Eggplants -- 7 Unusual Health
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June  10, 2016

By Ariadne Weinberg, Featured Columnist









Eggplant all by itself doesn't have much of a taste. So, I
always assumed it was lacking in any kind of nutritional
features. My idea was that even if it wasn't good for you, at
least it wasn't bad for you. It was just sort of there. I had
no idea how wrong I was. And like the little kid in school
whom you overlook but who later becomes a tech billionaire,
eggplant has shockingly good health benefits. It has
superpowers that no other veggie possesses.


First things first. Why do they call it "eggplant"? Europeans
gave the plant this name in the 18th century because the
type of eggplant they ate had small, round, yellowish-white
fruit which looked like hen's eggs.  


In the states, eggplants are not very popular, except for in
the baked delicacy eggplant parmesan. In England, they use
the French word for eggplant, "aubergine", a decidedly more
elegant title. In India, it is dubbed "brinjal", and is native to
that continent.

While the eggplant is technically a fruit, and hails from the
Solanaceae family (along with potatoes and tomatoes), in
cooking it is used as a vegetable.



The Magical Ingredient Only Eggplant Has

Eggplant has a magical ingredient that no other vegetable
contains --- "nasunin", an antioxidant do-gooder that
contributes to your body's well-being. Eggplant also
contains nicotine! What? It's a negligible amount, so you can
still munch on the deep purple veggie guilt-free. In addition
to these more unusual components, eggplant contains your
everyday nutrients, too.

You can bake it, grill it, drink it in water, put it on your face
as a toner, or wear it as a hat. (That last one hasn't been
proven by science yet.) But please do also eat it, for, as the
following list shows, eggplants can help you fight almost
every major chronic disease:






























1.
Eggplant Lowers Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease


If you want to keep your heart and arteries healthy, put
some eggplant on the menu.

Eggplants contain "anthocyanins", a type of flavonoid that
plays a major role in lowering the risk of cardiovascular
disease.

A 2012 study from Aedin Cassidy, PHD, at the Harvard
School of Public Health in Boston examined 93,600 women,
from ages 25-42.

The experiment revealed that those who consumed more
than 3 servings of fruit and vegetables per week containing
anthocyanins had a 34% lower risk of heart disease than
those who consumed less.

Eggplants are beneficial for everyone, but the Harvard study
clearly proves that at least we ladies should start
incorporating eggplants and anthocyanin-rich food into our
diet especially early.




2.
Eggplants Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a powerful beast. The reason that cancer cells can
grow is that they have an angiogenesis ability, allowing them
to boost their own blood supply.

Eggplants can help.  Eggplants contains anti-angiogenic
properties, provided mostly by nasunin, an antioxidant
anthocyanin, isolated from eggplant peels.

A 2005 study conducted by Dr. K. Masubara from the
Okayama Prefectural University in Japan confirmed this
superpower, by looking at its effect in various vitro
angiogenesis models using human umbilical vein endothelial
cells.

Eggplants also contain "chlorogenic acid", which, according
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is its active ingredient.
This special acid helps to inhibit healthy cells from mutating
into cancer cells. Eggplant attacks cancer from both sides:
preventing its mutation and diminishing its growth. (Read
more about
foods that fight cancer.)


3.
Eggplants Reduces Your Risk for Diabetes


Chlorogenic acid is also a polyphenol, which has been
proven to reduce the risk of
Type II diabetes.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, the director of women's heart health
at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City recommends eggplant
as a diabetes-friendly food, along with broccoli, onions,
garlic, tomatoes, spinach, cranberries, blood oranges,
blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb,
lemons, limes, and kiwis.

A 2015 study conducted by L. Bozzetto at Federico II
University in Naples, Italy, echoes her recommendations. He
and his colleagues found that diets rich in polyphenols
reduce blood glucose response, likely by increasing early
insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity.


4.
Eggplants Improves Your Ability to Think


Remember the superhero ingredient nasunin we mentioned a
few list points ago? Well, it turns out it's also good for your
brain.

So, next you have to study or do some hard intellectual
work, bust out the eggplants.

Nasunin protects the lipids that make up the cell membranes
in the brain cells by preventing free radical damage,
according to a study by Y. Noda at U.C. Berkeley, California.

A 2010 review from Jeremy P.E. Spencer from the University
of Reading in the U.K confirms the same --- nasunin protects
against lipid peroxidation of brain homogenates.

Anthocyanins in general, also a component to eggplant,
inhibit brain swelling ("neuroinflammation") and facilitate
blood flow through the brain.

Eating your aubergines gives you potential to prevent age-
related mental disorders such as
Alzheimer's and dementia
and
improve memory.



5.
Eggplants Lower Cholesterol


Oh, the dreaded cholesterol. That thing your doctor is
always testing and that just might lead to heart disease. The
good news is that there are many delicious ways to bring it
down.

According to experts at the U.C. Davis nutrition department,
eggplant has a high viscuous fiber content. So what?

Viscuous fiber (and fiber in general) helps reduce harmful
LDL cholesterol.

Eggplant is deemed a “functional food”(the name given to
edibles high in viscuous
fiber), and it lowers cholesterol
about 4 to 7%.

Not bad, but researchers have found that eating a meal plan
containing many foods with cholesterol-lowering
components, can have an even greater effect. In 2005, David
A. Jenkins and researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in
Toronto discovered that consuming this portfolio diet
resulted in a 29.6% reduction in cholesterol. So, what can
you eat with that eggplant to achieve the same results?
Okra, oat bran, and barley are some recommended options.





6.
Eggplants Help You Lose Weight


Eat more; weigh less. Eggplants have low-energy density,
which means that you can eat a whole heck of a lot of it
without gaining weight.

Eggplant's saponin content helps in decreasing the
absorption of fat. You might want to be careful not to
overdose, if you have a stomach that is fiber-sensitive, but in
terms of fat content, you're fine.

The water and fiber present in eggplants will make you feel
full, but don't contribute to weight gain. The new trend is to
drink eggplant water, but even one cup of cooked eggplant
contains only 35 calories. A win!



7.
Can Eggplants Help You Quit Smoking?


Eggplants have been found to have a tiny, tiny, amount of
nicotine in them. Not a deadly amount, mind you; to get the
result of one cigarette you would have to eat pounds.

According to a 1993 study by Edward F. Domino and
colleagues at the University of Michigan, 20 pounds of
eggplant contains as much nicotine as a cigarette.

In other words, 10 grams of eggplant contains 10
micrograms of nicotine, or approximately the same quantity
you would get from three hours of second hand smoke. Just
think, smokers: Eggplant could be your last delicious step
after the nicotine patch.   











































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Eggplants can improve your ability to
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