Wednesday 26 June, 2019

Foodie Focus: Bend it like Baigan

Everyone loves baigan, right?

That’s because it does a body good, and we mean that in the healthiest way.

Baigan, also known as eggplant or melongene, is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and has even been proven by some studies to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.

Solanum melongena as it is scientifically known is rich in nutrients, including copper, vitamin B, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, vitamin K, folate and fibre.

Here are five ways baigan is great for you:

1. Baigan keeps you young

Baigan contains antioxidants which can help fend off free radicals which can cause aging.

The anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin, called 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.


2. Baigan is good for your heart

There’s yet another reason to love baigan; it keeps the ticker going. Eggplant contains a phenolic compound (chlorogenic acid) which has antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities.


3. Baigan keeps you regular

Having trouble in the bathroom department? Never fear, baigan is here. The humble eggplant contains a whopping six grams of fiber per every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of baigan, so start chowing down on some baigan choka asap.


4. Baigan is good for your bones

Did we mention Baigan gives you strong bones? Every 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of eggplant gives you 31 percent of your daily calcium requirements.


5. Baigan can help beat cancer

Some studies have claimed that the humble eggplant can also help combat cancer.

According to a 1998 study, delphinidin, a natural compound in eggplant skin, was found to be the component responsible for inhibiting the activity of the fibrocarcinoma's (tumour) secretions which degraded healthy cells as part of the invasive process.

So, how do we eat it to ensure we get the most out of our baigan? Although many love baigan choka, the best way to eat baigan is to incorporate the bright purple skin, which has many of the plant's healthy properties.

Check out these easy baigan recipes here:

How do you like your baigan?


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