When I was a small child growing up in the country, I lived in a neighborhood where the houses did not have fences so we got to see what grew in the neighbors’ gardens. They mostly had okra, legumes, creepers and eggplant as these are the easiest to grow in this part of the Philippines.
And how they grew in abundance! They did not need so much watering. In fact, my husband’s eggplants at the farm survived more than five months of no rain this year and they kept bearing fruits. As a child, however, I was told that eggplants are worthless vegetables. They are no more than a bunch of carbohydrates and empty fillers. Lately though, I discovered that what I was told was a bunch of lies, although they were right about it being fillers – healthy fillers. The truth is, eggplants are actually one of the healthiest foods in the face of the planet whose nutritional values can do so much to your health and happiness.
Eggplant and Heart Health
Provided that you cook it the right way, this super food contains zero fat, is very high in fiber and excels at lowering your bad cholesterol levels. Your heart can never be happier. So there is a wrong way of cooking an eggplant, you might ask. Yes, there is. If you fry it, it will soak up a lot of oil which will make it bad for you. Peeling it will also make you lose essential phyto nutrients that are important in improving blood circulation. The best way to prepare your eggplant is to bake it. This way you get to lock in all the flavors and goodness.
Eggplant for Longevity and Happiness
Pregnant women are advised to increase their intake of folic acid as this is crucial in brain development and functioning. Grownups can benefit from this just as much as a baby in the mother’s womb and you would be delighted to know that folic acid can also do wonders to your mental and emotional health. Pilgrim mothers out there, especially of toddlers and whose patience is constantly challenged, should make this vegetable a regular part of their diet – our diet.
Folic acid is crucial in brain development and function and can do wonders to your mental and emotional health
The amount of B vitamins found in eggplant is also surprisingly substantial, working non-stop in converting food to energy that fuels our body, making it important in keeping us energized all throughout a busy day.
Research also show that this misunderstood vegetable has high concentrations of chlorogenic acid, a type of compound found in plant that has antioxidant and antimutagenic properties. As the name suggests, it prevents the cells from mutating into cancer cells, thereby protecting us from certain types of cancer.
An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant)
In addition to all these wonderful nutrients, eggplants are also rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health; Vitamin K, important in blood clotting so you don’t bleed to death when you are wounded, and vitamin C, very useful in maintaining and repairing tissues in all parts of the body. Vitamin C is famous for strengthening our immune system and aiding our bodies in the production of collagen, a type of protein used in building cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and skin, which usually translates to helping us maintain that youthful glow. If you are a mother like me who loves to invest in skin care products, you might want to try making eggplant as part of your regular diet. Less frequent trips to the pharmacy, more quality time in the garden.
Trying to lose weight? The high fiber content in eggplant can help make you feel full for longer besides helping you have a healthy digestive system. One cup of eggplant dish with your meals can therefore help you save time in achieving your fitness goals.
If you feel the love, share it!
They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Conversely, what you do know can tremendously help you. Now that we know the amazing benefits of eggplant to our health and happiness, we can reap those benefits by making it part of our regular diet. And if we can share these benefits by sharing the knowledge to our neighbors who might have been planting, cooking and eating eggplant all their lives and have gotten so sick and tired of it they long for the exciting flavors of processed food made appealing and popular by ruthless TV commercials,then we can reap those benefits together as a community. Imagine what it can do to the developing brains of school-aged children; to the energy levels and heart health of working parents and the emotional state of mothers who need to deal with toddlers and adolescent kids; to the environment, and to the budget of a family that grows their own food. Houses in the countryside usually have ample space for gardening.
It doesn’t take more than a few square meters of land to grow eggplant. If you are in a position to share useful information like this, your community and the world would be very grateful if you do.