Benefits and health properties of aubergine
The aubergine is one of the most prized vegetables in the Mediterranean diet for its flavour, texture and versatility in the kitchen. Find out about its properties and health benefits.
The origin of the aubergine (Solanum melongena)
Like the tomato or the pepper, the aubergine plant (Solanum melongena) belongs to the Solanaceae family. However, its origin is totally different, since in the case of the aubergine it is located in tropical and subtropical Asia and, although nowadays it is one of our star products in the kitchen, its use was initially limited to medicine to combat skin inflammations and burns.
Today, aubergines are one of the vegetables most in demand for consumption by countries all over the world and Almeria is the province that exports the largest quantity of aubergines. In fact, during the last season (2020/2021) more than 83% of the aubergines exported were produced and sent from Almeria to countries such as France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others.
The aubergine is one of the lightest vegetables we can find in the market due to the fact that it is mainly composed of water and a very low number of calories.
Fibre is the second main component of this highly nutritious vegetable, although it also has an important amount of antioxidants, vitamins (B and C) and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.
In addition, aubergines are rich in serotonin and folic acid, which makes them ideal for pregnant women.
However, among the properties of this healthy food we can also find solanine, a very toxic substance which is why it should never be eaten raw.
Health benefits of aubergine
Thanks to its high fibre content, aubergines are not only an ideal vegetable for slimming diets due to their satiating effect and low calorie content, they are also a great ally for taking care of and keeping cholesterol at bay.
As we already mentioned in the article «Benefits of fruits and vegetables in diabetes», aubergines have very few carbohydrates and a lot of fibre, so they are a great help for people with diabetes who need to reduce the speed with which their organism absorbs sugar from other foods.
Among the most abundant minerals in aubergines is potassium, which helps to eliminate liquids and to reduce blood pressure, facilitating the work of the heart and kidneys.
Their high iron content reduces the possibility of developing anaemia during pregnancy and as they also have a high folic acid content, they benefit the development of the newborn baby.
On the other hand, its vitamin B6 is often recommended during pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes and to alleviate nausea.
Nasunin, an anthocyanin found in aubergine skin, protects brain cell membranes from damage by free radicals.
It also helps prevent neuroinflammation and facilitates blood flow to the brain, reducing the likelihood of memory loss and other conditions related to cellular ageing and age-related mental decline.
Production and export of aubergines, at the forefront of fruit and vegetable growing