Garden Egg is one of the crops in the Aubergine or Eggplant species. It also belongs to the vegetable family and is used as a food crop in some Central and West African countries. It has a teardrop or roundish shape and can come in different colors specifically, the cream and green color. It is highly valued because of its bitterness and also its numerous nutritious contents which include magnesium fibre, potassium, dietary fibre, copper, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and calcium.
Nutritional Value of Garden Egg
Garden eggs have a lot of nutritional value that is added to the body after consumption, making them one of the best nutritional sources on the planet. They are high in potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin B1, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B, folate, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc, and sugar, and they also contain a small quantity of protein, fat, and pantothenic acid.
Health Benefits of Garden Eggs
Below are the major and important benefits of garden eggs:
1. Maintains Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Regular consumption of Garden Eggs is advised to help maintain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels because Garden Eggs contain a lot of minerals (potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium) which helps to maintain the Electrolyte balance in the body. It also helps control the Blood Pressure Levels by going a long way to aid the nullification of sodium effects in the body. They also contain Chlorogenic acid, which is a great antioxidant and helps in reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
2. It Makes Food Digestion Easier
Consumption of Garden Eggs is advised because Garden Eggs contain many dietary fibers which are essential for any balanced diet and are known for their constipation reduction, digestion improvement, and bowel movement improvements.
3. They Protect the Body System
Garden eggs are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Anthocyanins, Flavonoids, and Nasunins. They help to protect the body’s immune system and also prevent cancer and other bacillus-related disorders such as hepatitis C.
4. Maintains Healthy and Strong Bones
They help maintain and strengthen bones due to their great mineral contents such as Manganese, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Copper, and Vitamin C.
It is also highly beneficial to consume Garden Eggs because of their calcium and iron content which helps to reduce the chance of occurrence of osteoporosis.
5. It Prevents Anaemia
Garden Eggs are rich in Iron and Copper which are vital to the increase and circulation of the red blood cells in the body through the veins which boosts strength and energy and also aids the fight against Anaemia.
6. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular problems are caused by a lack of Vitamin B1 and Garden Eggs are known to be rich in Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6 (Thiamin and Niacin). These two vitamins are highly required by the body for suitable heart function and cellular respiration. Vitamin B1 is very essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. They also contain Potassium which aids in regulating blood pressure.
7. Helps in Weight Loss
Eating eggplant, particularly the greenish variety, is beneficial for weight loss because it contains low carbohydrates and calories, both of which are necessary for weight management.
8. Helps in Sugar Level Control
The presence of low soluble carbohydrates in Garden Eggs helps reduce the blood sugar levels in the body by reducing glucose absorption in the body. This makes Garden Egg a great dietary option for diabetic patients.
Is Garden Egg Good for Pregnant Woman?
These fruits are filled with minerals, vitamins, and other nutritional benefits that are very important during pregnancy. The nutrients in garden eggs help both the pregnant woman and unborn baby for healthy situational conditions. Garden eggs are known to be rich in folic acid which is very important for every pregnant woman. Folic acid immunes unborn babies from neural tube defects that usually occur. Below are the benefits of using garden eggs by pregnant women:
- The consumption increases the growth of the fetus
- Garden egg protects the child from congenital anomalies
- It boosts the woman and her unborn baby’s immune system
- It also normalizes the woman’s blood pressure
- It also removes edema in pregnant women
Other categories of persons that will be recommended garden eggs:
1. Diabetic Persons
Garden eggs are highly recommended for diabetic persons because they contain a lot of fiber, magnesium, and are low on carbohydrates which help regulate blood sugar and glucose levels in the body. They also help prevent heart diseases and osteoporosis.
2. Fat Persons
Garden egg contains a lot of fiber and is also low on carbohydrates and calories which are very essential for either weight loss or management.
Garden eggs can be eaten or mixed with different kinds of food like African salad, green beans, beans, and the leaf can be used to make soup.
3. Aged Persons
It is recommended for older persons to help boost immune systems that are getting weak and control blood pressure. It also helps them increase and improve their vision.
Benefits of Garden Egg Leaf
Garden egg leaves contain essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals which help in human health improvement and maintenance. They help pump blood in the body and they also have many health benefits such as;
1. Improves Fertility
In many African countries/cultures, garden egg leaves are believed to help in the improvement of fertility and overall sexual health in both men and women.
Though this hasn’t been proved scientifically, garden egg leaves are believed to be a treatment to libido and fertility issues in many African countries.
2. It Can Serve as a Blood Tonic
Garden egg leaves are highly recommended by medical professionals as a blood tonic for anemic or blood shortage patients. These leaves when sliced and eaten raw increase the blood levels.
3. Garden Egg Helps Control the Heart’s Rate
Garden egg leaves are extremely beneficial to heart health because they contain Potassium which aids heart and blood pressure regulation.
4. It Helps Prevent Stomach Ulcer
Garden egg leaves help prevent stomach ulcer which is caused by inflammation of the stomach linings and leads to soreness.
5. It Enhances Kidney Health
Garden egg leaves when eaten raw or ground and filtered into juice help a lot in the prevention of kidney-related issues. They majorly serve as detoxifiers by filtering the blood and preventing dialysis or unwanted materials from disrupting blood flow or purification.
6. It Aids Digestion
Garden egg leaves contain fiber which is known to help a lot in digestion because they are not digested in the body and therefore don’t slow digestion but rather aid the effective movement in the human digestive tract.
