11/25/2013

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARDEN EGG (AUBERGINE/EGGPLANT)

Garden Eggs
I recently saw garden eggs and immediately found my next blog topic. Garden eggs were heavily featured in my childhood days. Not that there are now nonexistent, but I just do not buy them anymore. After conducting my research however on its health benefits. I think I should stop and buy a few the next time I see them. I have always know garden eggs as an Eastern Nigerian food. I doubt you’ll attend an Igbo event where garden eggs are absent. 


In Nigeria, Garden eggs come in two colours, dark green and yellow-white. It is mostly eaten raw, as a snack, but can also be made as a sauce/stew. It is usually quite bitter, especially the green ones. I nearly forgot, it is also accompanied with groundnuts, or a groundnut paste among the Igbos. Garden egg is a fruit, but classified as a vegetable. Garden Eggs are also known as aubergines in Britain, and eggplants in the United States. Aubergines are usually deep purple in colour and much bigger in size than garden eggs. Aurbergines are also available in Nigeria, although very few people consume them.

Aubergines

Garden Eggs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper and thiamin (vitamin B1). It is also a good source of vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and niacin. Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for normal growth and proper functioning of the heart and nervous system while Niacin (Vitamin B6) is needed for cellular respiration. 



Garden Eggs/Aubergines are high in fiber and low in fat and therefore recommended for those managing diabetes or managing weight concerns. Research shows that one major health benefit of garden egg is that it helps to lower blood cholesterol and lower high-ocular pressure (glaucoma). To lower cholesterol however, one must pay attention to the cooking method and other ingredients which may contain bad fats. Garden Eggs are also high in bioflavonoids, which are known to control high blood pressure and relieve stress

Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin found in aubergine skin, which gives it its purple colour. Nasunin is not only a potent antioxidant, protecting the fatty acids essential for healthy brain function, but it also helps move excess iron out of the body. Iron is an essential mineral but excess iron in the body can result to health complications.

Aubergine, unlike the Garden Egg, is mostly consumed cooked. Although you may eat aubergine raw, it is more advisable to cook it as research shows that some people experience gastrointestinal discomfort due to its bitterness.
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