Eggplant is a purple versatile vegetable with a rich, meaty inside that takes on a creamy consistency when cooked. It provides fiber and a range of nutrients including copper, manganese, B-6, and thiamine. It also has antioxidants like nasunin, lutein, and zeaxanthin (1).
Aside from being a flavorful and delicious addition to many meals, eggplant can also help us live a healthier and happier life. One of the ways this veggie does is that how it works to improve brain function.
Eggplant And Brain Function
Phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals, are richly present in eggplants. These important components are known to boost cognitive function and improve mental health as they help in increasing the blood flow throughout the body and into the brain. With more blood to the brain, our neural pathways are stimulated to develop thus boosting memory power and analytical thoughts. Also, the potassium content of the eggplant acts as a vasodilator (which means that it can help widen the blood vessels) and a brain booster (2,3).
Furthermore, the purple superfood is also loaded with anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant properties. It helps facilitate the blood flow to the brain and also prevent inflammation of nervous tissue, with neuroinflammation being a cause of health problems such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. With these effects, our cognitive functions- including memory, learning, problem-solving, and decision making- greatly benefits (4).
What’s more? Nasunin, an anthocyanin, is found in eggplant skin and is responsible for the purple colour of its exterior. It may help protect brain cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals and also helps in transporting nutrients into cells and move waste out (5). Nasunin is also present in red and purple fruits such as blueberries and raspberries.
According to a study, nasunin in eggplants has the ability to break down fats in the brain which can cause cell damage, keeping our brain healthier and safer (6).
Different Ways To Enjoy Eggplant
- Saute or stir-fry chunks of eggplant in olive oil and serve it as a side dish.
- Slice eggplant into strips or wedges and bake them.
- Replace pizza crust with sliced eggplant and add tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings for a gluten-free, low-calorie treat.
- Cut eggplant lengthwise into thick slices and grill them. Serve them alone or in a burger.
More Tips To Improve Brain Function
- Manage emotional well-being.
- Keep stress at bay
- Consume more leafy greens, fatty fish, berries, and tea
- Have a quality sleep
- Stay physically active
- Avoid tobacco
- Don’t abuse alcohol