Eggplant BENEFITS
National Diabetes Education Program of NIH, Mayo Clinic and American Diabetes Association recommend
eggplant-based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes. The rationale for this suggestion is the high fiber
and low soluble carbohydrate content of eggplant. Kwon YI and co-workers from University of Massachusetts found
phenolic-enriched extracts of eggplant with moderate free radical scavenging-linked antioxidant activity had high
alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity and in specific cases moderate to high angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE)
inhibitory activity. Inhibition of these enzymes provide a strong biochemical basis for management of type 2 diabetes
by controlling glucose absorption and reducing associated hypertension, respectively. [1]


Matsubara K and co-workers from Okayama Prefectural University isolated nasunin,
delphinidin-3-(p-coumaroylrutinoside)-5-glucoside, an antioxidant anthocyanin from eggplant peels. They found that
this chemical has anti-cancer activities in vitro. [2]

Does eggplant have the benefit of cholesterol-lowering effect? Two different groups didn't find hypolipidemic activities
of either dried powdered fruits of eggplant nor an eggplant extract in hyperlipidemic patients. [3, 4]

Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and is native to India. The early varieties were bitter, but cultivation
and crossbreeding have greatly improved the flavor. Eggplant is related to potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.

Eggplant isn't a particularly popular vegetable in the United States, but it's a favorite in many areas of the South.
Thomas Jefferson, who experimented with many varieties of plants in his Virginia garden, is credited with introducing
eggplant to North America.

Florida produces the bulk of the domestic harvest, and New Jersey is a major supplier during the summer months.

The dark purple eggplants are the most common type sold commercially in the United States. They weigh about 1 to 5
pounds each and come in two shapes: oval and elongated. The elongated variety is often referred to as the Japanese
or oriental eggplant.

Specialty varieties include miniature eggplants that come in a variety of colors and shapes.

Deep purple, round or oval eggplants are often nicknamed Italian or baby eggplants.

Pale violet eggplant, usually slim and light, is nicknamed Chinese eggplant.

Violet-white are Italian rosa biancos

Japanese eggplants are younger versions of the large commercial purple type.

Eggplants are available all year. Their peak growing season in the United States is from July to October.

Look for a symmetrical eggplant with smooth, uniformly colored skin. Tan patches, scars, or bruises indicate decay.
Also avoid eggplants with wrinkled or flabby-looking skin. Oversized purple eggplants, usually over 6 inches in
diameter, may be tough and bitter.

When you press gently on an eggplant, the finger mark will disappear quickly if the eggplant is fresh. Eggplant should
feel heavy; one that feels light for its size may not have a good flavor. The stem and cap should be bright green.

Both cold and warm temperatures can damage eggplant. It is best to store eggplant uncut and unwashed in a plastic
bag in the cooler section of the refrigerator. Do not force the eggplant into the crisper if it is too big, as this will bruise
the vegetable. Eggplant may be blanched or steamed then frozen for up to 6 months.

Wash the eggplant just before using it, and cut off the cap and stem. Use a stainless steel knife because carbon
blades will discolor the eggplant. Eggplant should not be eaten raw. Eggplant may be cooked with or without its skin.
However, large eggplant and most white varieties have thick, tough skin and should be peeled prior to cooking with a
vegetable peeler.

Unlike many vegetables, eggplant is not harmed by long cooking. An undercooked eggplant can have a chewy texture;
but overcooked eggplant is just very soft. Do not cook in an aluminum pot because the eggplant will become
discolored.

Spices that enhance its flavor include allspice, basil, bay leaves, garlic, chili powder, oregano, sage, thyme, marjoram,
and parsley. Eggplant is most often paired with tomatoes or onions.

Baking: To bake a whole eggplant, pierce the skin with a fork several times, and cook it at 400 degrees for 30 to 40
minutes. Baking whole eggplants produces a soft flesh that is easy to mash or puree.

Broiling: Cut the eggplant into thick lengthwise slices, and score them lightly with a sharp knife. Place the slices on a
broiler pan or grill; brush them lightly with oil. Broil about 5 inches from the heat, and turn slices when they begin to
brown. Eggplant should be cooked for approximately 5 minutes per side.

Eggplant may also be microwaved whole, cubed, or sliced. Cooking times vary from 6 to 8 minutes for a whole
eggplant to 3 or 4 minutes for a pound of cubed eggplant.

Stewed eggplant is called ratatouille. For this dish, eggplant may be stewed alone, or with other vegetables. Simmer,
covered with a liquid such as tomato juice, until the eggplant is tender. The cooking time is usually 20 to 25 minutes.

The serving size of cooked eggplant is 1/2 cup or 50 g. One serving size contains 15 calories, 0 from fat, 0 g of total
fat, 0 g of saturated fat, 0 mg of sodium, 4 g of total carbohydrate, 1 g of dietary fiber, 2 g of sugars, 0 g of protein
and 2% of daily values of vitamin C. Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This article is for your reference only. If you have any questions, please, consult with your doctor. All right
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REFERENCES
[1] Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Shetty K. In vitro studies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) phenolics as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Bioresour
Technol. 2008 May;99(8):2981-8. Epub 2007 Aug 13. [2] Matsubara K, et al, Antiangiogenic activity of nasunin, an antioxidant anthocyanin, in eggplant peels. J Agric Food Chem.
2005 Aug 10;53(16):6272-5. [3] Silva GE, et al, Absence of hypolipidemic effect of Solanum melongena L. (eggplant) on hyperlipidemic patients. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2004
Jun;48(3):368-73. Epub 2004 Aug 26. [4] Praça JM, et al, Eggplant (Solanum melongena) extract does not alter serum, Arq Bras Cardiol. 2004 Mar;82(3):269-76. Epub 2004 Apr 5.
lipid levels.
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