Eggplant Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Close-Up Of Eggplant In Plate On Table
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Eggplants, known as aubergines, are a very popular and versatile ingredient in a variety of cuisines. There are two types of eggplants that are commonly available: Asian eggplants, which are round or long and thin, ranging in color from white skinned to deep purple, and Western eggplants, which tend to appear plump like a pear with shiny purplish-black skin.

They are available all year with their peak season during the late summer.

Eggplant Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup raw, cubes (82 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 21 
Calories from Fat 1 
Total Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 187.78mg5%
Carbohydrates 4.8g2%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugars 2.5g 
Protein 0.8g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 1% · Iron 1%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One cup of raw eggplant contains a mere 21 calories and 4.8 grams of carbohydrate, more than half of which comes from fiber (2.9 grams).

Health Benefits

Eggplant packs a huge nutrition punch—containing adequate amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and anthocyanins.

Most people should consume about 25-38 g of fiber daily. One cup of raw eggplants provides about 12 percent of your daily fiber needs. Fiber, the indigestible part of carbohydrate, plays an important role in heart health.

Studies have shown that those people who consume fiber-rich diets are at a reduced rate of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. People who eat fiber-rich diets are also at healthier weights and have a reduced risk of certain cancers.

Eggplants are also a good source of fat-soluble vitamin K. Vitamin K is important in blood clotting.

Those people who take Coumadin should eat consistent amounts of vitamin K. If you don't know what this means, discuss with your healthcare provider.

Eggplants contain manganese, which is a component of antioxidant enzymes and plays a role in breaking down glucose and protein.

In addition, eggplants contain fairly high amounts of various types of phytonutrients, especially nasunin and chlorogenic acid, which may help protect our cells from damage and lower the risk of heart disease.

Lastly, the skin of eggplants contain anthocyanins, which give them their purple hue. Anthocyanins have been shown to have antioxidant power by combating oxidative stress. Research suggests that eating foods with anthocyanins may also help to fend off diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer and aid in health maintenance.

Why Does Eggplant Always Seem Soggy?

Eggplants can become soggy if they are not salted before cooking. This is because they are filled with cells that contain water. Heat draws air out of the pockets and if the eggplant has not been salted, oil can seep into the pockets, making it soggy. A small amount of salt can draw water out of the cells, which causes the air pockets to collapse.

Selection and Storage

Choose eggplant that is heavy for its size. The eggplant should appear plump, with a smooth, shiny skin.

Store eggplant whole in the refrigerator because once cut, it begins to deteriorate quickly.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Eggplant

Eggplants have a rather bland flavor that absorbs other flavors when cooking. When cooking, they act like a sponge and have the ability to absorb a great deal of fat, which is probably why they taste so good fried. But, fried eggplant and eggplant stuffed with cheeses and meat is not the best food choice as these foods are rich in calories and fat.

To get all the nutritional benefits of eggplant without all the fat and calories, grill, bake, steam, or saute eggplant.

Play around with different flavors, such as basil and oregano for a Mediterranean flavor or cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern flare, or chile and garlic for a Thai inspired side dish. Eggplant can also be stuffed with vegetables and whole grains or used to make dips. Or simply add a little salt, pepper, and olive oil and grill your eggplant to perfection. Try this recipe for grilled eggplant with Middle Eastern flavors or add more veggies for Mediterranean summer vegetables.

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Article Sources
  • Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 620.

  • Retelny, Victoria. The colorful truth about anthocyanins complex compounds with many potential complex powers. Food and Nutrition. 2016;16-17.