Who should not eat eggplant?

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a popular vegetable used in many cuisines around the world. It has a unique taste and texture that makes it a staple in dishes like ratatouille, baba ganoush, and eggplant parmesan. While eggplant is a healthy food for most people, there are some circumstances where certain individuals may want to avoid eating it.

People with digestion issues

Eggplant contains soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber can aggravate digestion issues for some people, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The skin of eggplant in particular can be tough to digest. People prone to digestive problems may want to avoid eating fried eggplant and peel eggplant before cooking to reduce indigestibility.

Those with GERD or reflux issues

Eggplant is high in fiber content. While this makes it filling, the fiber expands in the stomach and can worsen reflux and heartburn symptoms. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may want to monitor their eggplant intake and avoid large portions to prevent triggering symptoms.

Individuals with kidney problems

Eggplants have a high soluble oxalate content. For people with kidney problems, consuming high-oxalate foods like eggplant can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. It’s best for those with kidney disease or who are prone to kidney stones to limit dietary oxalate by reducing eggplant consumption.

Those taking blood-thinning medications

Eggplant contains a small amount of vitamin K. While vitamin K has health benefits, it can interfere with blood-thinning medications like warfarin and Coumadin. People taking anticoagulant or anti-platelet drugs may want to keep their eggplant intake consistent to avoid complications.

People with gallbladder issues

The skin and seeds of eggplant are high in soluble oxalates. For some individuals with a history of gallstones or gallbladder problems, eating eggplant may increase gallbladder pain and discomfort. Removing the skin and seeds before eating may make eggplant easier to tolerate.

Those with allergies

Eggplant allergies are rare but can occur. People who are allergic may react to the proteins found in eggplant flesh or skin. Allergy symptoms include itching, hives, swelling, and wheezing. People with a known eggplant allergy should avoid eating it entirely.

People on a low carb diet

Since eggplant is a starchy vegetable high in carbs, it is not typically included in low carb diets like the keto diet. One cup of cooked eggplant contains around 5 grams of net carbs. People adhering to a strict low carb or ketogenic diet likely want to avoid eating eggplant.

Individuals monitoring potassium intake

Eggplant is a source of potassium, with one cup containing over 100mg. People with kidney disorders who need to limit potassium may need to moderate eggplant intake. Checking with a doctor for the recommended daily potassium allowance is advised.

Those taking medications that interact with nicotinic acid

Eggplant skin contains a small amount of nicotinic acid. Also known as niacin or vitamin B3, nicotinic acid can interact with certain cholesterol and diabetes medications. Individuals taking these drugs may need to limit eggplant consumption and avoid the skin.

People with osteoarthritis

Eggplant contains low amounts of solanine, a plant compound that some research has linked to worsening inflammation and arthritis pain. People with osteoarthritis may want to avoid eating large amounts of eggplant to prevent potential flare-ups.

Individuals prone to hives

Some people are sensitive to the histamine content in eggplant. Cooking eggplant thoroughly can help reduce histamine levels. Raw eggplant or undercooked eggplant may trigger histamine intolerance symptoms like hives, itching, and rashes in sensitive individuals.


While eggplant is a nutritious fruit/vegetable enjoyed around the world, there are some individuals better off avoiding it. This includes people prone to digestive troubles, reflux, kidney problems, gallbladder issues, arthritis, and hives. Those with eggplant allergies, on a low carb diet, or taking certain medications may also want to restrict or limit consumption. As with any food, it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds to eggplant to determine if it is a good fit for your dietary needs.

Group Reason to Potentially Avoid Eggplant
People with digestion issues Insoluble fiber can worsen IBS, IBD
Those with GERD or reflux issues Fiber can aggravate reflux
Individuals with kidney problems High soluble oxalates increase kidney stone risk
Those taking blood thinners Vitamin K interferes with medication effectiveness
People with gallbladder issues Oxalates may cause gallbladder discomfort
Those with allergies Allergic reaction to compounds in eggplant
People on a low carb diet High carb vegetable not keto friendly
Individuals monitoring potassium Eggplant is high in potassium
Those taking meds that interact with nicotinic acid Eggplant skin contains nicotinic acid
People with osteoarthritis Solanine may worsen inflammation
Individuals prone to hives Histamine in eggplant can trigger hives

For most people, eggplant can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. But those with certain health conditions, on restricted diets, or taking medications that interact with compounds in eggplant may want to limit or avoid consumption. As always, speaking with a healthcare provider can help determine if dietary restrictions on eggplant are recommended.

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like manganese, copper, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium. It originated in India and has been cultivated for over 2000 years. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. There are many different cultivars ranging in size, shape and color – the most common being elongated and deep purple. Some varieties include white, yellow, green and orange eggplants.

