This week’s recipe is lasagne, but not just any lasagne! This lasagne recipe uses eggplant instead of pasta and is therefore more nutritious….and delicious! Check it out here.
Solanum melongena L. is known by many names. In the United States, it goes by the name of “eggplant.” In France and the U.K., it goes by the name “aubergine.” For the purposes of this article, we will simply refer to them as eggplants.
Eggplant is ranked as one of the top 6 most highly produced vegetables in the world. Around 80% of the world’s eggplant production area is in China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. They are one of the few plants capable of high levels of growth in very hot and very wet environments.
The most common variety of eggplant, the one you will most likely find at your local grocery store, is purple in color. However, in Southern and Southeastern Asia, the color of eggplant varies greatly, along with large variations in shape and size. It is common to see colors of purple, green, or white in these areas.
Eggplants for your health! What do they having going for them?
- Eggplants really shine with antioxidant benefits. They contain absorbic (Vit C) acid and phenolics, both of which have powerful antioxidant effects. These effects are so strong that it is ranked among the top 10 vegetables for antioxidant capacity.
- Eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber which are beneficial for weight loss and management. It helps you feel fuller for longer reducing the risk of overeating!
- A few studies have shown that the extracts from eggplant have anti-carcinogenic effects, by way of suppressing the development of blood vessels that aid in the growth of tumors.
- One study demonstrated that eggplant may hold hepatoprotective effects, preventing inflammation and damage to the liver. Though, it should be noted this was demonstrated in an animal study.
- A small body of research has shown that eggplant may inhibit inflammation related the atherosclerosis, reducing blood pressure too. Some positive impacts have also been seen on blood glucose regulation; although more human studies are needed.
One cup, or around 99 grams of eggplant, contains around 9 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and 0.2 grams of fat. All this adds up to about 35 calories! Nutritionally, eggplants contain various forms of Vitamin B, Vitamin K, Potassium, Manganese and Folate.
Now, understanding your genetics can play a key role in knowing if and how you would benefit from the consumption of eggplant. This becomes very relevant when we look at certain genes.
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Eggplant. (n.d.) Retrieved December 16, 2016 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=22&tname=foodspice#nutritionalprofile.
Daunay, M. C. (2008). Eggplant. In Vegetables II (pp. 163-220). Springer New York.
Hanson, P. M., Yang, R. Y., Tsou, S. C., Ledesma, D., Engle, L., & Lee, T. C. (2006). Diversity in eggplant (Solanum melongena) for superoxide scavenging activity, total phenolics, and ascorbic acid. Journal of Food composition and Analysis, 19(6), 594-600.
Komara, N., Sastramihardja, H. S., & Afiati, A. (2015). Hepatoprotective Effect of Solanum melongena/Eggplant against Acute Hepatitis. Althea Medical Journal, 2(1), 68-72
Kwon, Y. I., Apostolidis, E., & Shetty, K. (2008). In vitro studies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) phenolics as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Bioresource Technology, 99(8), 2981-2988.