Eggplant has a compound that can exacerbate arthritis pain. It is rich in iron and copper (nutrients group 2), antagonists of calcium and zinc (nutrients group 1). Calcium, magnesium, Vit B6, zinc and Vit D are important for cell growth.
So in eating a little of everything (nutrients 1 and 2), fish and veggies, we can balance what the body needs. Older adults need more calcium than iron/copper since excess copper can lead to mental health issues.
There are pain relieving foods, they are yellow in color (ginger and turmeric). All these nutrients work better with Vit C and E.
Between processed foods and whole foods, I choose whole foods.
Eggplants Are Packed with Antioxidants
Eggplants contain fiber, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K, and potassium, but their brightly colored skin is a sign that they’re also rich in antioxidants. Anthocyanins are one type of phytonutrient that are responsible for that dark-purple color.
One variety, nasunin, has been found to have potent antioxidant and free-radical scavenging abilities. It’s also known to protect the fats in your brain cell membranes,3 and it has iron-chelating abilities, which is beneficial if you suffer fromiron overload.
The predominant antioxidant in eggplants is chlorogenic acid, which also has anti-cancer, antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties. Chlorogenic acid is also one of the most potent free-radical scavengers found in plants. One variety of eggplant in particular, known as Black Magic, has been shown to have nearly three times the antioxidants as other varieties.4
In addition, nasunin and other phytonutrients in eggplant, including terpenes, are thought to be beneficial for heart health. Animal studies show that eggplant juice has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and also relaxes blood vessels for improved blood flow.5
Eggplant Extract May Kill Cancer Cells
A cream containing eggplant extract, known as BEC and BEC5, appears to cure and eliminate most non-melanoma skin cancers in several weeks’ time. There are reports that extracts of plants from the Solanaceae family of vegetables are effective for treating cancer dating back nearly 200 years to 1825, according to natural health pioneer Dr. Jonathan Wright.
However, it wasn’t until much later, after the 1950s, that they were formally studied. The leading researcher in this area today is Dr. Bill E. Cham, who reported as early as 1991 in Cancer Letters that:6
“A cream formulation containing high concentrations (10%) of a standard mixture of solasodine glycosides (BEC) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of malignant and benign human skin tumors.”
One of Dr. Cham’s more recent studies was published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.7 The paper includes two impressive case reports of 60-something men who were suffering from large basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which had plagued them for years. The results upon treatment with a cream formulation of BEC (eggplant extract) twice a day are astounding:
- In the first case, treatment with the eggplant-extract cream resulted in rapid break down of the tumor. After two weeks, the lesion was reduced to about half its original size, and after 14 weeks the cancer was clinically eliminated with no scar tissue formation. Even the hairs had regrown where the tumor was originally.
- In the second case, after six weeks of treatment with eggplant-extract cream, the large skin cancer lesion appeared “cleaner” and some of the cancerous tissue had been replaced with normal tissue.
In another three weeks, the lesion was much smaller and more normal tissue was apparent. After a total of 14 weeks, the lesion was completely eliminated with no scar tissue present.
Unfortunately, simply eating eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, or similar veggies, while beneficial for many reasons, will not induce this same effect because the active components are not able to effectively penetrate your cells. This requires the addition of glycosides, molecules with various simple sugars attached to them that can latch on to receptors found on skin cancer cells.
That being said, eggplant compounds have also been found to have anti-proliferative activities against human colon and liver cancer cells.8 The fact that eggplant has anti-cancer effects is one more testament to the benefits of eating a wide variety of natural foods.
How to Choose and Prepare Eggplant
For best flavor, choose eggplants that are glossy in color, firm, and heavy for their size. The stem should be bright green, and if you push on the flesh with your thumb, it should bounce back. A lasting indentation is a sign that the eggplant may be overripe. Overripe eggplants tend to be more bitter in flavor, as do those that are stored too long.
You can store an uncut eggplant in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer (in a plastic bag), but they are quite perishable. Ideally, look for eggplants that are locally grown and use them as soon as possible after harvest.
