Common Name : Brinjal, Eggplant
Scientific Name: Solanum melongena
Eggplant, aubergine or brinjal is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Eggplant or Brinjal, is a very low calorie vegetable and has healthy nutrition profile; good news for weight watchers! The veggie is popularly known as aubergine in the western world. Brinjal contains vitamins like B1,B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and folic acid. Large varieties will produce 6 to 8 fruits per plant.
- Research has proved that Eggplants contain phenols that might help in maintaining blood glucose and blood pressure levels.
- A flavonoid in eggplants is called Nasunin and may help in keeping the cholesterol levels low.
- It controls diabetes.
- The best option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
- The cholesterol levels are brought down to a great extent by the eggplant.
- Brinjal in turn lowers the risk of heart diseases.
- Helps create iron in the human body.
- It is very ideal as a healthy diet for people who want to reduce weight.
- It is also good for the hair and skin.
- The eggplant has good amounts of vitamin C which make it an effective anti-viral and anti- bacterial source.
- Plant the brinjals in a shady portion of the garden.
- Plant need fertile, well-drained soil.
- Water regularly, especially when the plants are young so that they develop deep roots.
- Eggplants need a long, hot growing season of at least five months and can be perennial in frost-free areas, cropping for several seasons.
- Brinjal can be grown from seed sown directly in the ground, but because they take a long time to fruit, speed up the process by growing them in trays four weeks before planting time, then plant the seeds when the ground warms up.
- Seeds will take about 2-3 weeks to germinate.
- Seedlings should be spaced about 45-60 cm i.e. 1.5 to 2 ft apart.
- Eggplants grow about 40-90 cms as compact, self-supporting shrubs; but the heavier varieties might need support.
- Harvest the brinjals only when the skin is firm and smooth.
- If the fruit is left on the tree for long, it will indeed develop wrinkles and taste bitter.