A Bowl Full of Reasons to Eat Eggplant

by karen on July 11, 2019

Eggplant is a great summer vegetable that is extremely versatile, and, like all vegetables, reduces the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Fire up the barbie and give the attached grilled eggplant recipe a try.

Eggplant’s Nutrition Stats (per cup cooked)

Low calorie. 35, to be exact
Low fat. Less than ¼ gram
High fiber. 3 grams
Good source of potassium. 188 mg
Minimal sodium. Almost none to speak of, at 1 mg (2300 mg is the recommended daily threshold)
Rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids that are potent antioxidants.

Eggplant’s Health Benefits

Heart health. The fiber and phytonutrients in eggplant all support heart health. The anthocyanins in eggplant may reduce the odds of dying from heart disease and lower blood pressure.
Cancer risk. Polyphenols in eggplant have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. They have been shown to protect cells from free radical damage, prevent tumor growth, prevent new blood vessels from forming in tumors that are present, and block enzymes that help cancer cells to spread.
Brain function. Memory can be improved and age-related mental disorders reduced with eggplant’s anthocyanins. Blood flow is improved in the brain.
Weight management and feeling satisfied after eating. Dietary fiber increases fullness and reduces appetite to help reduce/control portions, and it is so low in calories as to contribute almost no calories to a meal.
Liver health. Research suggests that antioxidants in eggplant may help protect the liver from certain toxins, which it is responsible for clearing from the body

Now that you know of all the yummy, nutritious goodness in eggplant, let’s get grilling!

Spicy Hoisin Glazed Eggplant Recipe

courtesy of Bobby Flay & Food Network https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/spicy-hoisin-glazed-eggplant-recipe-1950448


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and red chili flakes and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the hoisin, vinegar and soy sauce until combined and then strain, reserving the sauce.
  2. Heat grill to high.
  3. Brush eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on the grill and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with some of the glaze, turn over and continue grilling just until cooked through, brushing with more of the glaze, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and brush with the remaining glaze. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the cilantro.


Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website atwww.NutritionConnectionNV.com

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert

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