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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Eggplant


The eggplant is a vegetable which has a glossy skin and deep purple color. Its taste is unique and the texture of its flesh is different from other kinds. Although you can buy this anytime, you will be able to get the best variety during August to October.  Belonging to the family of nightshade veggies, it is associated with sweet peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Unlike the Brassica family vegetables which look similar in some ways, the former have different appearances.

When you consume a serving of eggplant, you will be able to obtain various minerals and vitamins.
All of these portray a role which is essential to keep you protected from diseases, and other kinds of medical conditions. Among these is nasunin, which is derived from the skin. This nutrient is an antioxidant and a scavenger of free radicals. Studies suggest that the nasunin helps keep the cells of your membrane safe from free radical damage. On the other hand, it has also been discovered that this nutrient protects your brain's cell membrane lipids. So it helps to know that this nightshade vegetable is a brain food.

The great thing about this veggie is that it produces its own nutrients to protect itself from fungal and bacterial infections; and oxidative stress. This nutrient compound is known as phenolic acid, which works as an antioxidant. This is also an essential scavenger for free radicals that will help you protect yourself from cancer cells, infections due to microbes or fungi, and viral infections.

In order to determine what other benefits this vegetable provides to the people, further studies have been conducted. The results showed that the juice extracts have lessened high cholesterol level. The other results have been the lessening of blood cholesterol; dilation of the blood vessels; improvement to the flow of blood; and lessening of the cholesterol found within the aorta and the artery walls. These just prove that when you load up on this veggie, you will be able to enhance your cardiovascular health.

The French term for this vegetable is aubergine. It grows in vines like its cousin, the tomato. Among the most well known varieties, within North America, is the one which is shaped like a pear. It also has the same deep purple color, cream flesh, and sponge-like texture. The arrangement of the seeds inside it appears conical. Not all of the varieties of eggplants are purple. Some varieties are lavender, orange, jade green, or yellow-white. On the other hand, their shapes and sizes also differ.

When choosing among the endless display of eggplants, you have to know which ones are ideal. Look for a variety which is heavy for its size. Its firmness also counts, since this is an indication of its freshness. Its skin should be shiny, smooth, and the color should be vivid. Avoid those which have discolorations, bruises, or scars. This way, you will be able to prevent from buying eggplants which have already decayed inside. You should also make sure that the cap and the stem have a bright green color.
Submitted on February 24, 2009