Eggplant is a versatile vegetable as well as tasty, filling, and healthy. When it comes to managing diabetes, it can be one of the healthiest additions to our diet.
Being high fiber (is a whopping 16.4 grams if the eggplant is unpeeled), eggplant may help keep our blood sugar levels in check. Fiber passes through the digestive system intact. It slows down the rate of digestion and absorption of sugar in the body. Therefore, it keeps blood sugar levels steady and prevents spikes and crashes (1).
Eggplant and Blood Sugar
Researchers of a study from the University of Massachusetts found that extracts from several eggplant varieties (purple, white, and graffiti) inhibited an enzyme that converts starch to blood sugar. The beneficial compounds present in eggplant restrained the glucose-releasing enzyme by as much as 60%, and the effect correlated with antioxidant activity, which also helps squelch blood sugar-generated free radical (2).
Aside from this, eggplant is also cholesterol-free, contains almost no sodium (11 mg in one whole eggplant), and rates low on the glycemic index chart. Being low on glycemic index means that this superfood index doesn’t raise blood sugars as quickly as other foods that contain carbohydrates (3).
Moreover, eggplant also boasts a high number of antioxidants that could help prevent many types of chronic disease. It is high in anthocyanins, a pigment with antioxidant properties that can protect against cellular damage (4).
Healthy Ways Of Preparing Eggplant
- Eggplant is easy to prepare. It can be sauteed, roasted, fried, grilled, baked, or steamed
- Cut eggplant long and grill it or dice it up and mix it with other vegetables for a colorful and flavorful side dish
- Use eggplant to make “chips”, fiber-rich dips, as well as a vehicle for stuffing.
Other Ways To Manage Or Even Avoid Diabetes
Aside from incorporating eggplant into our diet, there are also many other ways that can help us manage or even prevent the onset of diabetes. Check some of it below:
- Eat plenty of spinach, cabbage, and celery, top sources of vitamin K, which is linked to lower blood glucose levels
- Get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
- Consume more broccoli as it has compounds that may help reduce diabetic damage.