Health benefits of eggplant

Ripe healthy eggplants placed in box in farm

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, come in a range of sizes, colours and varieties. The fruit (it’s not a vegetable!) contains lots of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are believed to help to encourage heart health, control blood sugar levels, help weight loss and much more!

Rich in nutrients

Eggplants are dense in nutrition and contain a high number of minerals, fibre and vitamins with the burden of only just a few calories.

Containing nutrients such as manganese, folate, potassium, vitamin C and K, niacin, copper and magnesium, eggplants are worth adding into your meals at least 3 times a week.

May promote blood sugar control

Consuming eggplants may have the ability to control blood sugar. Eggplants are high in fibre, and this can lower blood sugar by slowing down how fast sugar is digested and absorbed into the body. Slower absorption of sugar can help control blood sugar levels and prevent crashes and spikes.

Test-tube studies have found that the polyphenol-enriched extracts of eggplants may minimise the levels of enzymes that encourage sugar absorption, helping to reduce blood sugar.

May have substances that can fight against cancer

Eggplants contain multiple substances that show potential cancer-fighting benefits. SRGs (solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides) are a compound found in eggplants and some studies on animals have shown that SRGs may be able to cause the death of cancer cells and might also help minimise the recurrence of specific types of cancer.

When SRGs are applied to the skin in certain creams, they have been shown to be effective against skin cancer in studies when applied directly onto the affected area.

Eating more vegetables and fruits, such as eggplants may have protective properties against certain types of cancer, such as bladder, breast, pancreatic cervical, colorectal and stomach cancer.

High in antioxidants

In addition to the variety of minerals and vitamins above, eggplants contain a wealth of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances that help shield the body and prevent damage caused by free radicals which are harmful materials. Test-tube studies have found that eggplants can be effective at protecting cells against harmful free radicals that can cause damage.

Could help with weight loss

Eggplants are low in calories and contain lots of fibre. This makes them a great addition to any meal to bulk it out without adding on a significant number of calories.

Fibre moves through the digestive system slowly and helps to encourage satiety and fullness which consequently reduces calorie intake.

Replace lasagne sheets with slices of eggplant and create a delicious lasagne without the high calories and carbs that pasta contains!

May reduce risk of heart disease

Due to the high antioxidant properties in eggplants, some studies suggest that eggplants may help to minimise the risk of heart disease.

Studies on animals have found that eggplants could reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and may improve the function of the heart. However, the research is at this stage is limited to animal studies and test-tube studies so further research on humans is needed to confirm the benefits on the heart.