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Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Eggplant


Indian Recipes : Nutrition : Vegetables : Eggplant Nutrition Facts

Did you know that eggplants were amongst the lesser appreciated vegetables in the Western World, until their health benefits were discovered? There nutritious advantages encouraged people to introduce eggplants in most of their dishes. Otherwise known as brinjal, aubergine, melongene or guinea squash, eggplant is believed to have originated in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, though the Chinese were the first to use them as an edible plant. With an appearance of a pear-shaped egg, the eggplant, also known as nightshade, belongs to the Solanaceae family of vegetables, which include tomato, potato and bell pepper, and is botanically called Solanum melongena. Known for the glossy, purple skin with a spongy and cream-colored flesh, eggplant has a number of healthful benefits to its credit apart from its distinct taste and rich texture. However, you can find eggplants in a myriad of other colors as well, like lavender, jade green, orange and yellow-white, with sizes ranging from a small tomato to a large zucchini. Today, with the increase in supply of eggplants in the market, not many are aware of the fact that it is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. To get a quick view of the wide range of nutritional benefits provided by eggplants, scroll further.

 

History

Classified as a fruit and eaten as a vegetable, eggplant has derived its name from the early varieties cultivated. The initial breeds were smaller and white, resembling eggs; hence, were named eggplants. Historians and botanists credit India as the motherland of eggplant where it was grown in the wild. It was only in the 5th century BC that China started cultivating it as an edible plant. From there, it was introduced to Africa before the Middle Ages. However in the early Middle Ages, the Arabs and North Africans brought eggplants into the Mediterranean region from where, they spread throughout Europe and the Middle East. The Europeans considered eggplant to be more of a decorative garden plant than a food as it was thought to be poisonous, just like tomato. But with the development of new varieties in the 18th century, the eggplant lost its original bitter taste and bitter reputation, becoming an edible vegetable in many European cuisines. Today, it is a prized vegetable in the Italian, Greek, Turkish and French kitchens. Centuries later, European experimental botanist Thomas Jefferson took eggplant to the Western Hemisphere where it was initially used as a table ornament. And do you know that it was only in the 20th century that eggplant finally found a place in food preparations. Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China and Japan are the leading producers of eggplant currently.

 

Health Benefits of Baingan (Eggplant)

 

  • The presence of phytonutrients, nasunin and chlorogenic acid in considerate amounts provide eggplant with several antioxidant properties. Nasunin, found in the skin of the eggplant, effectively neutralizes the free radicals in the body. Apart from protecting at the cellular level, nasunin and chlorogenic acid protect lipids present in the brain cell membranes.

  • Studies reveal that eggplants are capable of improving the flexibility of blood vessels, resulting in the improvement of blood flow. Besides, the active nutrients, phytonutrients help in lowering bad cholesterol levels.

  • Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber which contains many cardio-protective factors and helps in keeping blood sugar under control, lowering cholesterol, improving the digestive system and assisting weight management.

  • With a good amount of essential B-complex groups of vitamins, like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin and niacin, eggplant helps the body to replenish the requirement of fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

  • The skin of eggplant has been found to contain high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. These antioxidants have been researched to protect the body from health risks, like aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.

  • With the fiber content present in significant amounts, eggplant successfully helps in curing colon cancer. It is because of the fiber which moves through the digestive tract and absorbs toxins and chemicals that can otherwise lead to the development of colon cancer. As such, people, who wish to protect themselves from the risk of colon cancer, should consume the skin along with the flesh of the eggplant. Studies show that the skin contains more fiber than the flesh.

  • Besides the fiber content fighting against cancer, eggplant is a helpful tool for people trying to lose weight. Since fiber is a bulky food and occupies a lot of space in the stomach, consuming eggplant in a salad or appetizer before the main course gives feelings of satiety; thus, you are likely to consume fewer calories from other foods. Furthermore, fiber digests slowly and takes a long time to move from the stomach to the digestive tract. As such, eggplants give you feelings of fullness for longer durations, stopping you from eating in between meals.

