow and butternut squash and some tomatoes to create a delicious dinner for the family.

You can also use the eggplant to layer a healthier lasagne option. This is very simple to make. Just create your lasagne as you usually would but instead of pasta sheets, use sheets of eggplant. Cook for the same amount of time.

Another option is to add your eggplant as a side dish or as a healthy snack. Slice your vegetable in strips and cover with breadcrumbs. Pop in the oven and roast for around 15 minutes. You’ve got some healthy eggplant fries to serve with your meals. Don’t forget to sprinkle some herbs and spices, as eggplant on its own can taste a little bland.

Baked eggplant with cheese, tomatoes and chicken on a dark woode

Add Eggplant to Your Healthy and Balanced Diet

There you have all the great benefits of getting eggplant in your diet. Yes, there are some dangers and definitely some questions over the ingredient, but it is definitely worthwhile adding the vegetable to your diet. Even in just small amounts, you will gain from eating it, and that small amount just must be a cup full with one meal a day.

To be able to make the most of your health benefits you’ll need to make sure it is part of a healthy and balanced diet. There are certainly various downsides to getting too much of one piece of food, and that is the case with eggplant. Not only can you end up with stomach cramps and upsets, but you could be at a risk of miscarriage or unintended abortion because of the menstrual stimulant effect.

By getting the vegetable as part of a healthy diet, you make sure you get all the nutrients that your body needs. There are certain nutrients that this vegetable misses, including iron, calcium, and vitamin A. You’ll need all of these if you want to support your immune system and bone strength. You’ll also find that you don’t get quite enough protein from eggplant alone, which is necessary for support your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Overall, the eggplant is a highly beneficial vegetable. Now it’s just time to make sure you add it to your diet in a healthy way.

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