Eggplant…. Who Knew?!?
Eggplant is that strange, pear shaped, purple vegetable that you see in the produce section of the grocery store, (although it can come in a variety of shapes and colors- from round to a pear shape, from purple and white, to even orange) but never buy because you aren’t sure what to do with it. Well, know you will know. It is closely related to tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers and is classified as a berry. As with the tomato, although considered a vegetable, it is really a fruit.
Although it can be eaten raw, it is very bitter and is usually cooked. Some recipes call for it to be rinsed, salted and drained before cooking, but modern varieties don’t really require this step. When cooked it’s tender and complex in flavor and can be added to many dishes and even replace meat, as with Eggplant Parmesan. It can absorb a lot of fat, so be careful how much you use, however, this does make it ideal for blending into sauces.
When compared, Olive Garden’s Eggplant Parmesan is healthier than their Chicken Parmesan. The Eggplant Parmesan contains 240 fewer calories, 14 fewer grams of fat, and 1480 fewer miligrams of sodium. It is still very tasty, but such a better choice when trying to eat healthy.
Eggplant is low on the Glycemic Index, where it scores a two. It is a non-fat, zero cholesterol, zero-sodium food. It is high in dietary fiber and even contains some folic acid and potassium. Fiber is important for proper digestion and helps lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Eggplant is high in phytonutrients which are anti-oxidents. They help to protect the cells of the body and help to prevent disease. They contain the phytonutrients phenolic compounds, caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids. Flavonoids, like the nasunin contained in eggplant is a brain food. It helps to combat free-radicals in the body and thus protect the fat around brain cells.
Eggplant can be used as one of your four daily vegetable servings while on the Liquid Amino Diet and is delicious this Homemade Ratatouille recipe that is LAD friendly. If you have questions, call the health coaches at 1-800-980-7208.