One of the allures of eggplants is their versatility. They can be baked, roasted, steamed or boiled, mashed, pureed, diced, and sliced. Although it’s not a requirement, many people “sweat” their eggplant prior to using it in recipes to help draw out some moisture, tenderize the flesh and reduce any bitterness. To do so, the George Mateljan Foundation recommends:9
“To tenderize the flesh’s texture and reduce some of its naturally occurring bitter taste, you can sweat the eggplant by salting it. After cutting the eggplant into the desired size and shape, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
This process will pull out some of its water content and make it less permeable to absorbing any oil used in cooking. Rinsing the eggplant after ‘sweating’ will remove most of the salt.”
Healthy Grilled Eggplant Recipe
Eggplant is a perfect addition to soups, stews, casseroles, and side dishes, and it’s often used as a replacement for meat in those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. But it’s also quite tasty on its own. To savor the unique flavor and texture of eggplant, all you need is a bit of healthy oil, salt and pepper. The grilled eggplant recipe below, from the Rodale Recipe Index, is one well worth keeping:
- 4 eggplants (1 lb each), with peel, cut lengthwise into 1″ thick slices
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Layer several paper towels on baking sheet. Place half of eggplant on top in single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and cover with paper towels. Arrange second layer of eggplant, sprinkle with remaining salt, and cover with paper towels.
- Let eggplant stand 30 minutes, then rinse each piece and blot dry. (This helps extract excess water, reducing bitterness and preventing eggplant from absorbing excess oil during cooking.)
- Brush both sides of an eggplant slice with oil to coat and transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant slices. Season with pepper.
- Heat grill to medium. Grill eggplant, with cover closed, 16 to 20 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and tender. Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container for a day or two.
More eggplant recipes from Dr Axe:
Crispy eggplant sans frying is possible. Grounded almonds are used in place of traditional breadcrumbs to coat eggplant slices and then are baked to achieve ultimate crunch. Serve with marinara sauce, in a sandwich, or with a salad.
Photo: Almond-Crusted Baked Eggplant / Jessica in the Kitchen
2. Baba Ganoush
One of my favorite eggplant recipes, this Middle Eastern staple is perfect for dipping crackers, veggies, or spreading on a sandwich. Broiling the skins adds a smoky flavor to the dip — I recommend you make a double batch. You’ll want it!
Photo: Baba Ganoush / Inspired Taste
This delightfully simple healthy recipe is full of flavor thanks to Dijon mustard, garlic, fresh thyme, and, of course, balsamic. Try adding other veggies like zucchini, onions, or carrots for a hearty side dish.
Photo: Balsamic Roasted Eggplant / iheartyum
Reminiscent of lasagna, this beef and eggplant casserole is the type of dish that’s excellent on a cold night when you need something cozy for dinner.
Ground beef is cooked with garlic and marinara sauce and then layered atop fresh eggplant slices and Parmesan cheese. The result is a crisp oven-baked casserole that’s carb-free and delicious. Top with fresh basil.
Photo: Beef and Eggplant Casserole / Not Enough Cinnamon
Former cheese-loving vegans, get excited: this dip tastes super similar to traditional queso dips except it has no cashews, soy, dairy, or gluten. But thanks to roasted eggplant as its base, this dip does have lots of creamy, spicy goodness. Top it with smoked paprika for extra color.
Photo: Cashew-Less Vegan Queso / Minimalist Baker
Skip the gluten, carbs, and calories normally found in lasagna and add in tons of taste with this dinner. Eggplant slices stand in for noodles while a mix of meaty mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers take the place of ricotta. The result is a guilt-free lasagna everyone will enjoy. Hint: Omit the chicken to keep this vegetarian-friendly.
Photo: Chicken Eggplant Lasagna / Plentytude
Homemade Sichuan-style eggplant is the perfect antidote to greasy takeout Chinese food. It’s also crazy quick to whip up, great for busy weeknights. Serve it with a side of brown rice, veggies, or even eat it solo (but make sure to use coconut oil!). You won’t regret it.
Photo: Chinese Eggplant With Spicy Garlic Sauce / Steamy Kitchen
Put down the bag of store-bought chips and snack on these instead. Eggplant slices are slow-roasted in smoky seasonings for a perfectly crisp chip. And because an entire eggplant is just 150 calories, you can snack on these and feel great about it!
