Eggplant, which is also referred to as Brinjal or Aubergine, is a beautiful vegetable which the scientific world identifies by the name of Solanum melongena. Eggplant is universally adored for its luxuriant and vibrant purple skin coloring, glistening and gleaming skin surface and scrumptious taste. However most of the folks remain unaware of the advantages of eating eggplant. It just happens that eggplant is high in nutrition which implies that there is more to love.
Brinjal originally comes from the Indian subcontinent but now it is also grown throughout the world including Scandinavian and European countries. Though eggplant is a very common vegetable and can easily be procured from the market all the year round, yet it is in its prime in summers, right after July, till the onset of winter season around October.
Contrary to the popular belief of purple eggplants, they come in a huge variety of shapes and proportions. Eggplants grow suspended downwards from the green stem on the top of the vegetable. The colors of eggplant may vary from purple to white. Similarly they come in many a different shapes and sizes; some may be round or elliptical just like an egg is while the others are slim and longer in length. However the variation in color, dimension and form of an eggplant do not affect its nutrition value or texture, which is quite spongy.
The eggplants taste quite differently as compared to other well-known veggies. At best, the taste of eggplants can be designated as slightly bland or even a bit bitter however not strong enough. The flesh of an eggplant is milky in color, which incidentally is totally set off by its vibrant purple hue, with loads of seeds embedded in the mid of the soft flesh of the vegetable.
Nutritional Value of Eggplants
Normally the eggplant is not nearly as well liked as some other vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and garden peas. However the nutritional value of the eggplant is not that well-known a fact. For starters eggplant is a very low calorie food which implies it can occupy an ideal place in your food and diet plans.
Caloric Ratio Pyramids
The CRP enlists that the eggplant comprises of 88% carbs (which translates to almost 120kJ of energy), 6% fats and the same amount of proteins (8kJ of energy each from fats and proteins).
Still need motivation to add eggplant to your plate? Read on.
- Mineral Source: Nutritional value of eggplants is very high owing to the fact that it is rich in minerals. Eggplant is a rich natural source of Manganese (Mn), Cuprum (Cu), Natrium (Na), Kalium (K) and Magnesium (Mg). it also contains traces of Zinc (Zn), Phosphorus (P), Iron (Fe) and Calcium (Ca).
- Vitamin Source: The eggplants are also a source of Vitamins A, C, E, K and B6.
- Essential Nutrients: The eggplants are also a source of essential nutrients other than common vitamins which include Riboflavin, Folate, Niacin, Thiamine and Choline.
The Magic of Nasunin
So far we have not said a single word about nasunin, the single most sought after nutrient when it comes to Brinjal and cerebral health. This nutrient has quite magical properties as it is responsible for safeguarding the fats in cerebrum thus ensuring that they are shielded against damage. In this way it plays an important role in retaining brain health. Nasunin is also an effective anti-aging component which has also shown promising results towards cancer treatment.
Miracle for Heart Health
The presence of flavonoids ensures that you are less susceptible to fall victim to heart diseases. In this way eggplants lower the chances of fatality incurred by cardiovascular diseases. The supplementary advantages include controlled pressure of blood as well as cholesterol which is further evidence to nutritional value of eggplant.
Eggplants can be cooked in a variety of ways. There are, however, some techniques and cooking methods which are unique to particular countries.
- As Salads: Poached and cut in small cubes or sliced thin and fried, eggplants add taste and texture to salads while providing you with required nutrients.
- Baked:Traditional eggplant recipes of the sub-continent include Bharta; the eggplant is roasted or baked in fire, the charred coating is removed and the pulp is stir fried with onions, green and red chili and tomato.
- Sandwiches: The fried or grilled slices of eggplant can be topped with a slice of cottage cheese and a few slices of tomato to make a delicious, appetizing sandwich.
- Vegetable Curry: You can add eggplant to your recipe of mixed veggie. Cook it with tubers like potatoes and enjoy a nutritious eggplant meal.
In order to ensure that you fully benefit from the advantages of brinjal, make it sure that you only buy the fresh, ripe veggies. If you use old and stale eggplants then you not only miss out benefiting from eggplant nutrients but you also are susceptible to various diseases. Happy Eating!!