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Proven Health Benefits

Proven Health Benefits of Eggplant

Because of the name, many people assume that eggplant is actually a vegetable, but it’s indeed a fruit. Another reason why people consider eggplant to be a vegetable is because it’s something that is not often eaten on its own. Instead, eggplant is typically cooked with other foods or as a side dish. You don’t often see people walking around eating an eggplant like you would an apple or a banana.

Still, eggplant is just like any other fruit (and it’s actually in the berry family) in the fact that it’s filled with nutrients and benefits. No matter how you are preparing eggplant or what color it is, you’re sure to get these benefits. Let’s take a look at the fruit that’s popular around the world, and especially in China and India. Here is the nutritional value and the proven health benefits that you get from eating eggplant.

Nutrition of Eggplant

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Eggplant is not the type of food you want if you are looking for a lot of calories to bulk up. In fact, there are fewer than 35 calories in each serving of one cup of eggplant, cooked and without salt. There is a small amount of protein in eggplant, but you are getting plenty of dietary fiber with 10 percent of your daily recommended value. There are also around 15 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 77 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids.

Eggplant is not quite abundant in any vitamin or mineral, but it is a well rounded and significant source of many of them. You’ll be getting around five percent of your recommended value in vitamin B6, thiamin, vitamin K and manganese. A little less than five percent, but still present, includes nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium and copper. The rest are still there, but in very small amounts.

Digestive Health

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Eggplant is very easy on the body, and especially your digestive tract. With the high fiber content and low amount of calories, eggplant can stimulate your digestive system so that it works more efficiently. With an increased amount of fiber in your body, you are able to pass stool more easily thanks to your gastric juices operating at a higher level.

For those that are struggling with staying regular with problems like diarrhea or constipation, increasing your fiber intake should take care of those problems. Fiber has a lot of benefits, but the most apparent and immediate one comes in your digestive system. It might take a few days to get used to an increased fiber amount, but you’ll feel tremendously better within just a week.

More Energy

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Having more fiber in your system is going to give you more energy overall, as you can feel bogged down with a poor digestive system. Another reason you can feel deflated throughout the day is because you have a lack of iron, which is known as anemia. Eggplant is a good source of iron that can help you get more immediate energy, and it will even enhance your strength.

Blood with more oxygen is able to give your body an overall boost that doesn’t come with spikes or crashes like you get from sugar. The iron in eggplant has even been found to help out many neurological problems such as depression and headaches. Eggplants also contain potassium and phytonutrients, which can enhance your memory and fight against free radicals that can cause issues such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases down the road.

Weight Loss

The first thing you need to lose weight is a lower calorie count. Naturally, burning more calories than you take in is going to lead to weight loss. Eggplant helps with that main factor by being tremendously low in calories, while also being filling and containing nutrients. The fiber in eggplant allows you to feel full for longer, making it a perfect addition to your diet if you get regular cravings throughout the day.

Because of the improved digestive health, you are also going to be getting a metabolism boost. We also pointed out the energy boost that eggplant brings, which can make getting through workouts easier. Just make sure that you’re getting enough calories outside of eggplant to make it through a workout, though.

Heart Healthy

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The fiber content in eggplant can’t be understated as there are so many benefits that you can get. This includes a benefit for your heart, as a healthy amount of fiber can chip away at the plaque in your arteries while lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. That alone will drastically reduce your chances of heart disease or stroke.

Studies have shown that eggplant also contains anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that can lead to a drop in blood pressure. While it might not be a good thing if you already have low blood pressure, but those on the other end of the spectrum will see a huge benefit. With a vitamin E increase, as well, you can lower your overall cholesterol and fight inflammation, as well as carcinogens that may enter your system.

Blood Sugar Regulation

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Another way that you can really help your heart is by regulating your blood sugar, which can be done through eating eggplant. Eggplant doesn’t have many soluble carbohydrates, and does have plenty of fiber. Those two working together keep eggplant very low on the glycemic index, allowing your body to balance insulin and glucose. You can also find a solid amount of magnesium in eggplant, which further helps your blood sugar.

Summing it Up

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Eating a healthy amount of eggplant isn’t going to bring any negative benefits since there isn’t too much of one thing (calorie and nutrient wise) that will do any damage. There have been some side effects that have been shown for people that eat too much eggplant, but it would have to be a ridiculous amount. For prosperity’s sake, though, we have to mention that an excess of eggplant can cause reproductive problems for women, which is why you shouldn’t eat them during pregnancy.

You also want to make sure you’re getting eggplant from a reputable source as certain types can cause allergic reactions or can become cross contaminated. Eggplant is also known to interfere with certain types of medications, including antidepressants. Finally, eggplant contains a lot of fiber, so you want to watch your overall intake. Having fiber is a benefit, but too much is going to cause some intestinal problems, though they can be temporary and minor. Other than that, you can feel free to enjoy eggplant on a near daily basis, which is good because many of us love eggplant!

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