When it comes to weight loss, most people tend to circulate among various foods. Eventually, one may end up stuck in a menu rut, wondering how to elevate their weight loss meals. It would help if you dug a little deeper when you go grocery shopping and shop for other appropriate foods like eggplants. These purple teardrop-shaped vegetables tend to be highly overlooked, even though they are very beneficial to any weight watcher. If you are looking for new recipes to improve your meal plans, consider adding eggplant for weight loss.
Many foods over the past few years have received a lot of buzz for being super-foods when it comes to weight loss. However, eggplants have unfortunately not made it to this list. This arises from the fact that most people still do not know the benefits of consuming eggplant for weight loss. To flip this situation, we will be evaluating the effectiveness of eggplant in weight loss. We would like to provide you with a wealth of information on how eggplant can benefit you if you use it to prompt weight loss.
Is An Eggplant A Vegetable?
There are several debates about this glossy, purple teardrop-shaped food product. Some people believe it is a vegetable, while others argue otherwise. WebMD makes it clear that eggplant is an example of a nightshade vegetable, just like peppers or potatoes (5).
Eggplant is also known as guinea squash, aubergine, melongene, brinjal, or garden egg (7). The vegetable originally comes from India. Since that time, it has been grown in multiple countries, including Japan, Egypt, Italy, Turkey, and China (6).
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Eggplant Nutritional Profile
Before we look at aubergine’s nutritional profile, it is important to point out that this vegetable comes in different varieties. Some people believe it is only found in shiny purple skin. Please note, this is not the case. Here are some other popular varieties you may find in your local grocery store (5):
- The classic or dusky version. This is the most common variety with shiny purple skin.
- Ichiban. This variety tends to be long, thin, and purple in color.
- Epic. This variety is teardrop-shaped and has purple-black skin.
- Black bell variety. This one is pear-shaped and has glossy black skin.
- Slim Jim. The Slim Jim variety is thin and has a bright purple color.
- Ghostbuster. This weirdly-named variety is oval-shaped, long, and white in color.
- Easter egg. The last variety, also known as the Easter egg, is small and oval-shaped. It might explain the name. Unlike the other varieties, this one can be yellow, orange, green, or white in color.
Like any other food, eggplant also contains various nutrients. They tend to increase as you increase your aubergine servings. Below is the nutritional chart of a 3.5 ounce (100 g) serving of this vegetable (5):
- Calories- 25
- Fiber– 3 g
- Fat- 0.2 g
- Protein– 1 g
- Carbohydrates- 6 g
- Vitamin K- 3.5 mcg
- Folate- 22 mcg
- Calcium- 9 mg
- Vitamin A- 23 IUs
- Potassium- 229 mg
- Iron- 0.23 mg
- Vitamin C– 2.2 mg
- Phosphorus- 24 mg
- Magnesium- 14 mg
Health Benefits Of Eggplant For Weight Loss
There are several solid reasons why you ought to consider the garden egg for weight loss. Some of these reasons include:
It Is Low In Calories
We all know that weight loss requires you to consume fewer calories than your body is burning. To help you achieve this, you should look for low-calorie foods. Aubergine is an excellent choice if you are seeking low-calorie food options.
By looking at the vegetable’s nutritional chart above, you can see that 100 g of this vegetable contains only 25 calories (5). These calories don’t add a significant amount to your daily calorie intake and can help you maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss.
It Has High Fiber Content
Eat more fiber. This is one of the most common things all weight watchers are told. Have you ever wondered how this all plays a role in helping you lose weight? Well here is the deal, fiber tends to be more filling, which translates to an increase in your satiety levels (2).
You are, therefore, less likely to overeat or snack when you consume high-fiber foods. Since the garden egg contains high fiber content, it will help you control your appetite. This makes it a great and healthy high-fiber food to consider to prompt weight loss.
These are some significant reasons why you need to add this guinea squash to your weight-loss meal plans. Besides that, this vegetable can do more than help you lose some pounds. It is also linked to the following health benefits:
Cancer ranks among the most life-threatening diseases in today’s society. According to reports by Medical News Today, millions of people in America have a history of cancer (8). To reduce your risk of getting several types of cancer, you are advised to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
One of the foods you can add to your diet plan to help reduce your cancer risk is eggplant. Its purple skin contains a unique antioxidant known as nasunin (6). Studies indicate that this antioxidant might protect and preserve your cell membranes against harmful free radicals that may cause cancer (6).
In addition to nasunin, experts also reveal that eggplant contains chlorogenic acid, which may also reduce cancer risk (6). It is also antiviral and antibacterial, meaning its list of health benefits is numerous.
Reduced Heart Diseases Risk
As mentioned earlier, eggplant contains chlorogenic acid. This acid might also help in lowering your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels (6). High LDL levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant nasunin may also reduce your heart disease risk by decreasing the iron content in your blood when it is too high.
