How often do we pay closer attention to the fruits and vegetables around us? Do we know the essence of consuming fruits/vegetables and what benefits our bodies can derive from them? Having a good knowledge of such fruits and vegetables around us is not only important for satisfying our insatiable hunger but equally essential for determining how they can contribute to a healthier us. However, it is of great concern that we usually fail to fully utilise these amazing fruits and veggies around us.
To a larger extent, it is imperative to understand why it is vital to get acquainted with nature as well as most of the vital fruits around us so as fully tap into all the benefits they can render. Being a popular fruit, the scarlet eggplant has been widely distributed and consumed due to its amazing health benefits. Garden egg is a fruit that has been notable for its characteristics egg-like appearance with greenish colour when mature and orange-reddish colour when ripe.
Scarlet eggplant is a Solanum aethiopicum cultivar and different countries have different names for it such as Jiló, Ethiopian eggplant, gilo, mock tomato, nakati, morro redondo, bitter tomato, mock tomato, African eggplant, gboma eggplant, garden eggs, Brinjal eggplant, samtawk, khamen akhaba and anara. Scarlet eggplant is mainly prevalent in Tropical Africa and Asia. While some cultivars of this fruit have very good taste, others have sort of bitter taste such as the var. morro redondo.
Garden eggs are originally from the West Africa before spreading to other parts of the world such as India, America, Brazil and the Caribbean. Some cultivars of the garden eggs have a sweet taste while others are bitter however the degree of bitterness is based on the amount of saponin present in the fruit. These fruits are ideally harvested while still fresh and greenish in colour, however, they tend to change to a red colour as the days go by and the skin becomes thickened. The red colouration of the mature fruits is due to the high amount of carotene present.
Nutritional Values of Garden Eggs
Garden eggs are an excellent source of dietary fibre, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin B6, iron, flavonoids, magnesium and potassium.
Benefits of Garden Eggs
Apart from being a source of food, garden eggs can also be used for medicinal purposes. Garden eggs can be used for preparing medicines for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as dysentery, indigestion. It can also be used for treating bronchitis, diabetes and asthma.
Researchers reveal that consuming garden eggs and the green vegetables is important for maintaining a balanced weight and preventing the risk of obesity. This is attributed to the presence of high dietary fibres, low protein, low sodium and low caloric content of both the fruits and the leaves. Basically, if you want to shed those excess fats and maintain a healthy weight, then eat more garden eggs.
But adopting this method doesn’t give you the access to continue feeding on high caloric food products that will keep accumulating fat in your body. You just need to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle coupled with eating more garden eggs and the leaves for better results. Due to the high fibre content of the garden eggs that act as bulking agents in the digestive system, they tend to easily fill up the stomach thereby reducing your food cravings that could contribute to excess body weight.
Treatment of Eye Problems
Species of garden eggs such as Solanum macrocarpon and Solanum aethiopicum are an excellent source of retinol, which is a yellow compound present in green and yellow vegetables as well as fish-liver oil and egg yolk that is vital for boosting good eye vision, growth and immune system. Due to the presence of retinol in these species of garden eggs, they can be used for treating glaucoma.
Garden egg is anti-cancerous in nature due to its constituent of polyphenols, anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid. These compounds are anti-inflammatory in nature and also act as antioxidants that eradicate harmful toxins from the body system.
Thus consuming this fruit helps to detoxify the body and offer protection against cells damage caused as a result of the movement of free radicals in the body. Garden eggs is essential for preventing the growth of cancer cells.
The low carbohydrate and high dietary fibre content of the garden eggs are important for controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. As a result, diabetic patients can eat the garden eggs to control their blood sugar level.
Drinking eggplant juice extracted from the leaves is important for rejuvenating the blood cells. The juice is a good blood tonic that helps to nourish the blood.
Garden eggs can be eaten raw, steamed, cooked, roasted or baked. The green leaves of the Solanum aethiopicum species can be eaten fresh as fresh vegetables or can be used for preparing assorted dishes such as yam and vegetables, abacha, ugba and okporoko.
The leaves can also be squeezed and the aqueous solution can be taken to aid digestion and clear constipation. The leaves are highly nutritious and are packed with essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients that are vital for the healthy functioning of the body. Moreover, the high thiamine content of the garden egg makes the fruit a powerful fruit for maintaining normal growth and for facilitating the overall functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular system.
Researchers reveal that scarlet eggplant skin contains an anthocyanin known as nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant that protects the brain cells from damages as a result of free radicals. Both the fruit and the green leaves of the garden egg also help to improve memory.
Furthermore, the presence of anthocyanins in this fruit helps to boost the flow of blood to the brain as well as prevents neuroinflammation and other age-related cognitive disorders.
Balances the Cholesterol Level
Garden egg is an excellent source of dietary fibre and chlorogenic acid thus consuming them is essential for lowering LDL bad cholesterol and for boosting good cholesterol in the body.
Garden eggs possess anti-ulcer properties thus can be used for treating and subduing the effects of ulcer in the stomach. However, garden eggs do not offer protection against ulcer attacks.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Both the fruits and leaves of the scarlet eggplants are essential for regulating the blood pressure and for facilitating the healthy functioning of the heart due to the high vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin B6, potassium and flavonoids content.
Some species of the garden eggs such as solanum aethiopicum are often planted for ornamental purposes. They can be dried and used for decorating the house. Using these fruits as ornaments is due to their colourful glossy skins that usually come in the shades of purple, green, red, cream, white or burgundy.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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