Why We All Need Eggplant Bacon in Our Lives: Savory Health Benefits
8 minute read
Who doesn’t love bacon? The smell alone makes your mouth water. The problem is that bacon is full of unhealthy fats that can increase your cholesterol and sodium, raising your blood pressure.
High blood pressure and cholesterol are major contributors to serious cardiovascular problems, leading to a serious love-hate relationship with bacon. But what if there were a way to get the bacon taste without the unhealthy side effects?
The eggplant “bacon” recipe below is quick and easy to prepare as well as delicious. The whole family will enjoy it.
Using eggplant as the main ingredient, this healthy alternative to real bacon will have your family and body asking for seconds.
Benefits of Eggplant
Eggplants can be found in a number of different varieties and are used in cuisines all across the globe.
| Related: The Wondrous Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes |
Technically they are fruits, like bananas, and yet they earned the title “king of vegetables” centuries ago. It is their versatility, functionality, and wide range of essential nutrients that earned it this title.
If you don’t already eat eggplants as a regular part of your diet, you may want to consider making a new addition. It would make a very healthy inclusion and will help you live a healthier life. Here’s some of the numerous reasons why.
Like most vegetables, eggplants are a great source of fiber, which is essential for gastrointestinal health and regular bowel movements. Bulking up your stools is important, so waste can pass through easier without getting stuck in the digestive tract.
| Related: Fiber-Loaded Dates for Hypertension Relief |
Waste that is allowed to sit for a period promotes the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fiber helps to eliminate the chances of this occurring. Fiber also stimulates gastric juice secretion which supports efficient absorption of nutrients.
There is also evidence that fiber helps to support heart health by eliminating LDL (bad) cholesterol which causes clogged arteries and eventually strokes and heart attacks.
Successful Weight Loss
Eggplants are a good choice for people trying to lose weight because of their low fat and cholesterol content. The fiber is also filling. This prevents hunger and binge-eating by inhibiting the release of the hormone ghrelin, so you feel full for longer. The control of appetite helps you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
As a good source of antioxidants, eggplants offer a great defense against many diseases and conditions. Free radicals are the byproducts of cellular metabolism and can attack healthy cells, causing potentially carcinogenic changes.
| Related: Fight Cancer With These Alkaline Foods |
High antioxidant levels help to inhibit free radical activity and can protect your body from cancer. The antioxidants in eggplants, nasunin and chlorogenic acid, also possess antiviral and antibacterial properties, which only further benefits your fight against disease.
Protect Your Brain
Nasunin is also an anthocyanin and has been linked to preventing detrimental behavior in the brain. Free radicals cause neural degeneration and contribute to the development of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
| Related: Beet Juice Helps Keep Your Brain Young |
Studies have only been done with animals, but there is promising news regarding eggplants and cognitive protection.
Enhance Bone Health
Eggplants could be the next best thing for reducing the risk of bone degeneration. Phenolic compounds give eggplants their unique color, and they also happen to reduce signs of osteoporosis and increase bone density.
Eggplants also contain iron and calcium, both of which are integral to bone health as well as potassium, which is essential for supporting the uptake of calcium.
Improve Heart Health
Eggplants benefit your heart in a number of ways: They reduce the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood and stimulate the uptake of HDL, keeping your total cholesterol levels in a healthy balance.
The reduction of LDL helps to protect you from heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. In addition to this, eggplants have bioflavonoids, which reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing strain on your heart and improving your circulatory system.
The high fiber content and low amount of soluble carbohydrates make eggplants ideal for those with diabetes. Eggplants regulate glucose and insulin activity, and, with these levels being stable, there are no spikes in blood sugar and the potential negative side effects of diabetes can be avoided.
Incorporating eggplants into your diet helps to manage your diabetes by replacing unhealthy carbohydrates, which cause the dangerous sugar spikes.
Iron deficiency is common and is dangerous to your overall health. Anemia develops and causes migraines, fatigue, depression, and cognitive malfunction.
Eggplants contain a generous amount of iron, which helps to prevent iron deficiency, and they are rich in copper, which is another essential element of red blood cells. Keeping your red blood cell count high gives your body energy and strength while combating feelings of stress or fatigue.
Preparation Time: About 45 minutes
1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut your eggplant lengthwise into quarters and then slice each quarter into long, thin strips.
2. Whisk the olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika and liquid smoke into a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Place the eggplant slices onto the baking sheet and brush both sides with the sauce you just mixed. Season with pepper as the final garnishment.
3. Bake the eggplant until cooked and it is beginning to get crisp. (About 45 to 50 minutes.)
It is important to remember that eggplants do belong to the nightshade family which can cause severe allergic reactions in people. Before adding to your diet, be sure to check with your doctor first, to avoid any negative side effects or complications.
The Bottom Line
With health becoming a popular trend and focus for many people these days, bacon has lost some of its favor. It may be delicious, but the truth is that it is very unhealthy.
Eggplant “bacon” delivers all the taste you crave and throws in essential nutritional value to keep you healthy. Throw it on your sandwich, add it to your salad or eat with your morning eggs; eggplant bacon is the new favorite.