Although little known and still timidly commercialized, eggplant flour is one of the best ways to consume and enjoy the benefits of this fruit.
According to nutritionist Glorimar Rosa, this form concentrates about 10 times more fiber than the fresh version , so it helps in the functioning of the intestine. ( 1 )
Also due to this compound, there is a greater feeling of satiety and, therefore, the consumer loses weight . Not to mention the benefits in blood cholesterol levels and in cases of type II diabetes.
Best of all, these and other positive effects can be enjoyed through healthy, nutritious and tasty food. This is because it is possible to prepare traditional recipes using eggplant flour as a functional alternative.
Pizza, low carb bread and pancakes are some examples of dishes made with this special ingredient. But it can also be added to yogurt, omelette and even beans. All that remains is for us to know how to do it and learn to use it on a daily basis.
Benefits of Eggplant Flour
Nutritionist Glorimar Rosa, also a professor at the Josué de Castro Nutrition Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), explains that the consumption of flour is even better than the fruit itself, juice or tea. ( 1 )
Processing eggplant in this version is a way to avoid its nutritional losses. For this reason, it is a useful ingredient for diet enrichment . ( 2 )
One of the main benefits of eggplant flour is to fight obesity , as the rich composition of fibers helps in the weight loss process.
In fact, what happens in the stomach is the development of a gel formed by soluble fibers, this viscous content influences nerve responses telling the body that it is already full. Therefore, there is a reduction in the consumption of other foods at the time of the meal and after it.
Another way to increase the feeling of “full belly” is the act of chewing this compound, since fiber-rich foods require longer chewing time. This has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, producing satiety , and stimulates salivation, decreasing more food intake and providing a reduction in caloric intake. ( 3 )
All of these actions are proven in practice, as shown by a pilot study carried out by nutritionist Glorimar Rosa with the support of FAPERJ’s Young Scientist program.
The research sought to observe the effects of food on 14 sedentary women over 40 years old. All of them had increased waist circumference, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Participants were divided into two groups. In the first, they were submitted to a treatment based on nutritional re-education. In the other, in addition to the diet, the women started to consume two tablespoons of flour daily.
“After two months, the group that consumed the flour lost, on average, six kilos against the control group, which only lost three kilos”, says Glorimar. Thus, it is possible to affirm that this ingredient is an important adjuvant in weight loss diets. ( 1 )
Lowers cholesterol and other rates
The research led by the professor at UFRJ also identified in this ingredient the action to reduce the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and even uric acid, the latter being responsible for favoring joint pain and inflammation. These factors, added to the effect of fibers on the body, prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure . ( 1 )
In addition, eggplant skin, also used in the production of flour, is rich in anthocyanins, pigments that belong to the group of flavonoids. These substances are able to help in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, characterized by the high level of fats in the blood . ( 2 )
Protect the cells
Also thanks to anthocyanins, the daily consumption of this natural product is beneficial for cell health. This is due to the antioxidant action of these pigments, which give the fruit its purple color.
For those who don’t know, being an antioxidant is being able to fight the effect of free radicals in the body. Unstable molecules can cause cellular stress, attacking the integrity of cells and causing degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity , hypertension and cardiovascular complications. ( 4 )
Prevents and helps in the treatment of diabetes
The antioxidant action can help prevent diabetes. But eggplant flour also helps to treat this health problem. In the latter case, the responsibility lies with the insoluble fibers, which are found in greater quantity in the fruit’s skins.
These substances reduce excess glucose absorption , as they increase the intestinal transit time of carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index. ( 3 )
Improves bowel functions
We talk so much about fiber, but one of its main effects is still missing: the beneficial intestinal action.
Although not digested by the small intestine, the soluble type promote a high viscosity on the organ walls, which is the gel form already mentioned in this text. This substance has the function of filtering what is absorbed in this area, such as simple sugars, fats, vitamins etc.
The insoluble types, which are also indigestible, increase the fecal volume, helping patients who suffer from constipation or frequent diarrhea . In other words, they make fecal elimination easier and faster. ( 3 )
How to make flour at home?
In addition to being able to buy from natural food stores, supermarkets or street markets, you can also make your own eggplant flour at home. For this, you will only need the fruit, in the quantity you want.
The first step is to wash the surface of the food thoroughly and discard the top leaves. Then cut it into thin slices and take them to the medium oven until they are dehydrated .
After this process, just process the eggplant to obtain the powder that must be sieved to become the flour. ( 5 )
According to researcher and nutritionist Glorimar Rosa, two tablespoons of this ingredient is ideal for consumption per day. “You can mix the powder in food at the time of day when the person is normally hungriest, to help control it,” he recommends. ( 1 )
Low carb bread with eggplant flour
The low carb diet reduces the amount of carbohydrates and makes the body’s energy production come from the consumption of proteins and fats. Among its benefits are assistance in weight loss, blood glucose control and type II diabetes.
- 3 beaten eggs
- 1/3 cup of water in blender
- 1 cup almond meal
- 3/4 cup eggplant flour
- 1 tablespoon full of psyllium
- 4 tablespoons of oil
- salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of yeast
- Decorate with sunflower seeds.
Endocrinologist Cristina Farah recommends putting the beaten eggs in a bowl and mixing with the other ingredients. Then place in a medium oven until the bread is browned or baked completely. To find the right spot, take the toothpick test.
Being on a diet should not be a limitation, on the contrary, it is an opportunity to activate creativity and make traditional dishes with the right ingredients. For example, another recipe recommended by the endocrinologist is a low carb pizza. Check out!
- 300g of cooked chicken
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of eggplant flour
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Then place the homogeneous dough in a pizza pan (greased and floured with eggplant flour) and place in a high oven.
Bake until golden or crispy, and if necessary, turn the side of the dough over, returning to the oven so that both sides are equal. Once the pizza is ready, remove from the oven, add the fillings you prefer and bake to brown. ( 7 )
Side effects and consumption precautions
As a food rich in nutrients, eggplant flour has no contraindications, but it is necessary to consume it carefully to avoid side effects.
For example, according to Glorimar, the consumption of flour should be followed by some citrus fruit that is a source of vitamin C. “This is because it stimulates the formation of free radicals, which are neutralized by vitamin C”, he justifies. ( 1 )
Furthermore, even though fiber is important for many functions of the body, foods high in fiber should not be consumed in excess. According to the World Health Organization, the recommended intake is only 25 grams of fiber per day. ( 8 )
“Those who eat flaxseed or eggplant flour have to drink more water to avoid the effect of intestinal constipation”, warns the UFRJ nutritionist. Taking these precautions you can obtain the benefits of this food, for example, weight loss that must be combined with the practice of physical activity and dietary re-education. ( 1 )