The Health Benefits of Eggplant

April 1, 2008

Brief History of Eggplant
The eggplant is considered to originate from India where it grew wild, and was first cultivated in China. It was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages by the Moors where it soon became popular. By the 18th century, both the French and the Italians cultivated eggplant, which they called aubergine. Other names for eggplant are melongene or brinjal. Thomas Jefferson, who happened to be an experimental botanist, introduced eggplant to the United States in 1806.

Nutrients in Eggplant

Eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It’s a very good source of vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. It’s a good source of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and folic acid. Nasunin, an anthocyanin from eggplant peels, is a potent antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, and has protective activity against lipid peroxidation.


Eggplant, raw Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 102 kJ (24 kcal)
* Carbohydrates 5.7 g
Dietary fiber 3.4 g
* Fat 0.19 g
* Protein 1.01 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.039 mg
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.037 mg
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.649 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.281 mg
* Vitamin B6 0.084 mg
* Folate (Vit. B9) 22 ?g
* Vitamin C 2.2 mg
* Calcium 9 mg
* Iron 0.24 mg
* Magnesium 14 mg
Phosphorus 25 mg
Potassium 230 mg
Zinc 0.16 mg
Manganese 0.25 mg
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

Eggplant for Type 2 Diabetes

The National Diabetes Education Program, Mayo Clinic and American Diabetes Association recommend an eggplant based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes. The rationale for this suggestion is the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content of eggplant.

Study results indicate that phenolic-enriched extracts of eggplant inhibit enzymes that provide a strong biochemical basis for management of type 2 diabetes by controlling glucose absorption and reducing associated high blood pressure (hypertension).

Eggplant for Cholesterol ReductionGrilled Eggplant

Eggplant has been used as a cholesterol lowering agent, and there are some studies to support that claim. There are however other studies that do not support the use of eggplant extract as a cholesterol lowering agent. Further research is needed to establish its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol.

Eggplant for Cancer Prevention

Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels and is a normal process in growth and in wound healing. Angiogenesis also plays an important role in the growth and spread of cancer by feeding the cancer cells with oxygen and nutrients. In a study at the Department of Nutritional Science in Japan, it was established that nasunin, the antioxidant from eggplant peels, is an angiogenesis inhibitor, and might be useful to prevent angiogenesis-related diseases. Other studies have demonstrated that antioxidant anthocyanins found in eggplant skin and other plants show inhibitory effects on the growth of some cancer cells.

Glycemic Index of Eggplant

In a study to determine the glycemic index of various vegetables, it was concluded that eggplant has a low GI of 15.

Adverse Reactions from Eggplant

Eggplant should be avoided by individuals suffering from gout.

1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Noda Y, Kneyuki T, Igarashi K, Mori A, Packer L. Antioxidant activity of nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant peels. Toxicology. 2000 Aug 7;148(2-3):119-23. PMID: 10962130.
5. Matsubara K, Kaneyuki T, Miyake T, Mori M. Antiangiogenic activity of nasunin, an antioxidant anthocyanin, in eggplant peels. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Aug 10;53(16):6272-5. PMID: 16076105.
6. Azevedo L, Alves de Lima PL, Gomes JC, Stringheta PC, Ribeiro DA, Salvadori DM. Differential response related to genotoxicity between eggplant (Solanum melanogena) skin aqueous extract and its main purified anthocyanin (delphinidin) in vivo. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 May;45(5):852-8. PMID: 17194516.
7. Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Shetty K. In vitro studies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) phenolics as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Bioresour Technol. 2008 May;99(8):2981-8. PMID: 17706416.
8. Botelho FV, et al. Effects of eggplant (Solanum melongena) on the atherogenesis and oxidative stress in LDL receptor knock out mice (LDLR(-/-)). Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Aug;42(8):1259-67. PMID: 15207376.
9. Carol Ann Rinzler, The New Complete Book of Food. A Nutritional, Medical, and Culinary Guide

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  1. joseph

    November 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    what other properties of eggplant can be studied aside from those mentioned above?

    • Berna

      February 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

      Its anti aging properties in the skin.

  2. Pingback: Eggplant Spread - Real Cheap Food

    • allo

      August 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Why remove the seeds? those are the best part . . .

  3. Pingback: Eggplant (Aubergine) Nutrition and Recipes | Veggie Lovers Blog

  4. william

    April 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    well , it might be the answer to my problem hope so! i swallowed 4 tablets a day hoping to control this hypertention and type 2 diabetes. anyway thank’s so much for the information it is a bigg help for me and for everyone wow what a quack doctor i have

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