5 Surprising Side Effects Of Eating Eggplant, Says A Nutritionist – Eat This Not That

Call it eggplant, aubergine, or a Barney the dinosaur lookalike, but this heavy-bottomed purple nightshade is a summer staple. Thinly sliced ​​into a colorful ratatouille or grilled with chicken or steak, eggplant is a versatile and somewhat polarizing vegetable too. While some people crave its sweet, almost meaty flavor, others have strong opinions about its soft and somewhat chewy texture.

Whether you’re a super fan of eggplant or a more casual eater, you can benefit from including this vegetable in your diet. Check out these five surprising health effects of eating eggplant (and if you’re making this ratatouille, don’t miss the effects of eating cherry tomatoes either!)


In recent years, some have thrown shade at nightshade vegetables (which include eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and white potatoes) for potentially causing inflammation. The idea is that substances called alkaloids in nightshades are toxic to humans, increasing inflammation and ultimately worsening conditions like arthritis, psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Fortunately, science does not support removing eggplant from your diet to tame inflammation. No large-scale studies have linked nightshade vegetable consumption to inflammatory health problems. In reality, anthocyanins, the pigments that give eggplants their characteristic dark purple color, are also powerful antioxidants. It has been shown that diets high in antioxidants reduce – not promote – inflammation.

Grilled eggplant

You can add eggplant to your list of tasty and blood sugar-friendly foods. Estimates of eggplant’s glycemic index, or blood sugar boost, range from about 15 to 30. (Foods with a rating below 55 are considered low in this scale.)

Not only does eggplant not dramatically raise blood sugar, but its fiber content could also help control your blood sugar. Unlike other carbohydrates, fiber passes through the body undigested and slows the absorption of sugar into the blood. Each cup of cubed eggplant contains 2.4 grams of this nutrient.


Eggplant fiber isn’t just good for blood sugar (and, of course, digestive health). It is also an important element in a successful weight loss plan. Eating plenty of fiber can help you feel full longer, by minimizing cravings. Unsurprisingly, tons of studies associated a high-fiber diet with greater weight loss and better adherence to the chosen diet.

Meanwhile, eggplant is very low in calories. A whole cup contains only 20 calories! If you’re looking to lose weight, feel free to add it to salads, curries or baba ghanoush for extra flavor and weight, without the high calorie price tag.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Side Effects Of Eating Artichokes, Dietitians Say

woman cutting raw eggplant

Do you have manganese? Eggplants yes. Each cup of the purple vegetable contains 0.19 milligrams, or about 8% of the recommended daily intake for men and 11% for women. You may not think much of manganese, but this little mineral has a role to play in bone health. Manganese interacts with other nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to build strong, healthy bones. Even though deficiency is rare in developed countries, having enough is always a good goal.

Fork grilled eggplant

You’ve probably heard of the dreaded “metabolic syndrome,” a group of related symptoms that include obesity, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. One of the best ways to prevent this constellation of conditions is a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables (such as eggplant).

A study 2021 found that due to its antihypertensive, antidiabetic, and weight-loss-promoting effects, eggplant may be useful in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. For a satisfying side dish that ticks all the healthy boxes, try roasting eggplant with other antioxidant-rich vegetables (like tomatoes, onions, or garlic) and flavoring them with oil. olive oil or fresh herbs. Or try these 21 delicious eggplant recipes.

Sarah Garone, editor’s note

Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a Certified Nutrition and Dietetics Technician and Health, Nutrition and Food Writer. Read more