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Classic Italian eggplant with high yields and no spines.
Blocky, nearly black bell-shaped fruits have a slight signature ribbing. Medium to thick skin is deep purple and glossy when mature. Compact plants benefit from staking to support heavy yields of large fruit.
Article credited to “medical news today”
Eggplants are rich in fiber and antioxidants.
A serving of eggplant can provide at least 5% of a person’s daily requirement of fiber, copper, manganese, B-6, and thiamine. It also contains other vitamins and minerals.
In addition, eggplants are a source of phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that help the body eliminate free radicals — unstable molecules that can damage cells if they accumulate in large amounts. Foods that contain antioxidants may help prevent a range of diseases.
Among the antioxidants in eggplants are anthocyanins, including nasunin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Which other foods are good sources of antioxidants? Find out here.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and antioxidants in eggplants all support heart health.
A reviewTrusted Source published in 2019 suggested that eating foods containing certain flavonoids, including anthocyanins, helps reduce inflammatory markers that increase the risk of heart disease.
A 2013 studyTrusted Source found that middle-aged women who consumed more than 3 servings a week of blueberries and strawberries — good sources of anthocyanins — had a 32% lower associated risk of heart disease than those who consumed fewer of these fruits.
In another investigation, researchers concluded that women with a high intake of anthocyanins appeared to have significantly lower blood pressure and less stiffening of the arteries than those who ate fewer of these compounds.
Learn about other foods that can boost heart health.
Eggplant contains fiber, and this may benefit cholesterol levelsTrusted Source. A cup of cooked eggplant cubes, weighing 96 grams (g), contains around 2.4 g of fiberTrusted Source.
Results of a 2014 study in rodentsTrusted Source indicated that chlorogenic acid, a primary antioxidant in eggplants, may decrease levels of low density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol and reduce the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Managing high cholesterol? Learn which foods to eat or avoid.
The polyphenols in eggplant may help protect the body from cancer. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. In the long term, this may help prevent tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells.
Anthocyanins may help achieveTrusted Source this by preventing new blood vessels from forming in the tumor, reducing inflammation, and blocking the enzymes that help cancer cells spread.
How does the diet affect the risk of breast cancer?
Findings of animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant skin, may help protect brain cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals. Nasunin also helps transport nutrients into cells and move waste out.
Anthocyanins also help prevent neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This could help prevent memory loss and other aspects of age-related mental decline.
Lab experiments have indicated that nasunin may reduce the breakdown of fats in the brain, a process that can cause cell damage.
Learn more about foods that can boost brain function.
Dietary fiber can help people manage their weight. A person who follows a high-fiber diet is less likely to overeat, as fiber can help a person feel fuller for longer.
Eggplants contain fiber and are low in calories — they can contribute to a healthful, low-calorie diet.
However, eggplant can absorb a lot of oil during frying. Anyone looking to lose weight should prepare it a different way, such as by grilling or air-frying it.
Here, find more tips for weight loss.
Eggplant also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Lutein appears to play a roleTrusted Source in eye health, and it may help prevent age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss in older people.
Find out more about age-related macular degeneration.
The following table shows the nutrients in 1 cup, or about 96 g, of cooked eggplant cubes. It also shows how much of each nutrient a person needs each day. However, people’s requirements vary, depending on age and sex.
Nutrients AmountTrusted Source in 1 cup of eggplant cubes Daily requirementsTrusted Source for adults
Energy (kilocalories) 33.6 1,000–3,000
Carbohydrate (g) 8.29, of which 3.04 are sugar 130
Fiber (g) 2.4 22.4–33.6
Magnesium (mg) 10.6 310–420
Phosphorus (mg) 14.4 700–1,250
Potassium (mg) 117 4,700
Folate 13.4 400
Choline (mg) 8.93 400–550
Beta carotene (mcg) 21.1 No data
Eggplants should be firm and somewhat heavy for their size, with smooth, glossy skin and an intense purple hue. Avoid any that appear withered, bruised, or discolored.
Store them in the refrigerator until they are ready for use. Leaving the skin intact will keep them fresher for longer.
When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel, not a carbon steel, knife to prevent a phytochemical reaction that can cause the eggplant to turn black.
Eggplant can have a slightly bitter taste. “Sweating” an eggplant with salt will draw out moisture and some compounds that contribute to the bitterness, ultimately making the flesh more tender.
To do this:
cut the eggplant into slices, cubes, strips, or halves and place them on a board
sprinkle them with salt
After about 30 minutes, rinse off the salt and pat the pieces dry
fry, grill, bake, roast, or steam them
Sweating an eggplant will also reduce oil absorption during cooking.
Eggplant is a popular element of the Mediterranean diet. Find out more about how to follow this healthful diet.