(NaturalNews) Eggplant contains many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to one's health. Eggplants are not as popular as other vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce, but they are nutritious and therefore good for one's health. The nutrients found in eggplants not only promote good health, but also help prevent health problems such as cancer. According to blogger/nutritionist Tracy Vandermark from Nyack College, people should include eggplant in their daily diet, because it provides various health benefits and it is a good source of nasunin, chlorogenic acid, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Following are top 3 health benefits of eggplants:
High in Nasunin
The antioxidant, nasunin, is found in the skin of eggplants. In 2005, a study published in a scientific journal reports that the nasunin in eggplant skins has antiangiogenic properties. According to experts, cancer cells can gain angiogenesis ability and develop a means to boost their own blood supply. The angiogenesis ability of cancer cells causes tumors to grow quickly. The antiangiogenic properties of nasunin prevent angiogenesis from occurring, thus preventing tumors from growing and preventing cancer.
High in Chlorogenic Acid
Eggplants are also high in chlorogenic acid, a plant compound known for its strong antioxidant properties. According to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture, chlorogenic acid is the dominant antioxidant in eggplant. Chlorogenic acid lowers LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and fights the free radicals that cause cancer. Chlorogenic acid also has antimutagenic properties which protect and prevent cells from mutating into cancerous cells. Furthermore, experts believe that chlorogenic acid has antiviral properties which can help treat and prevent diseases causes by viruses.
Rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Dietary Fiber
Eggplant contains many vitamins, but its dominant vitamins are vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, and vitamin A. These vitamins improve the body's overall health, boost the immune system, and improve resistance to various diseases. Eggplant also contains a large quantity of minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help prevent health problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Eggplant is also a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber protects against colon cancer, keeps the digestive system working properly, and keeps the stomach feeling full after a meal.
Vandermark recommends that people should start including eggplant in their diets. Eggplants provide many health benefits that cannot be provided by other vegetables. For instance, nasunin is only found in eggplants and cannot be acquired from other vegetables. Eggplants are low in carbohydrates and calories, and do not contain fats, so they can easily be included in one's daily diet without the fear of gaining weight. Eggplants can be cooked in various ways and make excellent side dishes. Many health experts agree that one cup of eggplant per day will help keep diseases and health problems away.