Ever wonder why an eggplant is called an eggplant? Maybe not, but now that the question has been raised, it is admittedly kind of curious. After all, your garden variety eggplants are big and purple. They look nothing like an egg. Well, the answer lies in history, what doesn’t? Several centuries ago, think the 1700s, eggplants were mostly white or yellow and much smaller, about the size of, you guessed it, an egg—hence the name. For an added twist, eggplants are not vegetables, they are actually fruits. None of this matters, of course, when it comes to their nutritional value. Large or small, white, yellow or purple, eggplants deliver the feel-good goods. Here are seven of their biggest benefits. Read on.
Eggplants are not only tasty and versatile, but they are also rich in potassium, calcium and vitamin K, all of which promote great bone health. Potassium and calcium build general bone health and strength, while vitamin k promotes bone cell production.
The peel of an eggplant contains the extract solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides, which is reputed to be able to whack cancer cells, particularly non-melanoma skin cancers, according to the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
The phytonutrients in eggplants, especially nasunin and chlorogenic acid, can fight general cell damage and also lower the risk of heart disease. The skin also contains anthocyanins, which combat oxidative stress that may help keep cardiovascular disease and various cancers at bay.
Nasunin goes beyond lowering the risk of heart disease, it may also boost memory functions by preventing neuroinflammation and increasing blood flow.
Eggplants can help trim pounds because of their high-water content and low-calorie levels. The fact that eggplants are high in fiber also helps. Get the biggest weight-loss returns by eating eggplant in its natural, spongy form.
The abundance of lutein and antioxidants in eggplant boosts vision health by reducing the production of fluid in the eye, easing pressure and making it easier to manage glaucoma. Regular consumption not only improves blood flow to the retina but also protects the eye’s nerve cells, helping to offset macular degeneration.
Eggplants can battle back anemia thanks to their high levels of iron. Since they are also rich in copper, they further support the production of red blood cells.
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