Photo: Crisp Eggplant Chips / Healthful Pursuit
Forget potatoes and swap in eggplant in this breakfast hash. Drying the eggplant before cooking will let help it reach ultimate crispiness. Try this for a weekend brunch or on breakfast-for-dinner night!
Photo: Crispy Eggplant and Tomato Hash / Baker By Nature
Brown rice is baked with eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes in this easy main dish. Because of spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, it’s packed with flavor. Sneak in more veggies or swap in your favorites..
Think you can’t get a good stuffing without bread? Think again. Eggplant and your favorite mushrooms absorb the goodness of the other ingredients — think grass-fed butter, bacon (opt for beef!), and turkey juices — while keeping their own shape. Try this once and you won’t look back at your usual stuffing again.
Make a restaurant favorite at home — and keep it low-carb and gluten-free — with this Benedict recipe. Eggplant slices stand in for English muffins in this impressive breakfast. Use turkey or beef bacon and, to make this extra special, serve with asparagus on top or on the side.
Photo: Eggplant Benedict / All Day I Dream About Food
Need an easy appetizer? I love the idea of using eggplant slices in place of bread for a fresh bruschetta that comes together right on the grill during warm months — broil when it’s too cold out!
With such few ingredients required to make this gratin, sticking to fresh herbs will turn this main into a show-stopping meal. Pair this with a side salad for a warm, filling meal.
Photo: Eggplant Gratin With Tomato, Herbs and Crème Fraiche / The Iron You
In this non-traditional take on the classic “hole in the head” breakfast, eggplant stands in for bread, with eggs cooking right in the center. It’s easy to make and fun to eat!
16. Eggplant Jam
Eggplant jam?! It sounds crazy, but it tastes amazing on everything from grilled meats to grilled bread. Harissa keeps things spicy, but sub in hot sauce if you don’t have this Mediterranean condiment. Try it out at your next cookout!
Eggplant Parmesan sounds like a healthier alternative to the chicken version but after dredging and frying eggplant slices, it’s easy to load up on calories, too. This baked version is good for you and easy too: eggplant “boats” serve as the base while the other delicious ingredients gets stuffed right into them — no slicing or dicing here. Opt for gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal.
Photo: Eggplant Parmesan With Fresh Mozzarella / She’s Cookin’
Eggplant plays well with other vegetables in this easy soup. Because the soup gets blended at the end, mix and match other veggie favorites to tweak the taste — celery would be a nice addition.
Photo: Eggplant Vegetable Soup / Maria Ushakova
Bite into creamy goat cheese and buttery eggplant when you make this amazing side dish or snack. Raisins add a hint of sweetness while basil adds fresh flavor — and a hint of green!
Photo: Eggplant Wrapped Goat Cheese / Dr. Axe
Grilled, meaty eggplants make a wonderful substitution for traditional beef burgers. Topped with halloumi cheese and pesto, this is a veggie burger even carnivores will love.
Photo: Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi, and Pesto Burgers / Veggie Belly
Eggplant and mozzarella are a natural fit and there’s no better way to munch on them together than in this side dish/appetizer. Eggplant slices are grilled and then stacked with mozz, tomatoes, and basil. Use a grill pan to get those great grill marks if it’s too cold outside!
Photo: Grilled Eggplant With Mozzarella / Dr. Axe
This caramelized Japanese-style eggplant is melt-in-your-mouth good. Grilling gives it a smoky flavor, but the stovetop works in a crunch, too. Use coconut sugar in place of regular and don’t forget to top with scallions at the end!
Photo: Grilled Miso-Glazed Japanese Eggplant / Recipe Tin Eats
Who needs pizza crust when you have eggplant? Slather your favorite ‘za toppings (don’t skimp on the fresh basil!) onto eggplant slices, bake, and enjoy. Pizza night has never been this easy.
Get your Mediterranean fix with this loaded salad. Bursting with chickpeas, garlic, and cheese, it’s healthy and tastes delicious to boot. And did I mention it’s really simple to make, too?
