Well folks another month has come and gone which means it is time for me to say goodbye to June’s spotlight food ( berries) and hello to July’s spotlight food!
This month I chose to focus on a vegetable that I am absolutely NOT comfortable with, mostly because it’s never been a “go to” vegetable for me. I was never exposed to it as a child, adolescent or young adult and as a result it was completely foreign to me!
It’s a vegetable that, when I’ve experimented with it in the not-so-distant past, has turned out bitter, spongy and unpalletable which admittedly caused great hesitation in me when the idea of spotlighting it came to mind.
This month, in an effort to challenge myself and widen my vegetable horizon, I have chosen to spotlight the beautiful and dare I say sexy EGGPLANT!
The eggplant, aside from being one of the most attractive vegetables I’ve ever seen, is packed full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which means they too possess those free radical fighting ninjas, antioxidants!
Just as a side note, if you’ve been following this segment since it’s birth in January, have you noticed that each food is packed with antioxidants? This isn’t a fluke! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc offer a variety of antioxidants which, as we know, strengthen our immune system, slow down the aging process, fight oxidative damage caused by free radicals, ETC.
I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot of the health benefits for many fruits and vegetables are housed in their skins and the eggplant is no exception! It’s beautifully dark and rich purple color houses the phytonutrient “nasunin” which is a potent antioxidant in which studies have shown protect fats located around our brain cells! So eat that skin people!
…Hannibal Lector would be so proud of me for making that last statement
Eggplant also contains a plant compound called chlorogenic acid which is also know for it’s antioxidant activity. Studies show chlorogenic acid also fights free radicals and is capable of lowering LDL cholesteral (the bad kind!).
In addition to the antioxidant benefits, eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber(hooray digestion!) and manganese(strong bones anyone?) not to mention a good source of potassium, folate, copper, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium and Vitamin B3!
There’s just too much good stuff going on with the eggplant for me to be afraid of it.