Eggplant: One Of The World’s ‘Smartest’ Foods
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Eggplants are native to the Indian subcontinent, but are now found throughout the world in a number of different cultural cuisines. In England, the vegetable is called “aubergine”, and it also goes by the name brinjal, melongene, and guinea squash. The purple or black glossy fruit can grow more than a foot in length in wild varieties, though they are considerably smaller in normal agriculture. It reached the Middle East and the Mediterranean region approximately 800 years ago, and was being referenced in England by the 16th century.
There are a number of varieties used throughout the world, and they are included in cuisines in many different ways. It is commonly called the “king of vegetables”, at least in India, as it is one of the most versatile and functional foods in their culture. On the inside, it has the consistency of tomato, and is a perfect addition to soups, stews, sauces, as well as a stand-alone item in many dishes. The best part about the food, it is not only a flavorful and delicious addition to many meals, but also a massively healthy vegetable that can help you live a healthier and happier life.
One of the ways it does that is how it works to improve brain function. Yes, eating eggplant can go straight to your head.
Research on eggplant has focused on an anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. In animal studies, nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform.
So, remember-—these nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the eggplant, so don’t char or throw it away. Instead boil the eggplant or sautée it and chop it up to add it to your favorite salad, soup or sauce.
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