Vitamins and Minerals
Found Inside Eggplant
Eggplants are not very high in
nutrients, however their saving grace is that they
are very filling, yet very low in calories. A cup
of raw eggplants contains less than 40
calories. The eggplant belongs to the family of
nightshade plants that also include the potato, tomato,
pepper, deadly nightshade (also known as belladonna),
henbane, Jimson weed, petunia, and tobacco.
Eggplant can be delicious when eaten and even
when added to other juices for juicing. Here are a few of
the questions we attempt to answer about eggplants.
- What vitamins and minerals (if any) are in
- What is the best method for juicing Eggplant?
- What are some great buying tips for Eggplant?
Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information
about Eggplants that you might not find so easily
elsewhere on the Internet.
Let's begin our exploration of
Vitamins, Minerals and
Other Nutrients Found in Eggplants
Eggplants are probably best known for being
very low in calories and sodium, but they also have a
very spongy texture which can also soak up fat like a
sponge when cooked. In one experiment a deep-fried eggplant
soaked up four times as much fat as French fried potatoes
To keep the calories low in eggplant preparations, cook it
without oil. Instead, use broth, wine, lemon juice, or
vegetable juice for flavoring.
Not a major source of protein or carbohydrates, eggplant
only contains about 1 gram of protein and 7 grams of
carbohydrates per one cup serving. Keep the skin on the
eggplant to receive 2.5 grams of dietary fiber.
On the vitamin side, eggplants do contain trace amounts of
Vitamin A, folacin, and Vitamin C, but the amounts are
negligible. Don't give up on the eggplant, however, as it
contains another antioxidant secret.
Eggplant contains high levels of an antioxidant compound
that may protect the body's cells against oxidative damage,
according to studies by two Agricultural Research Service
scientists. They found that chlorogenic acid, one of the most
powerful antioxidants produced in plant tissues, was the
predominant phenolic compound in nearly all the samples
A plus on the mineral side, eggplant delivers 21.4 mg of
calcium, 13.0 mg of magnesium, 248 mg of potassium, and 22 mg
of phosphorous per 100 grams (approx. 3-1/2 ounces). To boost
the nutritional benefits, pair eggplant with other vegetables
such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
The next time you think about Eggplant... think about how
they might add a powerful boost to your weight loss and/or
weight management routine if you prepare them correctly.
As they are part of the nightshade family, juicing Eggplants
can be tricky.
Here are a few tips for juicing Eggplants.
Personally, I don't juice eggplants, but I do juice other
vegetables to use as a stock for cooking eggplants in lieu of
for Buying Eggplant
The eggplant, itself, during its immature growth stage,
contains toxins that can cause illness. It belongs to the
nightshade family that encompasses members like the poisonous
Jimson weed or Datura as well as Belladonna, also poisonous and
sometimes called Deadly Nightshade.
If you are unable to grow your own Eggplant,
then here are a few tips for buying Eggplant that may
help you get the freshest ingredients. We'll also include
a few storing tips for Eggplant that you might find
In the U.S. today's commercial eggplant crops are grown in
New Jersey, California, and Mexico. While New Jersey supplies
the country with eggplants during the summer months, California
and Mexico are able to ship them throughout the winter... which
means we can generally find them on supermarket shelves
Look for eggplants that are shiny, plump, firm, and
unwrinkled, definitive signs of freshness. The fruit should
feel heavy for its size, indicating good moisture content.
Eggplants that have scars or bruises on the surface indicate
the flesh may be bruised and discolored inside.
To avoid an overly seedy eggplant, select small and
medium-size fruits rather than the giant-size.
Eggplant does not have a long shelf life. Store it in a
plastic bag in the refrigerator and cook it within 3 or 4 days.
Since eggplants bruise easily, they should be handled
This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't
include a little general information about Eggplant, as well as
a few helpful links if you want to explore Eggplant
Historians believe the eggplant may have its
origins in India, but early written accounts from a 5th century
Chinese record on agriculture called the Ts'i Min Yao Shu
indicate its cultivation in China.
When Europeans first encountered the fruit, it
had gained an intimidating reputation with its "mad apple"
label. Even after the eggplant developed secure Mediterranean
roots, it was still called mala insana, meaning "bad egg, mad
apple, or apple of madness."
Other interesting names for the eggplant
include apple-of-love, Asiatic aubergine, Guinea squash, gully
bean, pea apple, pea aubergine, susumber, and terong. Still
more names bestowed on the eggplant include the apple of Sodom
and Jew's apple. Few foods can claim this many descriptive
Eggplant arrived on the European scene when the
Moors invaded Spain during the 8th century. The Italians
encountered the fruit through trading with the Arabs about the
13th century. What the Europeans saw with the first arrivals of
eggplant were egg-shaped fruits that were either purple, white,
or yellow. Before the fruit was accepted as an edible food, it
was grown only for its appealing ornamental qualities.
Eggplant was developing a firm foothold in the
U.S. by the early 1900's with recipes appearing in cookbooks.
Modern Cooking, a 1904 cookbook by Marion Hartland and
Christine Herrick, contains a recipe for Eggplant Stuffed with
Europeans like to scoop out the flesh of the
eggplant leaving the uncooked rind. They roast it and mash it
with salt, pepper, and butter. Then they spoon the mixture back
into the rind, and bake it.
Moussaka, a layered casserole featuring sliced
eggplant, lamb, and béchamel sauce, is a favorite dish in
Greece, Turkey, and Romania.
Eggplant is so integrated into the Middle
Eastern cuisine, the fruit is even prominent in a Middle
Eastern saying: "To dream of three aubergines is a sign of
Some plants of the nightshade family contain
alkaloids, colorless, bitter organic substances such as
caffeine, morphine, quinine, and strychnine that have alkaline
properties and contain nitrogen. Some of the nightshade plants
can be quite toxic; others contain mild toxins. Eggplant's
toxins are contained in the fruit before maturity and in its
leaves, and stems.
For scorpion bites, apply raw eggplant directly
on the affected area.
For frostbite, prepare a tea of eggplant, bring
it to room temperature, and apply a compress to affected
One eggplant variety of African origin called
Turkish Orange nearly resembles a tomato with its small, round
shape and bright orange color.
Some eggplants develop a bitter flavor, which can be
eliminated by salting the eggplant before cooking. Slice or
cube the vegetable, sprinkle with salt, let stand for 30
minutes, then drain and blot dry. The salt draws out some of
the moisture as it reduces bitterness.
Sources/Resources for Eggplants
Be sure to check out both our
"Juicing" and our "Smoothies"
sections for delicious recipes and more using