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The glossy, purple, teardrop-shaped eggplant vegetable, which comes in a variety of colours and shapes. is a nightshade vegetable, like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Originally from India and Asia, where it still grows wild, eggplants made their way to Europe with the Islamic empire in the 7th and 8th centuries. Historians believe the British coined the term eggplant during their occupation of India. Aubergine and brinjal are other names for it.
Eggplant has a rich, meaty inside that takes on a creamy consistency when you cook it. The hearty texture makes it a good stand-in for meat.
Nutrients per Serving– A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of eggplant has: Calories: 25; Protein: 1 gram; Fat: 0.2 grams; Carbohydrates: 6 grams; Fiber: 3 grams. A serving also has vitamins such as: Folate: 22 micrograms; Vitamin A: 23 IUs; Vitamin C: 2.2 milligrams; Vitamin K: 3.5 micrograms. You’d get these minerals in one serving: Calcium: 9 milligrams; Iron: 0.23 milligrams; Magnesium: 14 milligrams; Phosphorous: 24 milligrams; Potassium: 229 milligrams.
The eggplant has been an ingredient in traditional medicine for thousands of years. In the ancient Indian system of ayurvedic medicine, practitioners used white eggplant to treat diabetes and the roots to relieve asthma.
While eggplant isn’t the most nutritious vegetable, it does give you a decent supply of potassium and fiber. And at just 25 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per serving, it’s a pretty guilt-free food — as long as you don’t soak it in oil.
Eggplant has antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect your cells against damage. It’s also high in natural plant chemicals called polyphenols, which may help cells do a better job of processing sugar if you have diabetes.
Early lab studies in cells suggest that eggplant protects against the type of DNA damage that leads to cancer. But researchers still need to confirm this benefit in humans.
Are There Any Risks?
Eggplant and other nightshade vegetables have the chemical solanine, which some people claim adds to inflammation and makes diseases like arthritis worse. There’s no solid evidence that the small amount of solanine in eggplant worsens arthritis symptoms. But if you notice that your joint pain flares up after you eat eggplant, avoid it.