12 Mental and Physical Benefits of Eggplant
Eggplants, otherwise known as aubergines, are an exotic fruit that originates from asia and are known for their relatively large size and purple color. However, despite being a less common choice for most shoppers, eggplants have also gained a reputation as one of the world’s healthiest foods. (1) This fruit has been said to deliver a wide range of benefits stemming from its rich nutrient content, which includes B Vitamins, fiber, flavonoids and anthocyanins, and a range of minerals.
Its benefits, therefore, are extremely diverse and include mental health benefits, cancer protective effects, and heart healthy effects.
Below, this article will examine some of the benefits of eggplants and look at ways eggplants can be included into the diet easily and effectively.
12 Health Benefits of Eggplants
1. Eggplants Can Help Protect Against Blood and Heart Complications
Because of the high levels of flavonoids and Vitamin K, C and B Vitamins, as well as plenty of minerals like potassium and magnesium, eggplants offer a very beneficial effect on heart health, with studies showing that taking in nutrients found in eggplants, like flavonoids and anthocyanins, can improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (2) The Vitamin K content is also helpful in preventing blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis, which are particularly prevalent in the elderly and those who travel frequently.
With its rich nutrient content, eggplants offer a great side dish for those looking to take care of their heart and prevent blood-based complications.
2. Eggplants Can Help Regulate Bowel Movement
Because eggplants are particularly fibrous fruits, with only one serving providing ten percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, with a lot of this coming from insoluble fibre, they are a great fruit to consume to help keep bowel movements regular and prevent constipation, which can be a frequent issue for those who don’t eat enough fruit or vegetables. (3)
3. Eggplants Help With Nutrient Absorption
Along with a rich insoluble fiber content, eggplants also have a high amount of soluble fiber in each serving. This insoluble fiber helps with nutrient absorption in the gut and helps feed beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which can have a host of benefits like improving the immune system and mood and mental health. (4, 5)
Another benefit to a high insoluble fiber content is that the fruit can be blender or juiced without losing the fiber, allowing for a wider range of options for incorporating eggplants into the diet and the ability to add it to a shake to get these nutrients in the go.
4. Eggplants Can Help Prevent Cancer
The flavonoids and anthocyanins in eggplants are not only useful in maintaining heart health, but have also been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer. (6)
This, along with the high amounts of diverse antioxidants in eggplants offer a huge benefit to consuming this fruit regularly alongside other fruits and vegetables to help prevent cancer later in life.
5. Eggplants Can Promote and Help Maintain Bone Health
A high amount of magnesium, iron and Vitamin K, eggplants can help increase Vitamin D absorption and help maintain healthy bones. (7)
By improving Vitamin D and calcium absorption, eggplant consumption can help prevent become fractures and diseases such as osteoporosis and makes a great addition to the diet for those suffering with weak or brittle bones and more active individuals.
6. Eggplants Can Help Manage Eating and Aid Weight Loss
A low calorie count and the high water content of this fruit means it has a high weight to calorie ratio, known as a low calorie or energy density. This along with the high amount of fiber discussed above all help reduce hunger and eating. (8) Eggplants actually offer one of the lowest calorie density of all fruits per serving.
This makes eggplants a great ‘diet’ food for individuals trying to lose weight or athletes trying to shed some extra fat or lower body weight for a competition.
7. Eggplants Can Help Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy
The high amounts of different B Vitamins found in eggplants, particularly folic acid, are recommended by most doctors during pregnancy for the protective effects they have on an unborn foetus. (9)
As such, eggplants offer a more natural, taste-friendly and low calorie option for increasing B Vitamin intake along with a host of other beneficial nutrients in pregnant women.
10. Eggplants Can Help Improve Anaemia
As well as helping maintain bone health, the iron content in eggplants also makes it a good food choice for individuals who suffer from anaemia. This is because the iron in the eggplants helps in the creation of red blood cells, which anaemia sufferers experience a shortage in. (10)
With the usual recommendation of iron supplements, eggplants offer a natural alternative for helping treat and improve anaemia.
11. Eggplants Can Help Fight Cholesterol
The flavonoids and anthocyanins contained in eggplants also help lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol to help reduce plaque and prevent issues like heart attacks and improve blood circulation. (11)
Alongside the direct benefits eggplant consumption has on the heart, the impact it can have on cholesterol makes this fruit an ideal choice for anyone who is looking to take special care of their cardiovascular system.
12. Eggplants Can Improve Brain Function
The antioxidants found in eggplants also help reduce inflammation in the body and help improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to the brain.
This helps compound the beneficial effect of eggplants on mental health through improving but health and nutrient absorption and can be a great option for health enthusiasts looking for a boost in mood
3 Quick and Easy Eggplant Recipes
Due to the soft texture and relatively bland taste, eggplants can easily be included in any diet and mixed in many different foods without affecting their taste. This offers many recipes that can be used to help easily incorporate eggplants into any meal or diet plan.
Recipe #1: Eggplant Protein Shake
This recipe is ideal for those with a busy schedule who need a fast and easy way of including eggplants in the diet and only requires a blender and a drinking container.
- Prepare milk or water in a blender.
- Add yoghurt and one scoop of protein powder.
- Add slices of raw or cooked eggplants.
- Blend and pour into a beaker or drink container.
Recipe #2: Roasted Eggplants with Melted Cheese
This is an especially tasty snack that can be made in under 15 minutes to have on the go or between meals.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius
- Slice eggplants and place in a bowl.
- Cover baking tray in olive oil or butter.
- Place eggplant slices in tray and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove cooked eggplants from the oven.
- Place a light layer of the choice of cheese on top of the eggplants and place back in the oven.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes and remove.
- Enjoy on bread or alone on a plate.
Recipe #3: Eggplant and Vegetable Stir-Fry
If looking to reinforce the nutrients found in eggplants with health-friendly nutrients from other fruits and vegetables, and increase their benefits in one meal, this vegetable stir-fry is a great and easy option for lunch, dinner or snacks.
- Cover pan with butter or olive oil.
- Slice eggplants vegetables of choice and add to a bowl.
- Mix well.
- Preheat pan for 2 to 3 minutes and add eggplant and vegetable mix.
- Keep temperature high and stir well and frequently.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are a golden-brown color.
- Serve alone or alongside meat or fish.