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 12 healthiest lettuces and leafy greens for you, ranked

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. .

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. .

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, 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. .

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. .

Is Iceberg Lettuce Good for You? Here's What a Dietitian Has to Say

Iceberg lettuce grows in a similar way as cabbage and it is made up of pale green edible leaves.And the crispy crunch it gives to recipes, like a classic wedge or cobb salad just can't be beat!And one unfortunate suggestion floating around is that iceberg lettuce contains zero nutritional value and that it's not part of a healthy diet.And chances are you're enjoying more than 1 cup of iceberg lettuce at a time (and if not, this is your sign to make yourself a big salad).There are carbs in iceberg lettuce, but the amount is extremely low relative to many other food options out there.Most Americans are not meeting the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, with only 1 in 10 actually eating the suggested amount.This is concerning for a slew of reasons, as eating more produce is linked to a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and even experiencing early death. .

Does Iceberg Lettuce Really Have No Nutritional Value?

It’s a must for those satisfyingly crispy-creamy wedge salads drizzled with blue cheese at pretty much every fancy steakhouse in America.Iceberg probably isn’t going into a $12 lunch salad, or a fancy grain bowl, or a green smoothie.“Iceberg lettuce used to be popular before dark leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and kale came into favor,” Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of The Smoothie Plan, tells SELF.And have we reached a point where iceberg lettuce has gone from an acceptable base for healthy salad recipes to the “treat yourself” category?Instead of asking what’s wrong with iceberg lettuce, let’s talk about why it’s always treated like the poor kid who gets picked last for dodgeball. .


As I share in my #1 best-selling book, Food Sanity, how to eat in a world of fads and fiction, as a general rule of thumb, the nutritional value of lettuce increases the darker the leaves.However, you also have to take into consideration nutritional content like protein, fiber, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, and C. With all this in mind, I will rank the different varieties of lettuce, from least to most healthy.Originating from the Mediterranean, it has a unique peppery flavor and is a great addition to spicing up a salad.This variety of lettuce is higher in vitamin A, folate, iron and potassium than Iceberg and Arugula, putting it at number 8.Red leaf lettuce contains 127% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A, and 149% of the daily recommended Vitamin K.

The texture is constantly crispy and succulent, the flavor generally mild and delicately earthy with a slightly bitter nuance which is perfect for salad.It requires extra care when cleaning since sand and grit tend to gather in the nub of roots holding each rosette together.Mâche lettuce offers a great source of vitamin A, C, B6, iron, copper, and manganese.Also called Batavian or French crisp, this type of lettuce tends to grow very large, making it the best value for your dollar.Frisée, also called endive and chicory, are slightly bitter in taste, have a crunchy stem, and add a lot of texture.Then, at harvest, tops of the plant are cut off, the roots dug up and then placed in cold storage where they enter a dormancy period for 30 days before they are eaten.Keeping it stored inside of a paper bag in the fridge can help it last a couple days longer.Green leaf lettuce is a natural for salads because it offers a mild flavor and pleasing texture.With its long, slightly bitter leaves and sturdy, sweeter center ribs, romaine provides a robust crunch to any meal. .

What Green Lettuce Is the Most Nutritious?

Green lettuce is a staple among salad eaters and contains relatively high quantities of essential vitamins.Unlike some foods, green lettuce is considerably low in calories -- averaging only 7 per cup -- making it a boon for individuals looking to shed weight.Butterhead lettuce includes the Boston and bibb variants, and is generally known for its grassy green leaves and mild flavor.Romaine lettuce, also referred to as cos, has a strong taste and crispy texture, and is commonly used in Caesar salads.According to the the USDA National Nutrient Database, a leaf of romaine lettuce contains 871 International Units of Vitamin A, roughly 17 percent of the recommended daily value.Buying organic offers the benefit of reducing your exposure to toxic pesticides and fertilizers that may impact the health value of your product. .

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