Is Aubergine bad for iron levels?
Eggplant, also known as Aubergine, is generally thought of as a vegetable – but it is, in fact, a berry and therefore a fruit!
But due to its non-sweet taste, it works well when eaten as a vegetable.
Low in calories and rich in phytochemicals eggplant provides a selection of vitamins and minerals, which bring with it some great health benefits.
There are over 600 varieties of Eggplant but in the UK and Europe, you will typically find the deep purple variety. The deep purple is a result of high nasunin levels and potent antioxidants, which help to protect DNA health.
Vitamin C: For fertility health, Vitamin C is important in the process of absorption and also in its ability to support the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries as it regulates normal blood clotting. Vitamin K can be particularly useful if you suffer from heavy and/or painful periods as it can help slow down the blood flow and reduce cramping.
Vitamin B1: Thiamin is involved in the production of energy through the breakdown of sugars and carbohydrates. This is important for cellular health, which may also influence the health and energy of sperm and egg cells. It’s also important for energy support during pregnancy.
Vitamin B3: Niacin as with most other B vitamins is also involved in energy production within the mitochondria of your cells (the powerhouse of the cell). Pregnancy requires good levels of niacin, as does breastfeeding.
Vitamin B9: Folate is essential for human growth and development and it encourages normal nerve and brain function. It’s involved in the creation of DNA as well as the building of proteins, and many other important functions including the healthy development of your baby’s’ spinal cord. During pregnancy folate also supports the growth of the placenta and helps to prevent several types of birth defects, especially those of the brain and spine. Folate is an important nutrient for general and fertility health.
Magnesium: Supports a healthy immune system as well as keeps bones strong. It is also great for stress, and combined with vitamin B6 can help induce sleep and alleviate symptoms of bloating and weight gain associated with PMS.
Potassium: Is an electrolyte which counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure levels – another important element for pregnancy.
Phosphorus: Is an element that plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is essential in our diet and particularly in children when growth and development occurs.
Calcium: Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones, support heart health, and for optimal function of the muscles and nerves. It is also required alongside Vitamin D to aid in its use throughout the body.
Copper: Copper is essential for overall health and is involved in many processes in the body. It cannot be produced by the body and must, therefore, be consumed through food.
CHINESE FERTILITY MEDICINE USES IT TO:
- Treat Blood Stagnation
- Clear Heat
Treat Blood Stagnation:
Blood stagnation describes a condition where blood flow becomes less efficient at circulating.
This can manifest in any aspect of the body but is prevalent in many fertility and gynecological issues.
Poor blood circulation in the lower half of the body in men and women can contribute to fertility issues such as Varicoceles or masses in the testes, and poor sperm count and morphology in men, as well as a thin endometrium, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, polyps, blocked fallopian tubes, clotting during pregnancy, and poor uterine and ovarian blood flow in women.
When healthy, your blood circulates to all of your cells (including sperm and eggs) and will deliver nutrients for the cells to use. The blood also removes waste from the cells and delivers it to the organs and systems responsible for elimination.
If your blood flow decreases then blood stagnation develops. This negatively affects the delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal of waste from the cells.
Over time waste and blood stagnates and collects to form masses, which damage blood vessels causing further blood stagnation and an accumulation of fluids and blood in the local area. This causes the physical fertility issues for men and women as listed above.
Eggplant is effective to treat mild blood stagnation and so should not be used in pregnancy.
The term heat is used to describe a subjective experience of heat in the body. It also describes pathological issues (such as fevers and infections), and symptoms that have a sensation of heat or burning.
Typical heat symptoms include: thirst, dry skin, constipation, feeling hot, hot hands and soles of feet, red face, inflammation of the skin – typically red, yellow, green or black in colour, yellow, red or green phlegm, a yellow and dry tongue coating, a red tongue, blood in the urine, burning or hot symptoms anywhere in the body, fever, many types of infections, dryness – and reduced body fluids, including cervical mucus.
Heat typically has an irritating and drying effect on the body that can damage the fluid balance of your cells, tissues, organs. It may also damage the general body fluids such as saliva, urine, bowel fluids, and cervical mucus. The reduction in these fluids causes dryness and as the fluids become deficient you experience a relative increase in heat sensation around your body.
For fertility to be at it’s optimum there needs to be a balance of fluids and warmth.
Too much or too little heat or cold will cause imbalance and disturb the fluid aspect of your body. This can negatively impact any aspect of your body including the reproductive system. The eggs, womb and also sperm are supported through balanced fluid levels and sufficient, but not too much, heat.
Drinking more fluids will generally not be sufficient to clear heat (unless the cause of the heat is purely related to a lack of intake of fluids). Most cases of excessive heat do not find resolution through increasing fluid intake, but this is an important aspect to protect the body fluids from the damage caused by the heat.
Eggplant can help to support the process of clearing heat from your body. If you are experiencing more severe heat issues (fevers, infections, etc) then please seek medical attention as this food will likely not be sufficient enough to resolve your issue.
Season available: July – October
How it’s typically cooked: Lightly salted to remove its bitterness and moisture and then roasted or fried in a griddle pan
Cautions: Due to high levels of nasunin in eggplant, caution should be taken by people with low levels of iron as nasunin chelates iron levels. Caution should also be taken in pregnancy. Eggplant is also not recommended for cold type disorders in Chinese medicine.
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