By Keri Glassman, MS, RD for Q.Equinox.com
Mad Apples. That’s the name this oversized crop was given hundreds of years ago when they were thought to make those who ate them go crazy.
Today, they’re known as eggplants, or aubergines—a tomato-relative with a deep purple skin and a surplus of nutrients beneath. Despite their status as a fruit, eggplants are tough enough to be cooked like a vegetable and have a signature taste and texture: slightly bitter, bland and spongy (ideal for absorbing the distinct flavors of all the ingredients you cook them with.)
Eggplants are also earning a reputation as the new brain food. Among their many phytonutrients, one called nasunin protects our brain cells from oxidation. Nasunin won’t just keep your brain sharp, it also acts as an iron chelator, meaning it binds to iron, eliminating it from the body. Though iron is good for you, too much can increase free radical production, which in turn increases your risk for heart disease, cancer and aging.
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