Aubergine, otherwise known as eggplant or brinjal, is a deep, purple glossy pear-shaped vegetable. It belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables which include tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. There are many different varieties that all differ slightly in taste, texture and, one can describe them as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. Read on below for our Top 5 Health Benefits of Aubergine!
1. Promotes healthy skin
Rich in vitamins (A and E) and minerals, aubergines are beneficial for healthy skin and complexion. Niacin found in aubergine is amazing at reducing, treating and preventing acne and other skin conditions. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation properties and is very effective in treating skin diseases. Vitamin A is known to help fight skin cancer, acne and wrinkles. Vitamin E is an anti-aging nutrient, strengthening the capillary walls and improving the moisture and elasticity in your skin.
2. Helps manage diabetes
Aubergine helps regulate diabetes due to their high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content. These components help manage the glucose and insulin activity in the body. Include this powerful plant in your diet if you are concerned about your blood glucose and insulin levels. When insulin levels in the body are stable and there are no drastic changes in blood sugar levels, the symptoms of diabetes can be controlled.
3. Aids in weight loss
Aubergine contains no fat or cholesterol and therefore are a great vegetable for people trying to lose weight, or combat obesity. It is also filling, due to its fiber content, which inhibits the release of ghrelin, the hormone which tells our mind that we are hungry again. By reducing appetite and making you feel fuller for longer, they help to lower overall calorie intake.
4. Bone health
Aubergine innately has the right chemicals to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. This vegetable produces large amounts of copper, Vitamin K and phenols which are what give them their colour, help delay osteoporosis, increase bone mineral density, strength and overall bone health. Copper maintains collagen formation of connective tissues and bones.
5. Helps combats anaemia
Aubergines have a good amount of iron which can help combat anaemia. Anaemia is a lack of iron in the diet which can potentially be dangerous to your overall health. Common symptoms associated with low iron include headache, migraine, fatigue, weakness and depression. As mentioned, its copper content helps improve the health of red blood cells within your bloodstream giving you a boost in energy, strength whilst eradicating anxiety.
When buying aubergines choose ones that are firm and somewhat heavy. When cooking aubergines do not fry them as this counteracts the many health benefits as they absorb a large amount of fat. Baking, steaming or lightly cooking will help retain many of the nutrients without negatively impacting your health. Adding aubergine to your diet may just be one of the best health decisions you make! Aubergine is widely available and can be purchased at almost every supermarket, farmer’s market or health store in different sizes, shapes and colours.
Our favourite recipes with Aubergines
Chickpea & Aubergine Bake
This delicious wholesome bake is full of flavour and is a perfect mid week meal. It can be eaten as a main, or as a side dish with sweet potato, or grilled fish. It tastes just as good at room temperature, so you can pile the leftovers in a tupperware to take to work.
Spicy Aubergine Tagine
This tagine is the perfect one pan meal to make at the beginning of the week and feast on all week. It’s warm and comforting with a spicy kick. The coconut milk adds a delicious creaminess whilst keeping it a plant based and vegan option.