Lettuce: What is its nutritional value?


anna_cortesiBy Anna Cortesi

In the world of vegetables, there are those that attract all attention and others that are left there, a little underestimated. If we had to categorize lettuce and specifically iceberg lettuce, it would certainly qualify for the latter. Many people find themselves in a difficult position, almost a dilemma, between choosing to eat lettuce because they like it and avoiding it, due to its lack of nutrients.

But is this the case? When has lettuce become unhealthy as a dietary option? The common misconception of the best among the most is probably the one to blame. Most of us select things that are best for us and our life. We prefer running to walking, because we burn more calories. And we choose water instead of orange juice, because of hydration and detoxification. In the same way, we would normally opt for darker green leafy vegetables, rather than iceberg lettuce.

However, being less nutrient-dense does not necessarily mean that a food option is unhealthy. On the contrary, lettuce consists mainly of water. Hydration is essential for well being and overall health. So adding lettuce to your salads will up your water intake for the day. This is great on its own. But at the same time, lettuce has got some nutrients that should not be neglected. It is a source of fiber, folic acid and other vitamins and minerals.

In addition, lettuce serves another purpose dietary-wise. It offers a wonderful base, on which to build your salad. Most people are not accustomied to the intense flavors of other vegetables. So if you are just beginning to incorporate more vegges to your daily meals, benefit from the mild and pleasurable taste of lettuce. Use it as transitional means, offering you the chance to add some extra leaves of radish, kale or spinach. Experiment and you will see what suits you the most!

As you can see, lettuce is far from unhealthy. Do not feel bad about eating lettuce, rather than try to mix things up and eat a variety of vegetables with different nutrients and health benefits.