eggplantWell, we have come to the end of our rainbow …the color Purple for Eggplant.

I am going to talk about a very interesting fruit, the Eggplant. Most people think of this beautiful purple egg-shaped fruit as a vegetable. It is in the same nightshade family as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.

It is easy to grow either in the garden or in containers.

It prefers hot weather and lots of water. It is a wonderful food to add to any diet as it is low in calories (only 28 calories in I cup of diced eggplant!) and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber.

The Western or Globe eggplant is the most popular variety found in most grocery stores. It is about 1 lb. in weight with a beautiful dark purple color. Pick one that is heavy for it’s size. This means that there is plenty of moisture in it. Make sure the skin is shiny and smooth, not wrinkled.

As an eggplant ages, it gets more bitter tasting. Make sure you cook it thoroughly to get rid of any bitter taste.

Eggplant is very versatile.

You can stuff it, bake it, sauté it, or grill it. If you sauté it…just brush the slices with a little bit of oil as it is very porous. Deep frying can lead to a very high fat meal. Because it is so porous…one serving can absorb as much as 83 grams of fat in 70 seconds!

Eggplant is a good source of the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper. It is also a great source of Vitamin C.

As with most fresh fruits and vegetables, Eggplant contains a variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Monoterpene is an antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease and cancer.

Nasonin, another powerful antioxidant, helps protect the lipids in brain cell membranes.

Eating Eggplant can help:

  • reduce swelling,
  • reduce bleeding,
  • prevent strokes,
  • treat dysentery.
  • The soluble fiber content helps to lower HDL cholesterol levels.

If you have arthritis, it is better to avoid the nightshade family of vegetables. Eggplant contains solanine, a calcium inhibitor that can lead to a further mineral imbalance which can lead to more joint pain and swelling.

Podcast: Cooking with Fresh Ingredients

If you are having joint pain…stop eating all the nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant) to see if the pain goes away. Then slowly add back the different nightshade to see if one of them is contributing to your joint pain.

There are many ways to cook up this unique fruit.

Check for great eggplant recipes on the web and give it a try!

Hope you enjoyed the Rainbow journey. If you add all the colors of the rainbow to your diet, you will be getting a wonderful variety of flavors, vitamins, and minerals. Color is also pleasing to see on the plate, making our meals enjoyable to all our senses.

Next month I am going to be starting another journey…this one will be through the Alphabet…Eating your A, B, C’s…and Zincs.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Lisa Metzgar

Lisa Metzgar

Nutrition Tidbits by Lisa Metzgar, PhD
LisaMetzgar, PhD,she received her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition.

Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutrition counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families about a healthy lifestyle.
 
Lisa Metzgar
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