What Are the Health Benefits of Eggplant?

A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
Eggplant is high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories.
Eggplant is high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories.

Like many fruits and vegetables, the benefits of eggplant include being low in calories but high in fiber and other nutrients. Other health benefits of eggplant include the fact that it is cholesterol-free and virtually fat-free. The fruit is high in minerals and vitamins as well, especially B vitamins. Eggplant also contains antioxidants such as nasunin, which is found in the skins and can help protect the cells of the brain.

A 1-cup (99-gram) serving of boiled, cubed eggplant has only 33 calories. Of those calories, 8 come from fiber and 4 come from protein. The serving contains 3 grams of sugar and less than a gram of fat.

One of the major benefits of eggplant is its high B vitamin content. A single cup (99 gram) serving has 4 percent of the average person's recommended daily value of B6 as well as 3 percent of the daily value of folate. Eggplant also provides 5 percent of the daily value of vitamin B1, or thiamin.

The fruit is also a good source of certain necessary minerals. A cup of eggplant contains 252 mg of potassium and 12 mg of magnesium. An adequate amount of potassium in a person's diet helps the cardiovascular and digestive systems to function properly. Potassium and magnesium can help keep a person's blood pressure low. Magnesium can also help keep a person's bones strong.

One of the key health benefits of eggplant is its antioxidant content. Plants generally produce phenolic compounds to protect themselves from infection and stress. When a person consumes the plant, he generally gets the benefits of the antioxidant compounds as well.

Nasunin is one such antioxidant. It's an anthocyanin nutrient found in the skin and is responsible for the eggplant's purple color. The nutrient protects cells, particularly the cells found in the brain, from damage. In the brain, cells are surrounded by a lipid membrane that keeps free radicals out and lets nutrients in and out. Nasunin protects the lipids from free radicals. The nutrient also removes excess iron from the bloodstream, which helps to protect blood cholesterol and the joints.

Another one of the antioxidant benefits of eggplant is the presence of chlorogenic acid, a phenolic compound. Chlorogenic acid can help protect the body from free radicals that cause cancer and can help lower a person's cholesterol levels. The compound may also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

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    • Eggplant is high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories.
      By: Giuseppe Porzani
      Eggplant is high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories.