Eggplant, or dark fruit nightshade, is a plant belonging to the nightshade family. The first mention of this culture is found in ancient Indian literature, dating from the beginning of the V century. Scientists believe that it is the territory of India, the Middle East and South Asia that are native to this plant.
In the IX century, eggplant began to grow in Africa, and in the middle of the XV century - in Europe. For several centuries, Europeans believed that the fruits of this plant contain substances that can provoke the development of dangerous diseases. Only in the XIX century, all the false stereotypes were refuted, and eggplant dishes became one of the most important components of European cuisine.
Dark-fruited nightshade is a herbaceous plant with a long (up to 1, 5 meters) pubescent stem and large ovate-lobed green leaves. Culture blooms from July to September, large purple flowers. Eggplant fruit is a large cylindrical, pear-shaped or spherical berry up to 700 mm long and up to 200 mm in diameter. The color of edible vegetables ranges from pale lilac to bluish black. In the pulp of dark-fruiting nightshade you can find many small seeds of light brown color.
Eggplants are eaten raw, stewed, baked, fried and pickled, used to make caviar, salads and appetizers. Before cooking, the fruits of this plant are soaked in salt water, thus eliminating the bitterness present in them.
How to choose and store eggplants?
For use in culinary purposes choose elastic smooth eggplants with a thin purple skin and a green stem. Experienced chefs never stop their choice on shriveled fruits with yellowish or greenish spots on their surface. Eggplants are stored in a dark, cool place at a humidity not higher than 90%. In such conditions, the fruits retain consumer and taste properties for a month. To increase the shelf life of each vegetable wrapped in a thick blank paper.
Nightshade is beautifully stored in dried form. Vegetable cut into thin circles and hold them for about 5 hours in the oven, heated to 50 degrees. Dried eggplants are stored in canvas bags in a darkened dry place.
Nutritional value of eggplants and vitamins in their composition
Nutritional value 100 g of eggplants:
- 0.974 g of proteins;
- 0, 179 g of fat;
- 5, 879 g of carbohydrates;
- 2, 982 g of fiber;
- 91, 911 g of water;
- 0, 657 g of ash;
- 3, 512 g of sugars (mono-, disaccharides);
- 0, 012 g of omega-3 fatty acids;
- 0, 062 g of omega-6 fatty acids;
- 0, 013 g of omega-9 fatty acids.
Vitamins per 100 g of eggplants:
- A, retinol equivalent - 0, 984 mcg;
- B5, pantothenic acid - 0, 279 mg;
- B1, thiamine - 0, 038 mg;
- K, phylloquinone - 3, 492 mcg;
- B6, pyridoxine - 0, 083 mg;
- C, ascorbic acid - 2, 137 mg;
- B2, riboflavin - 0, 033 mg;
- E, tocopherol equivalent - 0, 292 mg;
- B9, folates - 21, 183 mcg;
- PP, niacin equivalent - 0, 647 mg;
- B4, choline - 6, 871 mg.
The caloric content of 100 g of eggplants is:
- fresh - 23, 415 kcal;
- canned - 43, 216 kcal;
- stewed - 39, 218 kcal;
- pickled - 62, 236 kcal;
- fried - 66, 413 kcal;
- baked - 38, 571 kcal.
100 g of eggplant caviar contains 49,412 kcal.
Eggplant Useful Items
Trace elements in 100 g of eggplants:
- Fe, iron - 0, 221 mg;
- Se, selenium - 0, 298 mkg;
- Cu, copper - 82, 014 µg;
- Zn, zinc - 0, 157 mg;
- Mn, manganese - 0, 233 mg.
Macroelements per 100 g of eggplants
- K, potassium - 228, 547 mg;
- Mg, magnesium - 13, 869 mg;
- Ph, phosphorus - 23, 416 mg;
- Na, sodium - 1, 947 mg;
- Ca, calcium - 8, 714 mg.
Useful properties of eggplants
- Eggplants are a low-calorie product that can safely be included in the diet of people trying to lose weight. The composition of their pulp contains substances that activate lipid metabolism and significantly accelerate the process of losing weight.
- Amphibian nightshade is a rich source of potassium salts that can beneficially affect the functioning of the heart. Nutritionists recommend that older people and people suffering from heart disease, at least once every 8-9 days include in the diet dishes from this vegetable.
- Eggplants contain substances that accelerate the elimination of cholesterol from the body. With an increased risk of atherosclerosis, it is recommended to include snacks and dishes based on these vegetables in the menu at least 5-7 times a month.
- Regular intake of dark-fruic nightshade helps to maintain the acid-base and salt balance in the body.
- Ascorbic acid contained in eggplants strengthens the immune system, helps the body to resist infectious diseases. People who regularly include their fruits in the diet are less likely to get colds.
- The vitamins of group B, with which dark-fruiting nightshade is rich, normalize the functioning of the nervous system. People who often include dishes from this vegetable in the menu are less likely to get depressed, they endure stress more easily, they sleep soundly.
- Substances in eggplant have antibacterial properties. For the treatment of diseases caused by bacteria, use fresh juice of the fruits of this plant. The drink is drunk 1, 5 glasses a day or is used for external treatment of wounds infected with bacterial microflora.
- Amphibian nightshade contains substances that accelerate the elimination of bile from the body. For the preparation of choleretic medium-sized fruit is peeled, cut into pieces, pour a glass of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Strained drink drink during the day.
- Eggplants benefit people suffering from gout. Substances that are present in their composition, contribute to the elimination of uric acid from the body, provoking the development of this disease.
- Amphibian nightshade is a rich source of manganese, iron, and copper. Regular consumption of snacks and meals on the basis of this vegetable helps to improve the composition of blood, normalize the process of blood formation, improve the functioning of the bone marrow, and prevent the development of disorders in the work of the spleen.
- Eggplant contains fiber, which stimulates the digestive system and accelerates the elimination of toxins, toxins and poisons from the body. Dishes made from this vegetable help prevent constipation.
- Fruits of dark-fruited nightshade contain a whole complex of compounds exhibiting antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of snacks and dishes prepared from it helps to slow down the aging of the body, prevent the development of cancer pathologies.
- Niacin contained in the pulp of eggplant helps to cope with cigarette addiction. Heavy smokers who want to get rid of their addiction are recommended to include dishes from these vegetables at least every 5-7 days in their diet.
- Juice squeezed from raw eggplants contains a whole range of vitamins and other nutrients, accelerating the recovery of the body after heart attacks, strokes and other serious diseases. Nutritionists recommend that people undergoing rehabilitation should drink 100–200 ml of this drink daily.
- Regular consumption of dark fruit nightshade helps to improve memory, increase concentration. Useful substances that are present in its composition, increase the overall tone of the body, making it more resistant to heavy physical and intellectual stress.
Eggplant Skin Benefit
- The Amphibian nightshade contains compounds that can regulate blood pressure. To prepare an effective remedy for hypertension, dried skin of this fruit is used. Medicinal raw materials are ground in a coffee grinder and eaten shortly before a meal, 1 tablespoon, with plenty of warm water.
- Eggplant peel powder is used to strengthen the gums and treat inflammatory diseases of the mouth. A tablespoon of the drug is dissolved in a glass of water, add 4 pinches of salt to the mixture, mix and use it for rinsing.
- Eggplant peel is rich in anthocyanins - natural pigments that give it a purple color. Broths prepared on its basis, activates the barrier function of the intestine, reduces the risk of inflammatory processes in its tissues.
- Powder made from the well-dried rind of dark-fruited nightshade helps with acne and other dermatological diseases. To achieve a therapeutic effect, it is enough to take a tablespoon of the drug each time before lunch and dinner.
Contraindications and harm to eggplants
- Dark-fruiting nightshade is a vegetable that can provoke the development of allergic reactions. People suffering from allergies should exercise caution when consuming dishes based on it.
- In well-matured eggplants, solanine accumulates in high concentration. Overdose of this compound leads to severe poisoning of the body, accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, shortness of breath and impaired consciousness. The main signs of fruits that are hazardous to health are dirty green or grayish-yellow peel, dried fruit stem, a large number of seeds.
- Dishes from dark-fruiting nightshade are contraindicated for people suffering from gastritis or a stomach ulcer.
- Passion for an eggplant diet can cause hypoglycemia in people with diabetes.
- Young mothers who are breastfeeding should be careful to inject eggplant into their diets. It is necessary to ensure that the baby does not change the consistency and color of the chair, did not appear skin rashes.