Know Your Eggplant: Nutritional Value

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While eggplant may not be the most exciting vegetable in the universe, it can be quite delightful when prepared well. Learning how to choose the right eggplant and how to cook it properly will ensure appreciation of these beautiful purple vegetables. Eggplant nutritional value is quite high, so it’s well worth learning how to prepare it for your family.

Just why is this veggie so good for you? Let’s take a look at eggplant nutritional values and see what a prize it is. These oft-maligned vegetables contain:

Fiber. This is essential for keeping your bowels healthy and preventing diseases like diabetes and cancer. Eggplants contain quite a bit, up to 10% of the daily recommended amount in just one cup.

Potassium. Useful in keeping the heart regulated and preventing those annoying little tics that result from the lack of this nutrient, potassium is found in decent levels within the eggplant. Nutritional value? 3% of the daily recommended amount per one cup serving.

Phytonutrients. These include a range of nutrients, including flavonoids that are antioxidents. These help prevent cancer, slow the aging process and work to protect the brain from deterioration.

Vitamins. While eggplants aren’t a huge source of vitamins, they do contain a wide variety, including Vitamin A, C, B6, copper and niacin, among others. Eggplant nutritional value can be boosted by combining it with other vegetables, in stir fry, salad or any number of other dishes. The trick here is variety and these interesting vegetables definitely provide that!

Another big advantage of eggplants is that they are low in fat and in calories, making them an excellent diet food if you don’t combine them with oil, as many recipe do. Used in salad, they can be an excellent way to fill up (the dietary fiber sees to that) without giving you a super calorie boost. In fact, they can be an extremely healthy way to snack and increase the amount of antioxidants in your bloodstream.

If you’ve been avoiding these colorful vegetables, you might want to learn how to cook them. Choose smaller, firmer eggplants for the best flavor and don’t overcook eggplant. Nutritional value goes down the more you cook them, so keep it light. There are literally hundreds of delicious recipes out there that call for eggplant, it’s merely a question of finding the ones that you enjoy. Feed them to your family in disguise . . . as eggplant sticks or a dip and share the nutrition!

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