Does lettuce have any nutritional value?
Have you heard the rumour that lettuce has no nutritional value? Well, it’s not entirely true. We’ve done some digging to uncover the truth about lettuce and its nutritional composition.
Iceberg lettuce: not worth eating?
Poor iceberg lettuce. It’s become the bullied victim of the salad world. Some people say you’re better off eating nothing than munching on iceberg. Because apparently it has absolutely zero nutritional value.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Yes, iceberg lettuce has the least amount of nutrients compared to other varieties. But it’s still worth eating.
Because most Australians don’t eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables (and, ergo, vitamins and minerals). So if start chomping on iceberg lettuce leaves, it is better than nothing. And it will boost your intake of essential nutrients.
Here’s the typical nutritional make-up of iceberg lettuce:
- 1.4mg calcium
- 11.3mg potassium
- 2.3mcg folate
- 40 IU (international units) of vitamin A
Choosing a better lettuce
So iceberg lettuce isn’t as pointless as you may think. That being said, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your lettuce buck, you might like to try another variety like romaine (what we call cos in Australia).
This is because cos lettuce has more protein, vitamins K, A, and C, and four times the iron of iceberg. It also has 19.8g potassium, 3mg calcium, and 680IU of vitamin A.
Butter lettuce is also a wise choice, because it has 2.6mg of calcium, 17.8mg potassium, and 5.5mcg of folate.
So if you’re looking to pack in as many nutrients as possible, opt for a darker leafy green. But don’t throw away the iceberg – because it still has nutritional value.
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