7. Garden Egg Helps in Reducing Sugar Levels
Garden egg leaves are locally used to lower blood sugar levels because it is rich in fiber and magnesium and very low in carbohydrates. It is mostly used for diabetic patients to control their high sugar levels.
8. It Helps Reduce Weight
Garden eggs contain certain micronutrients that help reduce the cholesterol level which when reduced can aid quick weight loss and maintenance of fresh and toned skin.
9. It Helps Prevent Cancer
Garden egg leaves can help prevent cancer or inflammation that might lead to cancer-related diseases in the body system due to the presence of some Phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the leaves.
Side Effects of Garden Egg Leaves
Garden eggs were surprisingly regarded as a poisonous plant in ancient times. This may be because of the way it was consumed and what it was used for. We have studied several side effects of garden egg leaves on human health. Some of the side effects of garden eggs are listed below:
- The garden egg leaf is good for diabetic patients as it can be used to reduce sugar level content. But not that in consuming this leaf one must constantly watch the sugar level not to go below the normal required level. This is a medical condition called hypoglycemia.
- For those having stomach upset or gastritis, the consumption of eggplant leaf should be avoided. The cellulose content in the garden egg leaf increases gastritis causes bowel disorder and also increases peptic ulcers.
Health Benefit of Garden Egg and Groundnut
Garden egg and groundnut are a very great and popular combination in most African countries not just because of their great taste but also for their health benefits which are a result of the numerous nutritional values of both. They can also be used as a good delicacy and snacks on daily basis.
The consumption of garden egg and groundnut helps improve growth, prevent cancer, aids the regulation of fluid in the body, aids weight loss, boosts energy, and also they are an excellent source of vitamin. Below are also some benefits of garden egg and groundnut which are not so popular:
1. Helps in Treating Constipation
Constipation is a situation whereby one finds it difficult to empty the bowels. This results in hardened feces during the removal of body waste products. Garden egg and groundnuts encourage bowel movement which helps in relieving constipation.
2. It helps in Reducing Blood Cholesterol
Garden egg with groundnut helps in lowering the bad cholesterol in the blood system. This type of cholesterol is known as LDL cholesterol. Then it goes further to increase the good cholesterol called HDL, which is known to prevent heart diseases.
3. It is Good for Healthy Skin
Due to the availability of folic acid in garden eggs and groundnut. The content helps you develop healthy skin as it fights off skin diseases.
4. It is Good for the Eye
As the combination is observed to contain vitamin A which promotes vision. It is worthy to note that regular consumption of garden eggs and groundnut improves vision.
5. It Eliminates Low Sperm Count
Normally, groundnut is a sperm booster, then the combination of garden egg with groundnut brings an increased sperm count. This is because of the folic acid present in garden eggs then the boosting effect of groundnut helps in thickening the produced sperm.
6. It Reduces Quick Ejaculation for Men
The combination of garden egg and groundnut helps in giving men longer sex time. This is because the combination promotes longer erection and encourages libido.
7. It Boosts Ovulation
Women that want to conceive should take more groundnut and garden eggs as it helps in boosting ovulation.
8. It is Rich in Calcium
The combination of groundnut and garden egg is very rich in calcium. Calcium is a mineral that helps in the development of stronger bones and teeth.
Ways To Incorporate Garden Eggs Into One’s Daily Diet
In different parts of the world, garden eggs are consumed in different ways. Some of the ways it is consumed look very strange to others will some are very popular. In Africa, mostly in Nigeria, the consumption of this vegetable is highly influenced by cultural beliefs. Below are some ways garden eggs can be consumed on daily diets:
1. It Can be Consumed with tapioca/African salad (Abacha)
In the southeastern part of Nigeria, tapioca popularly known as Abacha is one recipe one can not consume without garden egg. The garden egg serves as one of the vegetables present in the food. Both garden egg fruit and leaf are present in the recipe. It is mostly cut in pieces while some consume it as a whole in the food. It makes the food look attractive and is mostly consumed during lunch hour.
2. It can be Prepared with a Grounded Corn Mill
This is another way of consuming garden eggs in the southeastern part of Nigeria. It is used to prepare grounded corn mill recipes popularly known in the part of the country as Ayaraya. Garden egg in this recipe serves as a vegetable and controls the sugary taste of the corn mill to give a perfect taste for consumption. The garden egg is either grounded or cut into smaller parts and is mixed with the boiled corn mill.
3. Eaten as a Snack with Peanut Butter
The garden egg can be consumed with peanut butter as a snack in the office or at home. All it requires is to prepare your peanut butter, using the following ingredients; roasted peanuts, hydrogenated vegetable oil, sugar, cottonseed, soybean, and rapeseed oil which help in preventing separation. The garden egg with this peanut butter gives an unimaginable taste.
4. Consumed with Aligator Pepper
This style of consuming garden eggs in Nigeria is the most popular as it is used in meetings and occasions. The garden egg is a vegetable with a natural taste when combined with alligator pepper gives the perfect taste. In fact, it has become part of the culture on most occasions that there must be the presence of garden egg and alligator pepper.
5. It Can be Mashed and Used to Prepare Porridge Yam
In the northern and in some southwestern parts of the country garden eggs are mashed and used to prepare porridge yam. This is one nutritious recipe that once you have a taste of it, you will value garden eggs more.
6. It Can be Used to Prepare Sauce (Garden Sauce)
In some parts of the country, the garden egg is used to prepare a sauce for yam or potatoes. Some even make use of the sauce as soap for pounded yam. Garden egg sauce is consumed as a normal recipe in Nigeria, and the taste is something one can’t resist.