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Aubergine Vegetables Health Benefits

Aubergine or eggplant (solanum melongena) belongs to the nightshade plant family (Solanaceae). In fact, aubergines grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height.

 

In addition to the classic purple variety, aubergines are available in other colours including lavender, jade green, orange and yellow and in a range of shapes and sizes.

 

Aubergines are high in fibre and low in fat and therefore recommended for those managing type 2 diabetes or managing weight concerns.

 

Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin found in aubergine skin – which gives it its purple colour.

 

A potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes.

 

Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell and helping it to function.

 

It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (B3).

 

These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

 

Eggplants also contain anthocyanins, compounds that belong to a class of naturally occurring phytochemicals known as flavonoids.

 

Flavonoids are present in many plant foods and in addition to providing health benefits they also contribute to the distinguishable coloration of many fruits and vegetables.

 

When buying eggplants choose ones that are firm and somewhat heavy for their size.

 

Avoid eggplants that appear withered, bruised, or discoloured. The skin should smooth and glossy with an intense purple hue.

 

Eggplants should be stored in the refrigerator until ready for consumption, and the skin should be left intact when storing in order to prevent them from perishing too quickly.

 

Eggplants have a slightly bitter flavour and spongy texture, making them unique and interesting additions to many dishes.

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