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 has 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 called oxidative stress to occur.
A few factors that 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 healthy digestive 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 of eggplant (cubed) only has 20.5 calories.
Supports heart health
Since eggplant is rich in antioxidants and fiber, eating it also may improve your cholesterol levels. 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.
This recipe is brought to you by your health care partners at LVPG Primary Care – reminding you a healthy outside starts from the inside. To learn about LVPG primary care or to find a provider near you, visit LVHN.org/primarycare.