Whether you’re an eggplant superfan or a more occasional eater, you can benefit from including this veggie in your diet. Eggplant is a vegetable that can be eaten raw, cooked or fried. It is also called aubergine, which is the French word for eggplant.
Eggplant has many nutrients and health benefits. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes. It’s rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. And it can play a role in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels when eaten regularly.
Here are some of the effects of eating eggplant that may surprise you:
- Eggplants are rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and lead to aging and disease. Antioxidants also help boost immunity by fighting bacteria and viruses.
- Eggplants contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that may help protect eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
- Eggplant boosts immunity and digestion. The soluble fiber pectin found in eggplant has been shown to promote better gut health by helping regulate inflammation in the digestive tract. The fiber content of eggplant may also help control blood sugar levels because it slows down digestion and prevents spikes in insulin production after meals
- Eggplants are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
- Eggplant helps you sleep better at night because it has tryptophan — an amino acid that produces serotonin, which makes us feel happier and relaxed — as well as potassium and magnesium, which promote sleep-inducing melatonin production.
- Lower risk of heart disease. Eggplants are rich in antioxidants called nasunin and chlorogenic acid, both of which help protect against heart disease by keeping cholesterol levels in check. Nasunin also helps lower blood pressure and inflammation in the body, which can reduce your risk for stroke.