Health Benefits of Eggplants
Eggplant is a nutritious and versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes and can provide a number of health benefits.
As such, eggplants are often part of balanced diets, thanks to their nutritive content and availability almost year long. But, effects on human health also depend on how the eggplants are prepared.
Published: December 30, 2022.
Eggplant Nutritional Data
100g of eggplant fruit contains:
- Protein: 1g
- Total Carbs: 5.9g
- Fibers: 3g
- Net Carbs: 2.9g
- Total Fats: 0.2g
- Calories: 25 cal
As one can see, eggplants are very low in fats and calories, and as addition to any meal, they can be used to increase the volume without increasing the calories.
Also, eggplants contain a broad range of vitamins and minerals - not as much per 100g of fruit, but plenty of vitamins and minerals per just 25 cal, especially B vitamins.
Eggplant Health Benefits
Some of the potential health benefits of eggplants include the following:
- Low in calories: Eggplants are low in calories and contain almost no fat, making them a healthy choice for weight management.
- High in fiber: Eggplants are a good source of fiber, which can help to support healthy digestion and prevent constipation.
- Low in Net carbs: with just 3g of net carbs per 100g of fruit, eggplants can be used in low-calorie, low-carb and even Keto diets.
- Rich in antioxidants: Eggplants are a rich source of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which can help to protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
- May help lower cholesterol: Some studies have suggested that compounds found in eggplants, such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid, may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- May have anti-inflammatory properties: Eggplants contain compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
- Good source of nutrients: Eggplants are a good source of nutrients, including vitamins B1, B6, and K, as well as minerals such as potassium and manganese.
- May improve heart health: The fiber, potassium, and other nutrients in eggplants may help to support heart health.
- May have anti-cancer effects: Some studies have suggested that the antioxidants in eggplants may have anti-cancer effects, although more research is needed in this area.
Overall, incorporating eggplants into your diet can provide a number of health benefits and help to support overall health and well-being.
However, it is also very important how eggplants are prepared - if You make lasagna with eggplants and add a ton of fatty cheese, cream, and similar, low-fat and low-carb properties of eggplants are of no use ...
Eggplants are a relatively uncommon cause of food allergies, but some people can be allergic to them. Symptoms of an eggplant allergy can vary but may include:
- Skin reactions: Itching, rash, or hives on the skin
- Respiratory symptoms: Sneezing, nasal congestion, or difficulty breathing
- Gastrointestinal symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain
- Anaphylaxis: In severe cases, an eggplant allergy can cause a serious and potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which can affect multiple body systems and cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, and a drop in blood pressure.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be allergic to eggplants, it is important to seek medical attention.
An allergist can perform tests to determine if an eggplant allergy is present and advise you on how to manage it.
If you have a known eggplant allergy, it is important to avoid eating eggplants and to be aware of any products that may contain eggplant as an ingredient.
Cons of Eating Eggplants
Eggplants can be a healthy addition to the diet when eaten in moderation, but, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider when it comes to eating eggplants:
- Oxalates: Eggplants contain oxalates, which are compounds that can bind to calcium in the body and interfere with its absorption. For this reason, people who have a history of kidney stones or other conditions that may be affected by high levels of oxalates may need to limit their intake of eggplants.
- Nightshades: Eggplants belong to the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Some people may be sensitive to these types of foods and may experience digestive symptoms or other reactions when they eat them.
- Pesticides: Eggplants are often sprayed with pesticides to help protect them from pests and diseases. If you are concerned about the use of pesticides, you can look for organic eggplants or wash and peel the eggplants before consuming them to reduce the risk of exposure. Or you can grow them in your own garden, yard, or even a balcony.
- Allergies: As mentioned previously, while eggplants are a relatively uncommon cause of food allergies, it is possible for some people to be allergic to them. If you have a known eggplant allergy, it is important to avoid eating eggplants to prevent a reaction.
If you have any concerns about eating eggplants, you should speak with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.
Can You Eat Raw Eggplants
It is generally safe to eat raw eggplant in moderation, although some people may find the taste or texture unappealing, myself included.
Raw eggplants are crunchy and have a slightly bitter taste (especially if not watered regularly), which may not be to everyone's liking. Also, if overripe, they tend to be spongy and soft, not very appealing.
If you choose to eat raw eggplant, wash it thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or contaminants. You can then slice or chop the eggplant and eat it as is or use it in a recipe such as a salad or a smoothie.
It is important to note that some people may experience digestive symptoms after eating raw eggplant, especially if they are not used to consuming it. If you are sensitive to raw eggplants or have a history of digestive issues, it may be best to cook the eggplant before eating it.
Overall, while it is generally safe to eat raw eggplant, it is a good idea to consider your personal preferences and any potential digestive issues before consuming it.
Personally, eggplants are excellent when barbecued, baked in the oven, grilled in the pan, as part of a stew, and similar.
But, when cooking eggplant and cooking in general, add just a little of spices and seasonings and enjoy the full taste of cooked food, especially if it comes from your own garden.