7 Surprising health benefits of aubergines

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, belong to the family of nighthade plants and are used in many different dishes throughout the world.

Although it is often considered a vegetable, technically they are a fruit, as they grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds.

There are many varieties that vary in size and color. And while aubergines with dark purple skin are the most common, they can be red, green or even black (1).

In addition to providing a unique texture and a mild flavor to the recipes, the eggplant provides a lot of potential health benefits.

This article analyzes in depth 7 health benefits of aubergines.

1. Rich in many nutrients

Eggplants are a nutrient dense food, which means they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in low calories.

One cup (82 grams) of raw aubergine contains the following nutrients (2):

  • Calories: twenty

  • Carbohydrates: 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.

Summary: Eggplant provides a good amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals in low calories.

2. High in antioxidants

In addition to containing a variety of vitamins and minerals, aubergines have a high number of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful substances known as free radicals (3).

Studies have shown that antioxidants may help prevent many types of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer (4, 5).

Eggplants are especially rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that is responsible for its vibrant color (6).

In particular, an anthocyanin in eggplants called nasunin is especially beneficial.

In fact, several test tube studies have confirmed that it is effective in protecting cells against damaging damaging free radicals (7, 8).

Summary: Eggplants are high in anthocyanins, a pigment with antioxidant properties that can protect against cell damage.

3. It can reduce the risk of heart disease

Thanks to its antioxidant content, some studies suggest that aubergines may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

In one study, rabbits with high cholesterol were administered 0.3 ounces (10 ml) of eggplant juice daily for two weeks.

At the end of the study, they had lower levels of both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, two blood markers that can increase the risk of heart disease when they are elevated (9).

Other studies have shown that eggplants can have a protective effect on the heart.

In one study, the animals were fed raw or roasted eggplant for 30 days. Both types improved cardiac function and reduced the severity of the heart attack (10).

While these results are promising, it is important to keep in mind that current research is limited to animal studies and test tubes. More research is needed to evaluate how eggplants can affect the health of the heart in humans.

Summary: Some animal studies have found that aubergines can improve heart function and reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, although research in humans is needed.

4. Can promote the control of blood sugar

Adding aubergines to your diet can help keep your blood sugar level under control.

This is mainly due to the fact that the aubergines are high in fiber, which passes intact through the digestive system (11).

Fiber can lower blood sugar by decreasing the rate of digestion and absorption of sugar in the body. The slower absorption keeps blood sugar levels constant and prevents spikes and shocks (12).

Other research suggests that polyphenols, or compounds from natural plants, found in foods such as eggplant can reduce sugar absorption and increase insulin secretion, which can help lower blood sugar (13).

A test tube study analyzed eggplant extracts enriched with polyphenol. It showed that they could reduce the levels of specific enzymes that influence the absorption of sugar, helping to reduce blood sugar (14).

Aubergines adapt well to current dietary recommendations for controlling diabetes, which include a diet rich in fiber and rich in whole grains and vegetables (15).

Summary: Eggplants are high in fiber and polyphenols, which can help reduce blood sugar levels.

5. It could help with weight loss

Eggplants are high in fiber and low in calories, which makes them an excellent complement to any weight loss regimen.

The fiber moves through the digestive tract slowly and can promote fullness and satiety, reducing caloric intake (16).

Each cup (82 grams) of raw eggplant contains 3 grams of fiber and only 20 calories (2).

In addition, aubergines are often used as a high-fiber, low-calorie substitute for the highest-calorie ingredients in recipes.

Summary: Eggplant is high in fiber but low in calories, which can help promote weight loss. It can also be used instead of high-calorie ingredients.

6. May have benefits to fight cancer

Eggplant contains several substances that show potential to fight cancer cells.

For example, solasodine ramsil glycosides (SRGs) are a type of compound found in some nighthade plants, including eggplant.

Some animal studies have shown that SRGs can kill cancer cells and may also help reduce the recurrence of certain types of cancer (17).

Although research on the subject is limited, SRGs have been shown to be especially effective against skin cancer when applied directly to the skin (18, 19, 20).

In addition, several studies have found that eating more fruits and vegetables, such as eggplant, can protect against certain types of cancer.

A review that examined approximately 200 studies found that eating fruits and vegetables was associated with protection against cancer of the pancreas, stomach, colorectal, bladder, cervix and breast (21).

However, more research is needed to determine how the compounds found in aubergines can specifically affect cancer in humans.

Summary: Eggplants contain solasodine rhamnosyl glucosides, which test tube studies indicate may help in the treatment of cancer. Eating more fruits and vegetables can also protect against some types of cancer.

7. Very easy to add to your diet

Eggplant is incredibly versatile and can be easily incorporated into your diet.

It can be baked, roasted, roasted or sautéed and enjoyed with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of seasoning.

It can also be used as a low-calorie replacement for many high-calorie ingredients.

This can reduce your carbohydrate and calorie intake, while increasing the fiber and nutrient content of your food.

Summary: Eggplant is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared and enjoyed in different ways.

The bottom line

Eggplant is a high-fiber, low-calorie food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many potential health benefits.

From reducing the risk of heart disease to controlling blood sugar and weight loss, aubergines are a simple and delicious addition to any healthy diet.

They are also incredibly versatile and adapt well to many dishes.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/eggplant-benefits


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