Garden eggplant is a member of the aubergine family. Like every other vegetable, garden eggs also have names that are commonly called by different tribes in Nigeria. Garden egg is called Obe-Igba by the Yorubas, by the Igbo's, Afufa or Anyara, and Ganyen Gauta by the Hausas. It has its botanical name as Solanum melongena of the family, Solanaceae. Garden eggs are found in different shapes, colours, and sizes. Its shape and size vary from oblong and small to long and thin. Some colours garden eggs come in are pink, white, yellow, green, and black.
The garden eggplant is a vegetable that is a highly valued constituent of African dishes. It represents fertility and blessing culturally. Its cultural meaning explains why it is commonly found being served in communities across Africa during wedding ceremonies. The best time to get garden eggs in Nigeria is August through October when they're usually available on the market in droves. It is best enjoyed freshly alone or with groundnut or better still used to cook a sumptuous sauce that can be eaten with boiled plantain or yam.
Nutritional Constituents of Garden Egg Plants
There are lots of health benefits of garden eggplants because of their nutritional constituents. In this section of this article, we'll be talking in detail about the constituents of garden eggs.
Garden egg is rich in dietary fibre, thiamine (Vitamin B1), copper, and potassium. It contains a necessary amount of salt to help in maintaining the heart's function as well as to regulate blood pressure. It also contains Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phytonutrients (like nasunin and chlorogenic acid), and niacin. Although, garden eggs don't contain a huge amount of protein and some other nutrients.In every 100 grams of garden eggplants, the nutrients contained are as follows:
- Sugars 3.53 g
- Dietary fibre 3 g
- Fat 0.18 g
- Protein 0.98 g
- Thiamine 0.039 mg
- Riboflavin 0.037 mg
- Niacin 0.649 mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.281 mg
- Vitamin B6 0.084 mg
- Folate 22 micrograms
- Vitamin C 2.2 mg
- Vitamin E 0.3 mg
- Vitamin K 3.5 micrograms
- Calcium 9 mg
- Iron 0.23 mg
- Magnesium 14 mg
- Manganese 0.232 mg
- Phosphorus 2 mg
- potassium 229 mg
- Zinc 0.16 mg
Health Benefits of Garden Egg Plant
Some of the health benefits of garden eggplants are:
1. For anaemic patients, the leaves of the garden eggplant can serve as a natural blood tonic. The leaves also help in improving blood level in women because of the micronutrients it provides them with.
2. The regular intake of the garden egg helps with the normal growth and proper functioning of the heart as well as the nervous system because it provides the body with both glasses of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
3. It helps make weight reduction diets a lot more successful.
4. Garden eggs help in reducing one's chances of getting osteoporosis because it contains iron and calcium which helps keep the bones strong and healthy.
5. For the reduction of blood cholesterol, it is very good to eat garden eggs. Because of its ability to reduce the sugar levels of blood and reduce the glucose absorption in the body, it is a good dietary option for diabetics. It also contains another nutrient that also helps with this regard and that is low soluble carbohydrates.
6. It helps positively with heart problems.
7. Garden eggplant just like other fibre containing food helps with the digestion of food. It helps to ensure the smooth passage of food in the body so that there will be no chance for bloating to occur. It helps in the prevention of constipation as well as for the general health of the colon.
8. The health benefit of the garden egg to people with glaucoma is that it helps to lower their eye pressure without showing any side effects even when consumed in high amounts. The benefit of garden eggs to people with glaucoma is because of the small amounts of nicotinoid alkaloids and spongy constituency present in the yellow-coloured flesh with a bitter-sweet taste.
9. It helps in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
10. It contains a good amount of potassium which is a necessary salt that helps in the maintenance of the heart's function as well as in regulating blood pressure.
11. Over the decades, a garden egg has been known as one of the anti-cancer fruits.
12. With the help of Vitamin K and the bioflavonoids, a garden egg contains, blood clotting is usually prevented because they help in strengthening the capillaries.
13. Due to the number of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients contained in garden eggplants, it is a great vegetable that should be added as an important part of a pregnant woman's daily consumption of vegetables.
14. Due to the potassium content, garden eggplants aid in the removal of puffiness during pregnancy. Because of the weight gain and oedema, it is very normal for pregnant women to get puffy especially on their legs. During the nine months journey, this puffiness can be prevented or controlled by the regular consumption of garden eggplants.
15. Garden eggs are very important in protecting infants from neural defects that normally occur because it is rich in folic acid. For this reason, garden eggs are very beneficial to pregnant women because they are also rich in folic acid.
Effects of Garden Egg Plants
Although there are tons of health benefits of garden eggs, there are still some negative effects of eating garden eggs. Some of the effects of garden eggplants are:
1. Garden eggs can cause acidity problems when consumed.
2. Garden egg contains fibre and eating of excess fibre can lead to constipation, diarrhoea, and difficulty in the absorption of nutrients.
3. Due to the garden egg's diuretic nature, it sometimes causes menstruation stimulation in pregnant women.
4. Garden egg contains potassium and excess consumption of potassium leads to vomiting, and stomach upset.
5. In some people, garden eggs cause allergies. Some of the allergies caused by garden eggs are nausea, itchiness, swelling of the throat, and rashes.
Due to the side effects of garden eggs, it is advisable to consume it in a moderate amount.