Eggplant: Benefits, Properties and Uses

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Eggplant is a perfect ally in the kitchen, and when it comes to cooking it can be quite multifaceted

It can be prepared roasted, stewed, fried and in many other ways. But while it is true that it is very useful in the kitchen, it is also very practical when it comes to using it for medicinal purposes. Let’s discover how it can be used and what benefits it brings us.

what is the origin of eggplant?

Before talking about its virtues, let’s know a little about its origin. This herb has its origin in southeastern India. In this country it has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.

Its scientific name is Solanum Melongena. It can be included among the species of paprika, tomato and potato. And, as incredible as it may seem, it is related to tobacco; its kinship is given by the presence of nicotine in the seeds, although in minimal quantities. Being harmless for human consumption.

For many years the eggplant was considered as a poisonous plant, causing that in many places it was used only as an ornamental plant.

There are many varieties of eggplant; elongated, round and curved. Their color also varies; there are black, white, brown and of course, purple. The latter is the best known.

It is curious that although its origin is from India, currently its main producer is China. But we can continue to know the wonderful qualities of eggplant.

Properties of Eggplant

Eggplant is rich in fiber and is mostly composed of water. It is very low in calories and contains a lot of nutrients.

In addition, it has a high percentage of antioxidants and provides many vitamins such as B1, C, B6 and folic acid. It also provides potassium and magnesium.

Eggplant has very valuable chemical substances found in its peel and seed.

It should be noted that this vegetable has a bitter taste, so it is recommended to soak them in salted water one day before preparing them

It should always be consumed cooked, never raw, as it can cause intoxication and irritation of the stomach and throat.

Among its properties also highlights its nutritional value, among which are the following:

  • Water: 92.6 g.
  • Fiber: 1.3 g.
  • Calories: 21 kcal.
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g.
  • Proteins: 1.2 g.

Benefits of Eggplant

Eggplant provides many health benefits. Now we will see some of them:

  • It is easy to digest. As it is rich in fiber and water, it can be digested very quickly.
  • It helps in diets. Because of its low percentage of calories, it is ideal for those who want to lose weight.
  • It works as a diuretic. This is thanks to its high potassium content that helps eliminate toxins.
  • It lowers blood glucose levels. Because it is low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, it prevents the body from absorbing sugar from other foods.
  • Counteracts anemia. It is possible due to its calcium, iron and phosphorus content
  • Relieves inflammation in the liver and helps maintain cholesterol levels, thus preventing heart attacks.
  • It provides benefits to pregnant women. Eggplant contains vitamin B6 and this is recommended during pregnancy, as it helps with nausea and prevents diabetes that may be caused by pregnancy.
  • Itprevents memory loss. This is due to its chemical compounds, among them Nasunin found in the skin of eggplant. This can carry nutrients that help to de-inflate brain cells, allowing a better blood flow, which makes it possible to prevent mental deterioration.
  • It serves as a laxative.

As you can see, there is a long list of benefits that eggplant can bring, given a proper inclusion in the diet.

how can you use eggplant?

In many parts of the world eggplant is the protagonist of rich and delicious dishes, because it can be prepared in many ways.

One way to consume it is as a drink. This is achieved by submerging the eggplant in natural or cold water. This action allows the eggplant to release substances, which makes the water useful and helps you to reduce liver inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.

When acquiring eggplants in the market it is important to make sure that they are new. Their appearance should be shiny and not opaque. Before preparing them, remember to soak them in salt water. This prevents them from becoming bitter.

Side effects of Eggplant

Although eggplant is a rich and nutritious vegetable, care should be taken when consuming it. This is because some of its components although beneficial, can also be dangerous.

One of these components is nausin. When eggplant is consumed, nausin binds to iron and a process called aquelation occurs, which consists in the elimination of iron. Therefore, people with low iron levels should be cautious when consuming eggplant.

Solanine is another component of eggplant. This substance protects the plant during its development, so it is present in the stem and leaves, so they should not be consumed. Its consumption can cause vomiting, heartburn and cardiac arrhythmia. This can be fatal.

People with kidney stones should avoid excessive consumption of eggplant. The reason is that this vegetable also contains oxalate. This chemical contributes to the formation of these stones, so there may be a blockage of the kidneys and cause the death of the kidneys.

So, when preparing eggplant be careful and evaluate the risks so you can enjoy without fear of consuming this beneficial vegetable.

There is no doubt; eggplant is a wonderful gift from nature. Do not deprive yourself of it. Dare to use it and your body and your palate will thank you.

German Fuertes Otero
German Fuertes Otero
CEO at M.D. from Stanford Medicine: Stanford, California, US, M.Sc. from University of Cambridge: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK and University of Oxford: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. PhD at Harvard University Harvard Catalyst: Cambridge, MA, US.

Aunque pueda contener afirmaciones, datos o apuntes procedentes de instituciones o profesionales sanitarios y la información contenida en PharmaSalud esté redactada por profesionales en medicina, recomendamos al lector que cualquier duda relacionada con la salud sea consultada con un profesional del ámbito sanitario.

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