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Is there really any nutritional value in lettuce?

May 11, 2012

A: Lettuce is a leafy crunchy vegetable with substantial water content, some fiber and a negligible calorie count—all factors that are beneficial for filling up your plate and pairing down your waistline.

You should know that only certain types of lettuce are loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant chemicals, whereas others contain virtually nothing in terms of nutrition. Hence, even though all types of lettuce are low in calories, the different varieties offer different valuable sources of nutrients. For example, romaine lettuce is especially rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and manganese when compared to iceberg lettuce.

When making lettuce choices, be sure to get in the power lettuces, romaine and red leaf—the darker the leaf, the greater the amount of nutrients such as vitamin A and folate. Other salad greens, such as spinach, kale, arugula and radicchio, while technically not lettuces, are among the most nutrient-dense foods available.

So when it comes to good health and weight control, be sure to pile on the dark leafy greens (an antioxidant gold mine), and leave the iceberg in the bin!

Posted by Dr. Janet Brill

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