Eggplant: Properties and Benefits

The eggplant, scientific name Solanum melongena, belongs to the Solanaceae family and is native to India where it grew spontaneously already more than 4,000 years ago. In Italy the eggplant began to spread around 400 A.D. by the Arabs. To date, Italy is one of the major European countries exporter of that vegetable.

The eggplant is a typical summer vegetable, in fact, below 12 ░, the plant stops growing; is a vegetable that can not be consumed raw, as, in addition to having a pleasant taste not own, contains a toxic substance whose name is solanine.

Many are the existing varieties of this vegetable, which, in addition to the color, differ in shape, oval, round and oblong.

Eggplant: Properties and benefits
The eggplant is composed of 92 % water, 3 % from dietary fiber, 1 % protein, carbohydrate, ash and sugar.
Among the minerals stands out in absolute potassium, followed by phosphorus and magnesium; smaller percentage are zinc, iron, copper, calcium and sodium, in very low amounts, selenium.

On the side of the vitamins we include: vitamin A, almost all of the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6), vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin J and in very small amounts vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol.
Very long list of amino acids present in eggplant including the main list: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, leucine, valine, alanine, arginine, lysine and proline.

Benefits and Curative Properties of Eggplant

Due to its high water content, the eggplant is considered first purifying the body, and is therefore recommended in cases of gout, atherosclerosis and inflammation problems in the urinary tract; the good presence of potassium and other minerals gives then re-mineralizing and tonics.

Eggplants also contain some bitter substances are also present in the leaves of the artichokes, which help to stimulate the production of bile and also to lower the rate of "bad" cholesterol in the blood. Being a vegetable very low in calories and high in fiber, eggplant is often included in weight loss diets.

The eggplant also has laxative properties, even if not very marked, and is therefore useful in cases of constipation.

One thing that we have to take into account if we want to "take advantage" of the properties and benefits of eggplant, is not to overdo with the toppings, especially the oil, as the eggplant has among its features to absorb in especially fats.

The eggplant does not contain gluten and can be consumed by people affected by celiac disease.
Eggplant Curiosity
The eggplant, once purchased, can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, if possible without removing the stem which helps to maintain longer freshness. If boiled in water can also be stored in the freezer slices.

Before cooking, to remove their bitterness and clean them, should be cut into slices and then covered with salt for at least two hours.

The eggplant has no contraindications, only in case of high blood pressure is good to have a moderate consumption.

The eggplant is a vegetable typical of the temperate zone, its sowing is expected in the month of March and ripens in the summer months, August in particular.

The eggplant is a fruit very versatile and can be cooked in various ways, with breading fried, steamed, baked, grilled, in a pressure cooker can be used in pasta sauces, preserved in oil; perhaps the most famous dish in which you use the eggplant is just "eggplant" parmigiana.

Because of its high potassium content, the assumption of eggplant is recommended in the summer months where high sweating favors the loss of mineral salts, in particular potassium.
Varieties of Eggplant
Among the most well-known varieties of eggplant and consumed in Italy include:
the violet of Florence, an eggplant with round shape, the violet of Naples, with a more elongated shape and taste more "decided," the Wide Morada, lighter color with purple stripes and with a very delicate taste, the giant New York, purple violet, and finally the huge and long Palermo from dark purple color and elongated.

Usually the eggplants are distinguished by the shape as well as being round can be elongated and oval.
Eggplant: Properties and benefits
Eggplant: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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Eggplant Calories
As written above, the eggplant has a very low calorific value: every 100 gr. of edible portion have only 18 calories.
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