African Garden egg (Solanum melongena), locally known as Añara is a fruit full of wonders. It comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes and can be eaten as fresh whole vegetables, or may even be used to prepare sauce/stew. Garden eggs are packed with nutrients of enormous health benefits.
Garden Egg’s cocktail of Nutrients
Anara turns out to be a very good source of Dietary fiber, Potassium, Manganese, Copper, Thiamin (vitamin B1), Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, and Niacin. It also contains other Phyto-nutrients such as Nasunin and Chlorogenic acid which are antioxidants that protect neural cell membranes and enhance brain function.
Health benefits of Garden Eggs (Anara)
- Weight Loss: Owing to its high fibre, low calories and low soluble carbohydrate content, it is quite beneficial in weight loss either as a main meal, part of a main meal, or as an in-between meal snack. It has a fleshy consistency that is filling and satisfying. However, it is notably low in protein which needs to be augmented for.
- Very beneficial in control of Hypertension and Diabetes: Most foods that aid weight control are quite useful in diabetics and hypertensive patients for obvious reasons.
- Helps deal with Constipation: This is also because of its high fibre content which ensures an easy flow of bowel contents.
- Reduces Cholesterol: It reduces the blood level of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol)
- The chlorogenic acid anti-oxidant performs anti-cancer activities in the body.
Interesting Medicinal properties of Garden Eggs (Anara)
Besides the above mentioned healthy stuff that come packed full in Anara for healthy-eating, a few studies have been carried out over the years to directly test for more medical uses.
- Anti-Ulcer Effect: Garden egg has been found to be effective in preventing peptic ulcer according to a study that was performed in rats. It impressively had effects that measures up to Ranatidine (a popular potent anti-ulcer medication) usually given to reduce the level of acid production in the stomach.
- Beneficial in Glaucoma: Consuming high amounts of garden eggs have been found to be beneficial for people with glaucoma because it lowers the eye (intra-occular) pressure as found in this study that was carried out almost a decade ago on Igbo people by the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu Pharmacy department and Abia State University School of Optometry.
The Garden egg (Anara) could well have been the fruit of life in Eden as it literally offers health benefits for the entire body!
Don’t wait for the next traditional gathering to feast of it.