After analyzing data from more than 50,000 people over a 23-year period, Danish researchers found that those who ate just one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables a day had up to a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease, as reported in their study, published in April 2021 in the European Journal of Epidemiology. .
The Healthiest Lettuces and Salad Greens, Ranked Kale and Spinach
But this time, we factored in how many nutrients (specifically potassium, fiber, protein, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6, calcium, iron, zinc , and vitamins A, C, and B6) the greens pack per calorie. .
The Healthiest Types of Lettuce and Leafy Greens — Eat This Not That
To determine the most nutritious greens, we looked at a Centers for Disease Control report that ranked 47 "powerhouse fruits and vegetables" according to nutrient density.These powerhouse lettuce types had to meet two qualifications: they're the foods most strongly associated with reduced chronic disease risk and one 100-calorie serving had to contain 10% or more daily value of 17 qualifying nutrients.While great on burgers, this lettuce is mostly made up of water and should be reserved to add a signature crunch to dishes—never the star of the show.Cabbage is considered a type of lettuce, but it's also part of the cruciferous family, which contains potent compounds that have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer.While not necessarily the most nutritious, it's the perfect base for quinoa and cranberry salads, paired with shaved parmesan and champagne vinegar dressing, and layered with fresh citrus.They're a natural diuretic, have a higher calcium content than kale, and are loaded with iron and vitamin K. With their bitter taste profile, balance them out with neutral greens like spinach or romaine.A study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collards.It's so packed with nutrients that even that one sprig can go a long way toward meeting your daily requirement for vitamin K. Moreover, research suggests the summer-y aroma and flavor of chopped parsley may help control your appetite.A study in the journal Flavour found participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food.The nutritional Clark Kent of the salad bar, this common and unsuspecting leafy green is ready to take its place among the superfoods for weight loss.Two generous cups of lettuce provide 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones.Even more so than its cousin kale, the humble Romaine lettuce packs high levels of folic acid, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B that's proven to boost male fertility.A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found supplemental folic acid to significantly increase sperm counts.Chicory is a family of bitter greens, but its most well-known member is radicchio, the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball.According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180-gram serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 milligrams of iron, the muscle mineral—that's more than a 6-ounce hamburger patty!Recent research also suggests compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may serve as a powerful appetite suppressant.A long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce hunger (by 95 percent!).Yes, the stuff they cut off and throw in the garbage before charging you an arm and a leg for "beet salad" is actually one of the best leafy greens.Researchers at the University of Leeds found that risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower for every 7 grams of fiber consumed.Recent research has shown that these leafy greens contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins—anti-inflammatory compounds that could offer protection from type 2 diabetes.Rich sources of highly available calcium and iron, cruciferous vegetables like the cabbage have the powerful ability to "turn off" inflammation markers thought to promote heart disease.The healthy green is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer.Results from an eight-week trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (that's about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent.
Lettuce: Health benefits, nutrition, calories, vitamins and minerals
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals.In fact, its antioxidant properties are thought to help prevent certain cancers and other diseases.Once consumed, lutein makes its way to the eye where it protects the retina and lens from free radical damage.Research shows that people who have high intakes of lutein from foods are less likely to develop cataract and macular degeneration.(Macular degeneration attacks the central part of the retina called the macula, which controls fine, detailed vision. .
12 Most Nutritious Lettuces You Can Eat
That said, "certainly the darker, heartier greens such as kale and collards have more antioxidants and fiber in them, but if all you can tolerate are iceberg and romaine, by all means don't avoid those.".With all of that in mind, check out some of the best lettuces and greens (including some you've probably never heard of) to pick up at your local grocery store or farmer's market. .
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Lettuce: Health Benefits, Nutrients, Preparation, and More
Lettuce is a leafy vegetable, famous for giving salads their base.Health benefits vary depending on the type of lettuce a person eats.This variety includes iceberg and butterhead lettuces, both of which are commonly sold in grocery stores. .
