Erika Guzman A Recent ASU Nutrition Student
When vegetables are in season, it usually means it’s very tasty and it’s cheap! This season, it’s eggplant! Although the large purple vegetables very common around the states, there are also other types and species. Most of them contain the same spongy texture, and it’s a great alternative to mushrooms.
Eggplant is one of the most economically important crops as well as one of the healthiest vegetables for it’s low caloric value and it’s high content of vitamins and minerals. In eggplants, there are anthocyanins, or the violet hues in eggplant which can actually protect the heart! In short it functions as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Anthocyanins are associated with flavonoids, and they have the ability to protect against diseases. Naturally pigmented fruits and vegetables usually help with heart health and cardiovascular health. With eggplants, they contain a chemical called nasunin, which may help improve blood flow to the brain, allowing your cognitive to function more clearly and properly.
Lastly, eggplant is great for weight management. It is high in dietary fibers for a vegetable and it’s low in calories which allows your stomach to feel more satisfied and reduce your appetite overall.
|Amount Per 100 grams|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.2 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 2 mg||0%|
|Potassium 229 mg||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6 g||2%|
|Dietary fiber 3 g||12%|
|Sugar 3.5 g|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||3%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
Although eggplants can be beneficial to many people, it can also cause problems. The eggplant is part of the nightshade family; it may aggravate arthritis or inflammation due to the alkaloids in the vegetable, or the natural chemical compound that are also commonly used in morphine or poisons. Fortunately, it’s not severe, but it may cause problems and pain for those who suffer problems with their joints.
Another plausible problem is with overconsumption of eggplants, it can contribute to problems with the gut and kidneys. Too much eggplant can cause oxalates in the kidneys, or where kidney stones are formed from calcium deposits and too much sodium. People who are prone to kidney problems should limit their intake of the vegetable, as well as some common ones in the same family. Lastly, it absorbs iron. Unless if you happen to have too much iron, it should also be limited, so people who suffer from anemia, limit your intake as well.
Overall, eggplants are healthy and delicious. They’re loaded with nutrients and have a very low calorie content, and it can be beneficial. It’s an extremely economical vegetable as well as healthy, and when in season, it’s tasty and even cheaper.
Norris, J. (2013). Oxalate. Vegan Health. Website. Retrieved at https://veganhealth.org/oxalate/.
Taher, D., Solber, S. O., Prohens, J., Chou, Y., Rakha, M., & Wu, T. (2017). World vegetable
center eggplant collection: origin, composition, seed dissemination and utilization in
breeding. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8:1484. Retrieved at
Ware, M., RDN LD. (2017). Eggplant health benefits and tasty tips. Medical News Today.
Website. Retrieved at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php.
For more awesome recipes be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section.