WebMD states that too much iron in your blood can be a risk factor for heart diseases (6). This is especially true among men and other individuals who do not menstruate.
Improved Diabetes Management
Eggplants tend to be great sources of natural plant chemicals known as polyphenols. These polyphenols may improve the processing of sugar in your body, helping with diabetes management if you are diabetic (5).
Improved Brain Function
Aubergine contains nutrients such as folate, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-3 (6). These nutrients help improve your brain function, support your immune system, and promote blood clotting and healthy bone development (1).
Drawbacks Of Consuming Eggplant For Weight Loss
Like any other nightshade vegetable, eggplants contain the chemical solanine. Some people believe this chemical only increases inflammation and makes conditions like arthritis worse (3). WebMD acknowledges that there is little evidence to indicate that the solanine chemical in this vegetable can worsen arthritis (5).
However, always seek medical advice if your joint pain increases after consuming any eggplant dish. Similarly, seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms. These indicate that you are allergic to nightshade vegetables like the eggplant (3):
- A skin rash or hives
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Tightness of the throat
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Healthy Eggplant Recipes For Weight Loss
Naturally, this vegetable has a bitter taste. As such, most people may avoid cooking it for fear of this bitter taste in the final dish. However, there are various ways you can draw out this bitterness and enjoy yourself with some aubergine.
One way is by letting this vegetable sit with some sprinkled salt on it thirty minutes before cooking it (5). The salt does the magic when it comes to drawing out the bitter taste. Additionally, the salt prevents your vegetable from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy when cooking it. Remember to always rinse off the salt before cooking your eggplant.
There are various ways you can prepare your eggplant and enjoy its health benefits. With this in mind, do not limit yourself to one cooking style. Do not limit yourself to the consumption of only eggplant juice or eggplant tea for weight loss.
Although they also work effectively, these recipes may soon become boring. Instead, consider the following cooking styles for your eggplant diet for weight loss as obtained from the Medical News Today website (4):
Oven-Baked Eggplant Fries
Are you looking for a healthy option of fries? Try some oven-baked eggplant fries! Just slice your eggplant into either wedges or strips and then bake them.
In Burger Garnish
In this recipe, you just slice your aubergine lengthwise and grill these thick slices. Serve them alone or have them in your burger.
As A Side Dish
Are you looking for a simple yet nutritious side item for your entrée? You can stir-fry or sauté your aubergine chunks in olive oil and then have them as your side dish.
Preparing An Eggplant Pizza Crust
This is a good recipe, especially if you do not want the extra calories from your pizza crust. All you have to do is replace your pizza crust with some sliced aubergine. Add some cheese, tomato sauce, and other optional toppings to get that low-calorie and gluten-free treat.
Ratatouille refers to a stewed vegetable dish. To prepare this dish, first, sauté your aubergine. Also, sauté your onion, peppers, zucchini, tomato, and garlic in olive oil to prepare the ratatouille.
In Vegetable Lasagna
All you need to use eggplant in this dish is replace the meat layer in your lasagna using the ratatouille prepared above.
You probably might have heard of this famous Middle Eastern dish. It refers to a dip of grilled eggplant, spices, tahini, yogurt (optional), garlic, and lemon juice.
An Eggplant Pasta Topping
Are you looking for an accompaniment for your pasta dish? Look no further! Just cut your aubergine into thick slices, sauté or bread, bake them, and then add these strips to your pasta dish. To top it off, add some Parmesan cheese slices to elevate this eggplant dish.
This refers to an “upside down” rice dish prepared with both chicken and aubergine.
The Bottom Line
Eggplants are among some of the best weight-loss foods to add to your nutrition plan. They are quite nutritious and have numerous health benefits. Consuming eggplant for weight loss can help you shed pounds due to its low calories and high fiber content.
Besides weight loss, including eggplant in your diet may help reduce your risk of heart diseases and cancer. It might also help with improving your blood sugars, thereby helping with diabetes management. Although eggplant is naturally bitter, there are various ways you can reduce this bitterness.
One way is by sprinkling it with some salt and let it set for at least 30 minutes. After this, you must rinse the salt and consider preparing various eggplant recipes for weight loss. Remember that you also need to use healthy cooking methods.
Most healthy eggplant recipes will ask you to either oven-bake, steam, roast, or sauté your aubergine. Keep in mind that you can also choose other healthy meals if you decide to prepare this vegetable as a side dish. Some popular eggplant meal plan ideas you can consider or try out include vegetable curry with eggplant, eggplant lasagna, eggplant parmesan, or eggplant fries.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 3 Ways to Cook Eggplant (2014, webmd.com)
- Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- Do nightshade vegetables make arthritis worse? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Eggplant health benefits and tasty tips (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Health Benefits of Eggplant (2019, webmd.com)
- Health Benefits of Eggplant (2020, webmd.com)
- How can these popular foods benefit our health? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to know about cancer (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)