What is Brinjal (Baingan, Eggplant)? 7 Proven Health Benefits

Healthy eating is gaining more and more popularity with growing days. It assists in better overall health and less vulnerability to developing ailments.

Vegetables are a very important and common part of all our diets, be it someone vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian. They are used in almost all kinds of dishes, and also enrich the body with various necessary nutrients.

One such very common and delicious vegetable is the brinjal. Known by various names in various places, this vegetable is a popular one in the Indian kitchen and cuisine.

Are you wondering:

What is Brinjal?

What are its benefits?

Nutritional information brinjal Etc.

Well, let us tell you all you need to know about it.

What is Brinjal (egg plant, baingan)?

What is Brinjal egg plant baingan

Brinjal is the Indian name of the popular vegetable that is called Aubergine in Britain and Eggplant in America and other parts of the parts. In India, the Hindi term for Brinjal is called – Baingan.

These are plants belonging to the Solanaceae plant family. The family is also commonly termed as the nightshades vines. The scientific name is Solanum melongena.

As the name derives, these plants are vines, and the fruit they bear is the brinjal. This vegetable is closest to other vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers.

Just like chillies and tomatoes, brinjals are also predominantly fruits. They are rather commonly eaten as vegetables, because of their not so sweet or fruity tastes.

The brinjal is purple or violet when fully ripe. They are green or some species even white when they have not fully ripened. There are a lot of species among the brinjals too. They have slight differences in size, appearance, and taste as well.

Some brinjals are green, cream-like, light purple, dark purple, with white stripes all over the body, black, etc.

The inside flesh of the brinjal is white, spongy, soft, and with seeds. They are slightly bitter along with its unique flavour. They can be cooked in a variety of ways – fried, in curries, like pickles, with stuffing, roasted, etc.

This rather popular Asian vegetable is well known for the numerous benefits it can have on one’s health. 

How to choose the best brinjals?

How to choose the best brinjals

The brinjal is available in a variety of sizes ranging from a lemon-size to a grown bottle-gourd size. This vegetable is rather easy to find anywhere.

It is important to choose the right and fresh brinjals for the best tastes and health benefits.

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When picking out brinjals, make sure they are firm to hold. If they are soft and squishy, they can be worm-infected, stale, or too old. Usually smaller varieties have lesser seeds and can be less bitter too.

Also, ensure that the green tip of the brinjal is fresh and green. Avoid choosing those brinjals that are blemished, have spots, cuts, or holes.

After selecting and buying the best brinjals, you should clean them well using water. Then you are ready to use these as the basic ingredients for your yummy curries. They can be used in many dishes and can be cut into cubes, thinly sliced, chopped as per choice, or even roasted as a whole.

Is brinjal healthy?

Is-brinjal-healthy

The major reason brinjals are considered to be great veggies is because of their low calories and high amounts of fibre. They can be a very valuable part of anyone’s low-calorie part.

If you are one of the health and weight watchers, then these vegetables are one of the best ones. They can be included in the diet without worrying about adding any excess calories.

They are also rich in many essential vitamins and minerals. They have many antioxidant properties that are great for several diseases and health conditions.

Brinjals are also packed with phytochemicals. They are great for your body’s immunity.

Let us see what the several goodness and nutrients that are found in this vegetable are. The many advantages of this vegetable can be understood better if we look at the nutritional elements that it has to offer.

Nutritional Information of Brinjals

Nutritional Information of Brinjals

A cup of brinjal is a very efficient amount for an everyday brinjal curry or fry or other dishes. A cup of brinjals is around 126 grams of it. Let us see what the nutrients found in it are:

Sl. No. Nutrients available in 1 cup brinjalAmount available
1.Calories30
2.Carbs5 g
3.Protein1.76 g
4.Fats0.37 g
5.Fibre7.93 g
6.Phosphorus59.22 mg
7.Magnesium18.90 mg
8.Calcium22.68 mg
9.Potassium252.0 mg
10.Iron0.47 mg
11.Zinc0.25 mg
12.Sodium3.78 mg
13.Vitamin A93.24 mcg
14.Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.05 mg
15.Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)0.06 mg
16.Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.13 mg
17.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.13 mg
18.Vitamin C15.12 mg
19.Vitamin K12.97 mcg
20.Vitamin E0.10 mg
21.Folic Acid42.84 mcg

Now that we have seen the very many nutritional elements and composition of the brinjal let us see the benefits it has on your health.