15 of the Best Types of Lettuce to Add to Your Salad Bowl
Loose round rosettes of tender butterhead leaves take well to light dressings, such as a simple shallot-mustard vinaigrette.Mildly flavored loose-leaf lettuces grow in open layers in very loosely formed heads and often have ruffly leaves.The crisp, elongated leaves of this lettuce are the main ingredient in classic Caesar salad.Created in the 1940s for its ability to travel long distances, this crunchy lettuce is the base for two salads-the chopped salad and the wedge salad-that are now considered cornerstones of American comfort food.These tiny leaves-also called lamb's lettuce or corn salad-have a nutty flavor and delicate texture.In the wild, watercress, a vivid green plant with delicate round leaves, grows along running waterways and has fresh, pungent flavor with peppery heat.This mix of tender young greens can include leafy lettuces, arugula, frisée, spinach, chard, dandelion, mustard, radicchio and mâche, and soft-stemmed herbs such as parsley, dill and chervil.Colors range from white to pale yellow to all shades of green to wine red.Their common characteristics are a structural sturdiness and a distinct bitterness that balances the sweeter, more delicate lettuces with which they are often combined.Very similar in flavor to broader-leaved curly endive, the fine, frizzy leaves of this chicory add interesting texture to salads.'Chioggia', the most common variety of this intensely flavored chicory, grows in heads of wine-red leaves with bright white veins.The large outer leaves of these leafy, lettuce-like heads have a hearty flavor and subtle bitterness, while the pale yellow heart is tender, juicy, and faintly bittersweet.Sometimes simply called "chicory," this jagged-leafed green adds a structural sturdiness and distinct bitterness that balances the sweeter, more delicate lettuces.Choose dense, heavy head lettuces with bright color and no browning on the outer leaves.Salad greens should have good color with no yellowing, wilting or brown spots.Store loose salad greens in a plastic bag wrapped in a paper towel in the crisper in the refrigerator up to 3 days.Sow other types of lettuces and salad greens directly in the soil in early spring or fall.Choose a site with loose, well-drained soil, enriched with compost, in sun to part shade. .
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Growing Lettuce: A Guide to Planting & Harvesting Lettuce
You might not be surprised to find out that the most widely planted salad vegetable in the United States is lettuce.Considered a spring and fall crop, lettuce thrives when temperatures are between 60 to 70 degrees F. Many varieties reach maturity in as little as 30 days, and some can even be harvested much earlier as microgreens.From your garden beds to patio containers, these simple steps will give you a bountiful supply of crisp salad greens throughout multiple seasons.You can begin planting leaf, romaine and butterhead lettuce as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.Head lettuce is usually started indoors or in a cold frame and transplanted in the spring after the last frost date.The ideal lettuce growing location for spring and fall is in a spot that receives full sun.If you plan on growing lettuce during the summer or in warm planting zones, partial shade can provide protection from the heat.Growing lettuce from seed in late summer may require generous artificial shade to help cool the soil for germination.Once days become cooler, the shade can be removed to give plenty of sunlight to young lettuce plants.The addition of organic materials, such as compost or manure, will increase drainage, provide essential nutrients and improve your lettuce growing conditions.If you’ve had trouble with lettuce growth, consider purchasing a soil test kit.Lettuce seeds are often quite small and only require a planting depth of ¼ to ½ inch deep.Head lettuce is usually grown from seeds started indoors during warm weather for a fall garden.Avoid watering too often – overwatering leads to root rot, disease and stunted growth.You’ll find these annoying little white pests hiding on the undersides of lettuce leaves.There isn’t a systemic insecticide to control aphids, so your best option is to encourage natural predators, such as lady beetles, or to apply a horticultural soap or neem oil.If you notice your lettuce beginning to brown and curl, it could be suffering from a physiological condition known as tipburn.Romaine, also known as cos, forms tall, tight bundles of thick, sweet lettuce leaves.Green Towers, Valley Heart and Red Eyes Cos are all interesting romaine cultivars.Named after the subtle butter flavor, this mild lettuce adds a sweet touch to salads.Other areas can use modifications, such as cold frames, row covers and greenhouses to extend the growing season.Other gardening tricks to prevent bolting in warm weather include planting lettuce in shady areas, using mulch to cool the ground and conserve moisture, and providing a light mist of overhead irrigation to cool plants.