If you only know of one kind of lettuce, iceberg or head lettuce, you’re missing a lot of delicious flavors and a world of nutrients. There are many types of lettuce and most of them are far more nutritious than the lettuce you find in salads from restaurants, on your hamburger deluxe/Big Mac or at the salad bar. Iceberg lettuce may be popular, but it’s not nutritious and is mostly water. Making some changes to other types of lettuce can boost your nutritional intake.
Some salad bars have Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce, which is better.
Just like dark green leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce contains vitamin K and many other types of antioxidants that help boost your immune system and prevent serious conditions, such as cancer, just not as many as the dark green leafy lettuce, but far more than iceberg lettuce. Romaine lettuce has higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of folate, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Green leaf and red leaf lettuce also fare better than iceberg.
If you’re faithfully eating those packaged salads of iceberg lettuce with a few croutons and shavings of carrots, you’re not getting all the benefits you should be getting and paying far too much. Try some green leaf and red leaf lettuce with baby spinach leaves instead. Not only will the baby spinach leaves add nutrition, the green leaf, oakleaf and red leaf lettuce have more nutrients than iceberg, but fewer than Romaine.
Oakleaf lettuce has a nutty flavor.
Oakleaf lettuce has a distinctively nutty flavor that can add a lot to a salad. It contains higher amounts of vitamin K and A, with minor amounts of C, B9, B6 and B3. Oakleaf lettuce also provides phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber and selenium to your diet, but is still 95% water. The extra flavor it adds makes it well worth adding to a salad. Boston, also called bibb and buttercrunch lettuce, has a buttery flavor. Arugula tastes peppery. Baby gem lettuce tastes sweet and crispy.
- Not all lettuce is really lettuce. For instance, arugula comes from a different family called the brassica family, which is more closely related to mustard than lettuce.
- Endives, like radicchio and frisee, are often considered part of the group containing lettuce. Just like arugula, they come from a different family, the chicory family. These types of lettucey substitutes are more bitter.
- If you’re looking for more flavorful types of lettuce that are also unique in appearance, consider heirloom varieties like Lollo Rosso, which is deep burgundy with ruffled leaves. It also has a nutty taste.
- Including a mix of lettuce and leafy greens like spinach and kale, can create a salad rife with nutrients. Using baby greens can also create a delicious salad that will add to your nutritional profile.
For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio