Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of plants. They are fantastic sources of essential nutrients needed by our body to function. This well-known superfood is a good source of fiber, vitamin B1, B3, B6, K, copper, manganese, and potassium and very low in calories, and has no saturated fats (1).
Eggplants And Heart Health
Eggplant contains antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients that can help protect against heart disease. It is especially rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that’s responsible for their vibrant color (2). Nasunin, a type of anthocyanins in eggplant, is extra beneficial as it has been confirmed to be effective at protecting cells against damage from harmful free radicals (3).
In a review published in 2019, results suggested that eating foods containing certain flavonoids, including anthocyanins, helps reduce inflammatory markers that increase the risk of heart disease (4).
Several studies have shown that anthocyanins may help reduce artery stiffness and central blood pressure in women as compared to those who ate fewer of these compounds (5). Central blood pressure is the pressure in the aorta, the large artery that sends blood from the heart throughout the body. When measured, it gives an accurate picture of the degree of arterial stiffness, as well as the likelihood that the person will have a heart attack or stroke (6).
Moreover, anthocyanins may also help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a precursor to artery hardening, which can lead to either heart attack or stroke (7). It stimulates the uptake of HDL cholesterol. The more HDL cholesterol we have, the better (8).
In a study, results showed that feeding animals with raw or grilled eggplant for 30 days had helped improved heart function and reduced heart attack severity (9).
Other Benefits Of Eating Eggplants
- May help produce collagen and promote skin and bone health.
- Support immunity
- May help increase the production of red blood cells in the body and thus help fight anemia or iron deficiency.
- Help improve the functions of the digestive system by acting as a natural laxative.
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