The flavonoid nasunin in eggplant is turning out to be a powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, and is able to help protect cell walls from damage.
Apart from your neighbor’s cat, you can juice almost anything, including eggplant. And it makes a whole lot of nutritional sense to do so. This antioxidant-rich plant is in the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes and tomatoes. Originally growing wild in India, eggplant was first cultivated in China around 500 years B.C. and was finally brought to North America by the European explorers. Even though it is now commercially grown all over the world, China is still the world’s leading exporter of eggplant.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Eggplant Juice
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Eggplant Juice Nutrition
Eggplants are an excellent source of folate, potassium, manganese, and fiber when eaten. They’re also a good source of copper, phosphorus, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, K, B6, niacin and thiamin.
Eggplant Juice is an excellent source of:
- Fibre (when eaten)
- Folate Acid
Eggplant Juice is a good source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B5
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Eggplant Juice
It is the anthocyanin flavonoid called nasunin in eggplant that has caught researcher’s attention. It is found in the richly colored skin, and when it comes to edible plants, where there is color, there is a treasure of health-protecting phytochemicals. Nasunin is turning out to be a powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, and is able to help protect cell walls from damage. This is very significant, considering it is the cell walls that act like a gateway, allowing nutrients in and waste out. Also it is the cell walls that are responsible for communicating with other cells, kind of like a cell phone. When the reception is not good between cells, diseases like cancer can take over. Nasunin can also help remove excess iron from the body. This is very important because surplus iron causes an increase in free-radical production, which is associated with a greater risk of cancer and heart disease.
Eggplant is showing promise in lowering blood cholesterol and improving blood flow. This effect is likely to do with other phytochemicals called terpenes. Research performed at the US Agricultural Service in Maryland has found that eggplant is a good source of one of the most potent antioxidants in plants, chlorogenic acid, which has the ability to lower bad cholesterol, and is also an anti-cancer and antiviral.
Preparing for Juicing
Rinse off and cut into hopper-sized pieces. Juice the whole eggplant, skin, seeds and all.
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Eggplant Juice Tips
Uncooked eggplant can taste a little bitter, but begrudge not its raw tang, as powerful antioxidant phenolic acids are responsible for this tart taste. Once cooked, eggplant is less bitter, which obviously means less antioxidant punch, therefore raw is better. When adding eggplant to your favorite veggie juices, simply add an apple to soften the eggplant’s sharp disposition.
Picking Perfect Produce
The skin should be brightly colored, shiny, and free of any bruising and discoloration. Eggplant should be heavy and firm, and should spring back when pressed with the thumb.
Storing Your Produce
This egg-shaped plant is quite perishable and will keep for only a few days in the fridge. Once cut, use up in a day or two.
Eggplant can be added to any favorite veggie juice combination.
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