Benefits of Eggplant
Benefits of Eggplant
The eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg, guinea squash, melongene and brinjal, is usually distinguishable by its signature egg like shape and vibrant purple color. When most people think of eggplant, this is the image that comes to mind. However, eggplants actually come in a variety of shapes and colors from small and oblong to long and skinny, from shades of purple to white and green.
Eggplant, oraubergineas it is called in France, is a vegetable long prized for its beauty as well as its unique taste and texture. Eggplants belong to the plant family ofSolanaceae, also commonly known as nightshades, and are kin to the tomato, bell pepper and potato. Eggplants grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height.
The ancient ancestors of eggplant grew wild in India and were first cultivated in China in the 5th century B.C. Eggplant was introduced to Africa before the Middle Ages and then into Italy, the country with which it has long been associated, in the 14th century. It subsequently spread throughout Europe and the Middle East and, centuries later, was brought to the Western Hemisphere by European explorers. Today, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China and Japan are the leading growers of eggplant.
4. Nutritional breakdown of eggplant
One cup of raw eggplant contains 20calories, 0.8 grams of protein, 4.82 grams ofcarbohydrate, 0.15 grams of fat and 2.5 grams of dietary fiber. A one cup serving meets 10% of daily fiber needs, 5% potassium, 3%vitaminC, 5% vitamin B 6, 1% iron and 2% magnesium. Eggplants also contain anthocyanins, compounds that belong to a class of naturally occurring phytochemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids are present in many plant foods and in addition to providing health benefits they also contribute to the distinguishable coloration of many fruits and vegetables. In this case, anthocyanins are water soluble pigments that give the eggplant their well known dark purple complexion.
5. Health benefits of consuming eggplant
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle related health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like the eggplant decreases the risk ofobesityand overall mortality,diabetes,heart diseaseand promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
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The more fibre, the better.
The more fibre, the better. There are divergent views as to the requirement of dietary fibre for good health. There is no recommended daily dietary allowance for it and hardly any data about optimum amounts. Some Africans known for lower incidence of degenerative diseases take about 150 grams of fibre a day. In Europe and North America, where there is a high incidence of such diseases, people take 25 grams or less a day. Dr. John H. Cummings, a noted fibre expert in England, considers that a fibre intake of 30 grams (about one ounce) per day is sufficient for good health. Excessive consumption of fibre, especially bran, should however, be avoided. Due to its content of crude fibre, bran is relatively harsh and it may irritate the delicate functioning of the digestive system, especially in the sick and the weak. Excessive use of fibre may also result in loss of valuable minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium from the body through excretion due to quick passage of food from the intestine.