Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. They grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.
Nutritionally, raw eggplant is low in fat, protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. It also provides low amounts of essential nutrients, with only manganese having a moderate percentage (11%) of the Daily Value.
The color of purple skin cultivars is due to the anthocyanin nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.
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