Eggplants are a staple in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cuisines. They are actually a part of the Solanaceae family that includes other vegetables such as tomatoes, pepper, and potatoes. In the United States, the average American only consumes less than one pound of this vegetable a year! (1)
Although it does not appear to be popular in the US and even in Europe they were once though of a poisonous plant that causes diseases such as insanity, leprosy, and cancer. (2) As crazy as it sounds and confusing as it may be since like tomatoes, eggplants, are also considered a fruit and packs on tons of antioxidants and fights cancer!
Eggplants have plenty of nutrition, antioxidants, and phytonutrients
Eggplants have an abundance of fiber, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, which all support heart health. (3,4) Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants due to the brightly colored skin and anthocyanins, which is a type of phytonutrients promoting the dark-purple color. (3)
Nasunin, in eggplants, have been found to have strong antioxidant abilities, free-radical abilities, and protect fats in your brain cell membranes. (5) In fact, the powerful antioxidant in eggplants is chlorogenic acid, which has anti-cancer, antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties. (3)
If you suffer from iron-overload then you may benefit from eggplants since they have iron-chelating abilities! (3)
Eggplants may actually prevent cancer deaths!
The polyphenols within eggplants have been discovered to provide anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid protect the body cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can prevent tumor growth, invasion, or spreading of cancer cells. (6)
A study was published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine with two reports on 60-year old men suffering from basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In this study, the men used eggplant extract creams to treat their symptoms. This is what the researchers found:
- The first case, the treatment resulted in an astounding breakdown of tumor and after only two weeks, lesions were reduced by half of its size. (7)
- The second case, the large skin cancer lesion appeared to be “cleaner” and some of the cancerous tissue had been replaced with normal tissue just only after 6 weeks of treatment. Then in another three weeks, the lesion was much smaller and the skin tissue appeared to be normal. (7)
In both cases, by the end of 14 weeks, the lesion has been completely eliminated without any scar tissue formation and normal skin hair has regrown back into its place. (7)
It is noted that due to the active compounds within the extract is able to deeply penetrate the skin, consuming eggplant will most likely not have the same effects. However, it should not mean that you stop yourself from consuming this healthy vegetable!
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