You’ll be eating your burgers with a side of yum after making these eggplant fries. Almond meal helps the fries crisp as they bake, while maple syrup, sea salt, and paprika infuse flavor. Bye bye, potato fries!
Photo: Oven-Baked Eggplant Fries / Veggies Don’t Bite
If you’re tired of eating quinoa the same way, this should perk up your taste buds. Quinoa, which is loaded with protein and fiber, gets stuffed into eggplant, along with veggies, flaxseed, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You’ll love this meatless main dish.
Photo: Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Eggplant / Lemons and Basil
Biting into a hearty vegetarian sandwich can be difficult sometimes. That’s not the case with this one. Oven-baked eggplants slices are topped with avocado, cheese, and a kale-based pesto. Throw it all on a sprouted grain hamburger bun and you’ve got yourself one amazing sandwich.
If your idea of pilaf is of the boxed rice variety, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This version is quinoa based and brimming with juicy raisins, crunchy pine nuts, and roasted eggplant. It’s a fine side dish, but serve with a side salad and it’s a great vegan main, too.
This is one of those tasty eggplant recipes that is comfort food at its best: good for your body and your mind. It’s also perfect for beginners in the kitchen: it’s ready in just a few steps. This delicious stir fry-esque meal will become a new family favorite.
Photo: Roasted Eggplant With Spinach, Quinoa, and Feta / Julia’s Album
Do the words “pasta salad” conjure up images of limp, mayonnaise-slathered pasta? Think again. This wholesome pasta dressing is made with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice and loaded with veggies. Crumbled feta adds saltiness and fresh basil ties it all together. Use brown rice or gluten-free pasta and inhale.
Photo: Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad / Cookin’ Canuck
Not only an animated movie, ratatouille is also one of the most classic eggplant-based dishes. It’s a standout meal brimming with fresh veggies — hit the farmer’s market for this one.
Because it takes several hours to roast in the oven (and tastes even better the second day!), I recommend you make this during the weekend and then enjoy on a hectic weeknight.
Photo: Slow-Roasted Ratatouille / Feeling Foodish
When you’ve got a hankering for Chinese fried rice, this spicy eggplant and quinoa will hit the spot — and has more nutritional value. Plus, like most stir fry dishes, the veggie ingredients are entirely customizable based on what’s on hand.
Photo: Spicy Asian Eggplant and Quinoa / Julia’s Album
This “poor man’s caviar” is a smooth spread that can be eaten as either an appetizer or a side dish. Try it on crackers, as a sandwich spread, or with your scrambled eggs. Yum!
Who says a veggie burger has to be second class? This veggie patty, made from potassium-packed sweet potatoes and eggplants, isn’t just a meat substitute — it’s a great burger in its own right. Try it with a side of baked French fries for a healthy happy meal.
Pretend you’re in Bangkok while indulging in this dish. It’s full of Thai flavor goodness, but it uses common Asian-cooking ingredients like hoisin and soy sauces. Sub tempeh in for tofu and arrowroot powder for cornstarch and keep this quick dish healthy and tasting good.
Photo: Thai Basil Eggplant / Vegetarian Gastronomy
You can be a vegan and get your bacon, too. Smoky eggplant “bacon” meets lettuce, tomatoes, and cashew mayo for the ultimate veggie BLT. Use sprouted grain bread and almond milk for the cashew mayo. This is one sandwich you’ll want to make again and again!
Photo: The Best Vegan BLT / Oh My Veggies
Get your healthy fats in with this eggplant- olive oil- and tomato-based dish. With just a few ingredients like diced tomatoes and fresh parsley, you’ll have a restaurant-worthy meal. Save yourself a slice!
Photo: Turkish Eggplant Casserole / Feed Me Phoebe
One of the eggplant recipes you should definitely try tonight: Meatballs!
Combine eggplant, white beans, and gluten-free crumbs which all lend an unbelievable texture to these vegan meatballs. Enjoy them over brown rice pasta, in a sandwich, or, as suggested, with zoodles (zucchini noodles). No matter what vehicle you use, you’ll love these meatballs!
Photo: Vegan Eggplant Meatballs / skinnytaste.com