The eggplant vegetable provides a host of health benefits. It contains antioxidants like nasunin that fight free radical damage and protect cells. Eggplant skin contains anthocyanins which act as anti-inflammatories. The chlorogenic acid in eggplant has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Eggplant is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive and heart health. It’s low in fat, cholesterol and sodium while providing essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, manganese and copper.

Despite the nutritional benefits, eggplant does have some properties that may cause issues for certain individuals. Solanine and oxalic acid are two naturally occurring compounds in eggplants that can irritate the body in high amounts. Eggplant is also high in fiber and histamines, which may trigger sensitivities.

For people prone to kidney stones or with compromised kidney function, the oxalic acid content can become problematic. Oxalic acid binds to calcium to form kidney stones, so people with kidney issues may want to avoid consuming high-oxalate vegetables like eggplant. The solanine found in eggplant can worsen inflammation issues such as arthritis. People with arthritis may find joint pain flares up after eating eggplant.

Additionally, eggplant skins and seeds are high in soluble oxalates. People with a history of calcium-oxalate gallstones may experience discomfort after eating eggplant. The nightshade compounds in eggplant may also irritate individuals with autoimmune disorders. People with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease and IBS often have to avoid nightshades like eggplant to feel symptom relief.

The high fiber content while beneficial for some, can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms in people with IBS, Crohn’s disease ulcerative colitis. The skin of the eggplant which is high in insoluble fiber may be especially hard to break down. People prone to bloating, gas and cramping may feel aggravated after eating eggplant.

While allergies to eggplant are rare, they can occur. Allergic responses are usually caused by proteins found in the flesh and skin of eggplants. Typical food allergy symptoms like hives, itching, swelling and difficulty breathing may appear after ingesting eggplant.

For people taking blood thinners like warfarin, excess vitamin K can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. Eggplant contains moderate amounts of vitamin K, so intake needs to remain consistent. Sudden increases in foods high in vitamin K like eggplant can reduce the anticoagulant effects of warfarin therapy.

Additionally, people on low potassium diets due to kidney disorders need to watch their eggplant intake. With over 100mg potassium per cup, eggplant is higher in potassium than most vegetables. Excess potassium can cause an abnormal heart rhythm and other cardiovascular problems in those with kidney disease.

Eggplant also contains trace amounts of nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 in its skin. People taking statin cholesterol lowering drugs or diabetes medications should avoid consuming high nicotinic acid foods. Interaction between the nicotinic acid and drugs can cause complications.

For people following a low carb or ketogenic diet, eggplant would also be off limits due to its high carbohydrate content. With around 5 net grams of carbs per cup, eggplant is too starchy to fit into a strict low carb meal plan.

In small amounts, eggplant is well tolerated by most people. But some individuals with compromised health or on restricted diets may benefit from reducing eggplant intake to prevent interactions or aggravating existing conditions. Those with kidney disorders, gallbladder problems, digestive issues, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, gout or taking blood thinners may want to monitor their consumption or avoid eggplant.

Tips for tolerating eggplant

For people that experience negative reactions to eggplant but still wish to incorporate it occasionally, there are some preparation methods than can make eggplant easier to digest:

  • Remove the skin – The skin is high in fiber that aggravates digestion. Peeling it can make eggplant less gassy.
  • Soak in salt water – Salt helps draw out excess water and bitterness reducing indigestible compounds.
  • Cut into small pieces – Smaller eggplant pieces mean less fiber and are easier to break down.
  • Cook thoroughly – Proper cooking helps reduce remaining compounds that can cause sensitivities.
  • Eat in moderation – Stick to 1/2 cup serving sizes spaced out over time.

When prepared properly and eaten in moderation, many people with conditions like IBS, GERD, arthritis and kidney problems can still enjoy eggplant on occasion. Pay attention to your body, limit skin consumption and adjust portion sizes to determine your tolerance level.


Eggplant is packed with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. But some groups may be better off avoiding eggplant, including:

  • People with digestive disorders like IBS, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
  • Those with GERD, reflux or gallbladder issues
  • Individuals with kidney problems or prone to kidney stones
  • People taking blood-thinning medication
  • Those with arthritis or gout that’s aggravated by nightshades
  • Individuals with an eggplant allergy
  • People following a low carb or ketogenic diet
  • Those needing to restrict potassium or nicotinic acid intake

It’s best to consult a doctor to discuss any dietary restrictions and if avoidance of eggplant is recommended. With the proper preparation techniques and attention to serving sizes, many people can still incorporate eggplant as part of a healthy diet.

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