Intro: Eggplant, also known as Aubergine or Brinjal, is among the most frequently cultivated food crops in India and Sri Lanka. Famous for its purple-colored fruit, the eggplant is known to contain certain beneficial nutrients and is now widely cultivated in several areas of the world.
History: First ever listed eggplant farming occurred in the 5th century B.C. in India and China. Nowadays, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China and Japan are the biggest producers of eggplant.
Description: The domain of eggplant or aubergine is Solanum melongena. It is commonly called a member of nightshade plants that also include potatoes, tomatoes and sweet pepper. Different varieties of eggplant have been developed around the world and each of these varieties are distinguished depending on the size, shape and colour of the fruit.
Nutritional Profile: Eggplant is a very good source of protein and dietary fiber. Other critical nutrients that are present in eggplant include potassium, manganese, copper and Vitamin B1. It is also known to offer the body with Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and niacin. Eggplant also contains good reservoirs of phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid. 92 percent of the fruit is filled with water.
Benefits: Phytonutrients present in eggplant can effectively neutralize the amount of free radicals and other toxins using their antioxidant property. Due to lack of cholesterol, eggplant may be utilised in treating hypercholesterolemia. Nasunin present in the eggplant keeps the fats and other lipids inside the brain cell membranes by getting oxidized. Phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acid present within eggplant are proven to possess antimutagenic, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-LDL properties. Eggplant is also useful in improving cardiovascular health in the event of heart patients.