Health Benefits of eating Brinjal

Health-Benefits-of-eating-Brinjal

Listed below are the several advantages of eating brinjals:

  1. Safe for diabetic patients

Brinjal is a good option for people who have diabetes too. They are very low in the Glycemic Index (GI = 15). The fewer amounts of calories and carbohydrates assist in keeping the sugar levels safe and under control.

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People with diabetes have to maintain that extra level of care when it comes to calories in one’s diet. Including brinjals does not spike up your calories or your sugar levels.

Therefore, you can consume brinjals without cutting out on other meal options. Hence, you can easily have brinjals, and they will also aid in reducing your blood sugar levels.

They also have other nutrients that control and prevent many side-effects that are caused or heightened due to diabetes.

  1. It is fibre-rich

Fibre is one of the most essential nutrients that one can include for the overall well-being. Brinjals are enriched with this assisting fibre.

Fibre has excellent effects on one’s digestive functions. Fibre aids a slower pace of digestion. This, in turn, carries out an efficient absorption and release of nutrients.

The richness of fibre is also useful for regulating healthy blood sugar levels. Fibre is very crucial to be added to the diabetic diet.

Fibre helps to prevent and reduce constipation. It is efficient in providing laxative to one’s gut and excretory functions.

It also provides enough food for the gut bacteria that assists in promoting good colon health.

Therefore, adding brinjals can also bring the necessary amount of roughage that is needed by the body. 

  1. Keeps blood healthy and enriched

The presence of Folate in brinjal is an excellent supplement for the blood. It is effective in the production of Red blood cells.

This is also good for keeping away anaemia. The property of brinjals to enhance the quality of blood is also very beneficial for women who are pregnant.

  1. Great agent for promoting Weight loss

The few calories in brinjals are the main reason that these vegetables are best for promoting weight loss. They induce not only many good nutrients but also aid efficient and healthy body weight.

It is necessary to cook the brinjal in the right ways to fit into your weight-watched diet. Numerous recipes make the low-calorie brinjal great for weight watchers.

Keeping the proper weight of the body is crucial to avoid many health complications. It also benefits people with diabetes, as controlling weight is an important part of diabetic health maintenance.

  1. Rich in numerous anti-oxidants

Antioxidants are primary nutrients to keep the body healthy from within. It also repels many external factors that can be harmful to one’s health.

They prevent the harms caused by free-radicals in the body. It helps prevent potential chronic diseases such as cancer, kidney failures, etc.

The phytonutrients in brinjals, including the phenolic compounds, are such important antioxidants that the body can benefit from.

  1. Protection against cancer

Apart from the safety that is provided by the anti-oxidant qualities of brinjals, other elements also keep away cancer-causing factors.

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The presence of Glycoalkaloids is also very helpful in keeping away the risks of developing skin cancer. This is very useful for the overall health of an individual.

Nightshade plants such as brinjals have been tested to discover the presence of SRGs (solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides). These compounds have shown affirmative results in fighting and killing cancer cells efficiently.

  1. Also assists in heart health

Eggplants are also good for keeping cholesterol levels under control. It can lower blood cholesterol and also keep away the vulnerability of developing cardiac complications.

Experiments have shown results of lowered bad cholesterol levels in the body upon consuming brinjals.

Brinjal juice is also a therapeutic option in maintaining good heart health. It can also be eaten as cooked dishes to improve heart functioning and reducing the chances of heart attacks.

What are the side-effects of eating brinjals in excess?

Well, as usual, the universal truth of balance for best applies to your diet too. It is very important to limit your dietary options for the best results and no side-effects. Here are some side-effects of brinjals:

  1. The richness of calcium oxalates in the body can be harmful in accumulated in excess amounts. They can give rise to kidney stones.
  1. The presence of solanine in nightshade plants is also seen in brinjals. They can lead to gastrointestinal discomforts.
  1. The seeds of brinjals can have allergic reactions. Often people complain about irritations on the tongue after consuming brinjals.

If you tend to suffer from any of these allergic or uncomfortable reactions, it is best to restrict this vegetable. The key is to find out what foods suit your body in what quantities. It is the key way of reaping the advantages.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30594791/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31975721/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32687958/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27973738/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30409608/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31368550/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23718216/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32528934/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30064803/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31741507/

 

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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