Lehigh Valley Health Network Inc.

11/20/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2020 16:09

Food for Thought: Grilled Ratatouille Salad

BY AMANDA BIALEK

Veggie lover or not, you're going to want to taste this Grilled Ratatouille Salad recipe. It's made with eggplant, onion, red bell pepper and summer squash. But before you start cooking, find out which one of the ingredients is egg-stra good for you.

Why this key ingredient is egg-cellent

It's often thought of as a vegetable but actually is a fruit. When eaten raw it has a bitter taste, but once cooked, it has a mild flavor that pairs well with bold ingredients. Any guesses? It's eggplant, which have some surprising health benefits.

High in antioxidants

Eggplant is a good source of antioxidants, which protect against cell damage caused by free radicals (harmful substances). Over time, your body can accumulate a large amount of free radicals, causing a process calledoxidative stressto occur.

A fewfactorsthat may lead to this process are radiation, pollution, eating processed foods and injuries. Oxidative stress also can contribute to the development of cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease. One way to fight back is to eat foods that supply antioxidants - they protect and repair your body.

Full of fiber

One cup of cooked eggplant (cubed) contains 2.4 grams of fiber. That's about 5 percent of the daily requirement for adults. This is important for a happy and healthydigestive system.

Healthy weight management

While high in fiber, eggplant is low in calories. That creates a perfect combination to maintain a healthy weight. A cup ofeggplant(cubed) only has 20.5 calories.

Supports heart health

Since eggplant is rich in antioxidants and fiber, eating it also may improve yourcholesterollevels. This may lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Let's start cooking

Eggplant may be the star of the show for this Grilled Ratatouille Salad, but don't forget about the other ingredients that add all the flavors to make this a tasty dish. Watch the video below for the full recipe.