  • With high water content, eggplant is found to be extremely significant for the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. By not keeping yourself hydrated, you are likely to exhibit thin, dry hair with split ends and flaky, dry skin. Your body can be hydrated by drinking lots of water or eating foods that contain water which can improve the texture of your skin and hair. It is recommended to eat eggplant in the raw form to extract the most benefits as cooking removes some of the water content.

 

Nutritional Value & Calories In Eggplant 

Amount: 1

Total Weight: 82 g

 
Nutrients
Amount

Basic Components

 
Proteins
828 mg
Water
75.8 g
Ash
0.6 g
Phytosterols
5.7 mg
 
 
Calories
 
Total Calories
20
Calories From Carbohydrate
17
Calories From Fat
1.3
Calories From Protein
2
 
 
Carbohydrates
 
Total Carbohydrates
4.7 g
Dietary Fiber
2.8 g
Sugar
1.9 g
 
 

Fats & Fatty Acids

 
Total Fat
156 mg
Saturated Fat
28 mg
Monounsaturated Fat
13 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat
62 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
11 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
52 mg
 
 
Vitamins
 
Vitamin A
22 IU
Vitamin C
1.8 mg
Vitamin E
246 mcg
Vitamin K
2.9 mcg
Thiamin
32 mcg
Riboflavin
30 mcg
Niacin
532 mcg
Vitamin B6
69 mcg
Folate
18 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
230 mcg
Choline
5.7 mg
 
 
Minerals
 
Calcium
7.4 mg
Iron
197 mcg
Magnesium
11 mg
Phosphorus
21 mg
Potassium
189 mg
Sodium
1.6 mg
Zinc
131 mcg
Copper
67 mcg
Manganese
205 mcg
Selenium
0.25 mcg
 

How many calories in eggplants (per 100 gm)

Eggplants have about 24 calories per 100 gm of weight.

 

How to Buy Eggplants

 

  • Look for eggplants that have a smooth and shiny skin with a bright color, irrespective of whether they are purple, white, or green.

  • Eggplants should be firm and weigh heavy with no blemishes, tan patches or bruises. Wrinkled and loose skin indicates that the eggplant has aged and the flesh has become damaged and decayed.

  • For eggplants with fewer seeds, thinner skin, less bitter, sweeter and tender, pick up smaller sized ones.

  • To check the ripeness of the veggie, press your finger against the skin. In case leaves a light imprint, it is ripe. However, if the skin of the eggplant is too soft, it is very old and will taste bitter.

  • To select eggplants with less seeds, check their blossom ends. A large scar is an indication of fewer seeds.

 

Eggplant Storage Tips

 

  • Even though you have picked up firm and heavy eggplants, they tend to perish quickly and do not live long. Thus, you should be careful while storing them.

  • Since eggplants are sensitive to both heat and cold, they should be stored in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator at temperatures around 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) where they will be fresh for a few days. However, it is best to use them as soon as possible, preferably in a day or two.

  • Never store cut eggplant as it perishes very quickly once the skin has been punctured and the flesh is exposed.

  • Always wrap unwashed eggplants in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerators vegetable bin. In case the eggplant does not fit into the bin, do not force it as this will damage the skin and give a spoilt and decayed eggplant to prepare.

  • In case you purchase eggplants in plastic wrap, remove it once you get back home to let it breathe and retain its freshness. Thereafter, wrap it in a paper towel and place it in the refrigerator.





More About Eggplant
Quantity: 100 grams
Calories: 24 Calories in 100 grams
Bio-Logical name: Solanum melongena
Eggplant in other languages:
Hindi Baingan
Tamil Kathiri
Malayalam Vazhuthininga
Telugu Vankaya
Gujarati Ringna
Bengali Begun
Marathi Vange
Oriya Baigan
Urdu Baingan
Punjabi Bataun



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