Fight blood sugar and cell damage with eggplants
Also known as aubergine, and brinjal, eggplant has a white meaty flesh that develops a creamy consistency when cooked. Although many find the skin to be bothersome, eggplant skin is completely edible. Vegans often cheer for eggplants to be consumed as a substitute for meat. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, but the dark purple-skinned one is the most common.
Here is what our expert says
- Did you know that potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants are related and part of the same Genus called Solanum?
- Eggplants are rich in various phytonutrients such as flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic acids, and saponins.
- Phytonutrients mentioned above provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-depressant, anti-infective, and anti-cancer properties.
- However, the act of cooking and digestion can change the bioavailability of these health-promoting chemicals in the body.
Eggplant has a good amount of potassium and fiber but is low in calories and fat. The vegetable is rich in vitamins A and C, which protect our cells against damage. It is also loaded with natural plant chemicals which may help process sugar for those with diabetes. Eggplants contain vitamin K and minerals like manganese and folate.
Uses in medicine
This vegetable has been in use for thousands of years in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda, white eggplants are used to treat diabetes, while the roots of the plant were known to help those with asthma. The folic acid in eggplant is essential for pregnant women to prevent birth defects. Folate deficiency leads to many abnormalities in both fetuses and mothers.
It is a boon for diabetics
Since it has a lot of fiber and less soluble carbohydrates, eggplants can help regulate blood sugar levels by controlling the absorption of glucose. The phenolics in eggplant inhibit enzymes involved with type 2 diabetes. The German Institute of Human Nutrition's study concluded that dietary fiber consumption may avert diabetes. Fiber can hold up sugar absorption and thus control blood sugar levels.
Eggplant peel has solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides which may be helpful in treating skin cancer. A study led by the University of Queensland found that an average blend of solasodine glycosides proved effective in treating malignant and benign skin tumors in humans. According to lab studies done in cells, eggplant protects against the DNA damage that causes cancer, but confirmation in humans is awaited.
How to prepare eggplant
To get all the nutrition, it is advisable to eat eggplant with the skin. Chop the vegetable and sprinkle some salt on all the pieces well and leave for some time. The blackish water released from the vegetable will ensure the bitterness is gone. It also gets marinated and will soak up less oil. Then you can bake, roast, or cook it.