3 Exciting Benefits Of Eggplant

by Tiffany Naticchioni, RDN, LD

Last Updated: April 12, 2021

The beautifully colored purple eggplant is actually called an ‘aubergine’ and is available in multiple colors such as red, green, or black. While it is often considered a vegetable, it is, in fact, a fruit since it grows from a flowering plant and contains seeds. This versatile and delicious fruit is found in dishes worldwide as it contributes to maintaining a healthy heart, blood sugar control, and weight management.
  1. Heart health and digestion.
    The fiber content in eggplant has the potential to improve your gastrointestinal health. Healthy GI systems require adequate fiber intake every day to keep things moving. In one cup of eggplant, you will find 3 grams of fiber, which makes this a good source. Adequate fiber intake can also help to balance blood sugar levels. As fiber releases slowly into the bloodstream, the impact is reduced. Read here for more ways to improve blood sugar management. Fun fact: Adults should aim for 25-30 grams of fiber intake daily.

    The fiber found in plant-based foods helps contribute to lowering the ‘bad’ cholesterol, or LDL. In turn, the ‘good’ cholesterol or HDL is increased, as desired. Fun fact: Women should aim for an HDL greater than 50 mg and men greater than 40 mg. The LDL should be less than 100 mg in both men and women for optimal cardiovascular health. Read here for more on ways to improve your HDL.
  2. Metabolism and antioxidants.
    Not only is eggplant packed with fiber, but it also contains a variety of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are important for basic metabolic functions and protect them from substances that cause damage to cells. The eggplant is a source of many of these. Vitamins, K, C, B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid, potassium, to name a few. Eggplant contains the phytonutrients or antioxidants called ‘anthocyanins,’ a pigment responsible for the popular purple-colored variety. Fun fact: research shows that antioxidants can help protect the body from some illnesses and diseases.
  3. Try eggplant in your favorite cuisine.
    Italian Style- Eggplant Bolognese is an entrée consisting of baked slices of eggplant, a tomato sauce, melted cheese, and a protein of your choice (might we recommend sweet or spicy Italian sausage). Try making this dish vegan by substituting dairy-free cheese and using soy or plant-based protein.

    Middle Eastern Style- Eggplant Pita is a pita pocket that features eggplant, pickles, fresh veggies, eggs, and tahini hummus sauce. If you want to be exclusively plant-based, skip the egg and enhance the flavor with spices and seasonings.

    Mexican Style- Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Tacos is a vegetable-based recipe that to which you can add any protein. Add a delicious fresh zing and top them with a fresh pico de gallo.

Eggplant is a nutritious fruit that can be used together with vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins of all kinds. It has powerful healing properties that are beneficial for the heart, gut, and blood sugar. Consider using this eye-catching fruit as a part of your meals this season. For more eggplant recipes, check out Kroger.com.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Tiffany Naticchioni, RDN, LD

Tiffany Naticchioni, RDN, LD

Tiffany is a compassionate dietitian with experience in nutrition throughout her lifespan along with empowering those with diabetes and heart disease to use food as medicine. A believer in total body wellness, she has a decade of experience as a licensed massage therapist. With a passion for healthy living, she practices hot yoga, enjoys most any fitness activities, stays active in the community, and loves spending time with her family.