When you take a look at eggplant nutrition, it is easy to see why this vegetable figures into so many healthy dishes. A cup of eggplant gets 88% of its calories from carbohydrates and delivers 10% of your daily RDA of fiber. On its own, eggplant is a low calorie food, having just 33 calories per cup. This low calorie level allows you to have satisfying portions without taking in too many calories or too much fat. It is a good source of B vitamins including B-6, Thiamin and Folate. Eggplant is also a great source of minerals including potassium and manganese. Eggplant also contains small amounts of Vitamin A, calcium and iron.
In addition to these vitamins and minerals, eggplant, like other members of the nightshade family, is a good source of phytonutrients. These are antioxidants that can help protect against certain cancers. Many of these antioxidants are found in or just under the skin. To make sure that you get the most nutrition when you prepare eggplant, always cook it with the skin on.
To maximize the nutrients in eggplant, pick the freshest and best-looking eggplant available. The skin should be dark, taut and free from bruises. The eggplant should feel heavy for its size.
Be careful not to negate eggplant's nutrition by loading up your dish with too much oil or cheese. Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil, so, use a light hand to keep your recipes healthy and low fat. If your eggplant is bitter, try soaking it in some salted water for an hour before preparing your dish.