We all know that eggplants and zucchini are very healthy veggies, but did you know that you can create a delicious dish if you mix these two tasty and healthy vegetables?
The Health Benefits of Zucchini
Some people might know that zucchini belongs to the squash family, but only a small number of them know that zucchini has a very unexpectedly high nutritional value while low in calories. Recent studies show that zucchini is surprisingly rich in carotenoids (cancer protective), and comes out as one of the top three foods containing lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin (three other health-supportive carotenoids) in several studies. Research has shown that the polysaccharides in it include an unusual amount of pectin—a specially structured polysaccharide that often includes special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan, which has been shown in studies to protect against diabetes and promote a better regulation of insulin.
In addition, zucchini is a rich source of vitamin C. This famous antioxidant improves the health of the hair, nails and skin and blocks the negative effects of oxidants and free radicals in the body. One zucchini has about 10% of the daily-recommended amount of vitamin A. Zucchinis come with the excellent amount of vitamin K, the vitamin needed to regulate the clotting of blood. Additionally, zucchinis have several B vitamins.
Besides the high number of vitamins, zucchini has a wide range of minerals in it. Namely, zucchini is a good source of manganese, a mineral that’s crucial for the health of tissues and bones. The magnesium found in zucchinis is good for the cardiovascular health and promotes bone health. In addition, zucchini has decent amounts of potassium and calcium. And like any other plant, it contains fiber.
Nutrients found in Eggplant
Scientific studies have confirmed that eggplant is an excellent source of different minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. For example, eggplant is rich in healthy carbohydrates and fiber, which means that it can stabilize the level of blood sugar. It is highly recommended to consume eggplants in case you are dealing with diabetes.
Phytonutrients are another category of nutrients found in eggplants and they have proven to be great for the mental health and to boost memory function. As we already mentioned, eggplant is low in calories and rich in water, so it can be enjoyed guilt free when you are trying to lose weight.
Eggplant contains a phenolic compound called chlorogenic acid, which has anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) properties.
The fact that eggplant contains significant amounts of vitamin C makes this vegetable excellent for those looking for antibacterial and antiviral help. We should not forget that eggplant is a rich source of fiber and fiber keeps the digestive tract safe. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of this vegetable can increase protection from colon cancer.
Eggplant is brain food too! Research points to anthocyanin phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin, a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. Nasunin has been shown to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. The cell membranes are very important – they protect the cell from free radicals, let nutrients in and wastes out, and receive instructions which activities the cell should perform. Nasunin can also chelate iron and improve cholesterol.
Enjoy this simple creamy basil dressing recipe! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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