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Lettuce

Background

Lettuce is a globally consumed vegetable with an average harvesting period of 6-12 weeks. Although the annual plant has a 95% water content, it continues to retain a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamin K, folate and potassium. These leafy greens are most commonly known to be a staple ingredient for salads, but they can also add a crunch of nutrients to a variety of other dishes. Recently, the ingredient is most popularly used a substitute for bread in lettuce wrapped items, such as sandwiches and tacos containing tofu, chicken and fish. Lettuce can also be grilled or baked with olive oil and seasoning of your choice.  

 

Benefits

  • Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K. This vitamin it is important for building and strengthening bones, and helps your blood to clot and heal wounds. 
  • This leafy green is also a rich source of vitamin A. It is required for normal vision, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system. 
  • Lettuce is rich in folate. Folate has a variety of functions in the body such as synthesizing blood cells and preventing birth defects in pregnant women.  
  • It is also a source of potassium. This mineral assists in sustaining balance of fluid levels, blood pressure, and other body systems.  
  • Lettuce is a good source of fibre. Fibre is crucial to digestive health and can help promote the feeling of satiety.  

 

Nutritional Value of 1 cup (57 g) shredded romaine lettuce

  • 10 calories 
  • 2 g carbohydrate 
  • 1 g fibre 
  • 1 g protein 
  • 0 g fat 
  • ~ 55% recommended daily intake of vitamin K 
  • ~31% recommended daily intake of vitamin A 

 

How To Prepare

Begin by separating the lettuce leaves, rinsing with water and lightly drying with a paper towel. The clean leaves can be broken up into smaller pieces for a salad or glazed with olive oil and roasted in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, lettuce can be chopped into larger pieces and submerged in boiling water for ~ 1 minute.  

 

Did You Know

Many diverse forms of lettuce can be produced, each with a slightly varying nutrient content. For instance, green leaf lettuce is highest in vitamin C and E, red leaf and butter lettuce are highest in iron, and romaine lettuce is a source of the highest amount of folate. 

 

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