Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Must - Eat – Vegetables for Wellness: Part 5

Wellness is defined as the condition or state of having good physical and mental health, especially as the result of deliberate effort that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life by proper diet, exercise and maintaining good health habits, as opposed to treating diseases.

When I was growing up, my grand mom and mother used to say “Eat your veggies, it will keep you strong and safe” or they’d say “Eat your salad, you won’t turn into a rabbit instead you will be as strong and as fast as a horse”. To be honest, I grew up liking vegetables due to repetition, being a writer-researcher has opened my eyes to the miracles of plants, vegetables and fruits. 

Total wellness has now become a popular topic for people around the world. Social media has made it possible for people to read health tips from their mobile devices or chancing about their friends’ latest fruit “Like” and more. People have the power to “share” the things they like or articles they think would help other people stay healthy and glow with beauty. Below is my personal list of veggies our fridge often has an abundance of; I recommend you do the same and you will feel light and healthier even more.

6. Eggplant

Also called Mad Apple, defined as an egg-shaped glossy black-purple fruit which has white meaty textured flesh, the Eggplant or Solanum melongena is a delicate tropical perennial with a spiny stem that has tall, large, coarsely lobed leaves and white to purple flowers that later produce the fruit-veggie we all love to eat. Name was said to come from French aubergine, from Catalan albergínia, from Arabic الباذِنْجان(al-baðinjān), the eggplant, from Persian بادنگان (bâdengân), from باتنگان(bâtengân), from Sanskrit वातिगगम (vātiga-gama, “eggplant”),this purple-black veggie-fruit is famous all over the world.The plant is native to the Indian Subcontinent and has been cultivated in Southeast Asia since prehistory. The eggplant was first recorded in the Qímínyàoshù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. Called as “aubergine” in British English, the aubergine was first recorded in England in the 16th century as a plant that growth in Egypt almost everywhere.

For thousands of years different cultures have cultivated the eggplant and our ancestors must have had a very good reason why.A research study done by the US Agricultural Services in Beltsville, Maryland have published that eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants.Also other scientific studies show that this purple necessity contains important phytonutrients which have promoteantioxidant activity. Phenolic compound such as caffeic, chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin are examples of Phytonutrients contained in this purple-black aubegine veggie. Nasunin is said to act as a brain-food and is shown to protect cell membranes from damage.

Good for the bone-building for it contains vitamin K and magnesium. Egg plants are high in heart-healthy nutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, copper and niacin. Eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber and heart-healthy potassium plus bone-building manganese. Researchers believe this may reduce risk of dementia and stroke. So say yes to aubergine and do not forget to place a load of this wellness veggie in your cart the next time you do your groceries. Make some Eggplant Parmesan, Pork Sinigang, Ratatouille or Greek Moussaka. The more the merrier!

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