Is Lettuce Good For You? The Answer Might Surprise You!
Is lettuce good for you? You might be surprised to find out the answer. Here’s the lowdown on this green leafy vegetable, including why it’s healthy, how much you should eat, and more.
Lettuce (sometimes called iceberg or crisphead)
It might surprise you to learn that lettuce is actually a member of the cabbage family, just like kale and brussels sprouts.
With long stems, crisp leaves, and tiny flowers, lettuces also come in a wide variety of colors, including reds and purples. All in all, lettuce packs a healthy punch with tons of vitamins A and C.
And it’s delicious in sandwiches or on its own. If you think your leafy greens can’t be used beyond salads, think again! Saute them or steam them with some olive oil for dinner tonight your body will thank you for it later.
In a study by Harvard University, researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables could help lower your risk of cancer and heart disease while reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
In fact, they estimate eating at least five servings per day could prevent up to 80 percent of major chronic diseases worldwide.
How about adding some fruit too? Berries are especially good for you because they’re packed with antioxidants.
Some of our favorites include blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. And if you don’t have time to make a recipe, try snacking on a piece of fresh fruit instead it’s easier than it sounds!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. As long as you keep an eye on your portions and choose nutritious foods, your body will thank you later.
If you’re looking to eat more vegetables and are searching for ways to get your kids to start eating healthier, look no further than lettuce.
Though it might be hard to believe that one of our favorite salad toppings can also help us lose weight, just take a closer look at how much you’re actually consuming in one sitting.
Many of us assume that when we reach for a serving of lettuce or any other vegetable for that matter we’re getting a pretty good dose of veggies.
But according to an analysis conducted by researchers at Arizona State University (ASU), many Americans are getting way less than what’s promised on their plates.
In fact, they found that most people consume only about half of what they think they do. People think they’re eating a lot but it turns out they aren’t, said Barbara Rolls, professor emerita of nutrition at ASU and lead author of the study published in Nutrition Journal.
In order to determine if people were accurately measuring out servings, Rolls and her team analyzed data from two national health surveys totaling nearly 20,000 adults who completed 24-hour dietary recalls. They found that men were slightly better than women at estimating portions but not by much.
On average, both genders served themselves double or triple portions compared with recommended daily servings based on U.S Department of Agriculture guidelines.
Is Lettuce Good For You? Although lettuce doesn’t provide as many essential nutrients as other green vegetables, it’s still considered a healthy addition to any diet.
In fact, research has shown that eating lettuce frequently can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by increasing your intake of folate, vitamin C, and magnesium.
And although there’s no set definition for what eating lettuce frequently means, studies have found people who eat at least one serving of leafy greens each day live longer than those who don’t.
However, you should keep in mind that because they don’t offer as many nutrients as some other veggies (such as broccoli or carrots), you shouldn’t make them a major part of your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.
If you do decide to add more lettuce to your meals, be sure to pair it with something high in protein and healthy fats like eggs or salmon.
Research shows that doing so can help curb cravings while boosting satiety levels, which is great news for anyone looking to lose weight safely but quickly.
Plus, mixing lettuce with lean proteins gives you extra fiber and antioxidants that will boost your overall health too!
Overall, lettuce is low-calorie food so adding more into your daily diet isn’t necessarily going to lead to weight gain but only if you’re mindful about portion sizes.
Remember: It’s all about balance! If you need to lose weight fast, stick to salads made from iceberg lettuce topped with tomatoes and cucumbers instead of opting for balsamic vinaigrette.
Adding bacon bits also makes a salad tastier without significantly increasing calories. Alternatively, try making large lettuce wraps filled with chicken or beef seasoned with Italian spices(MSG) such as oregano and basil.
They’re an easy way to get your daily dose of veggies while avoiding unnecessary carbs from breaded products. If you’d rather stick to light ranch dressing on your salad instead of creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, go ahead!
Just be sure not to drench your salad in dressing 2 tablespoons are plenty! To really cut back on fat and calories, opt for reduced-fat or fat-free versions of your favorite dressings instead.
Just be aware that these dressings tend to be higher in sodium so look out for added salt when reading labels.
You can find out how much sodium is in a product by checking its nutrition facts label or simply scanning its barcode using your smartphone app (many apps allow you to scan barcodes).
As far as fruits go, grapes are another tasty option when you want to enjoy lettuce. In addition to being relatively low in calories and carbs, grapes contain powerful polyphenols known as resveratrol that have been linked with everything from improved blood flow and cholesterol levels to reduced cancer risk and improved brain function!
Where Does Lettuce Rank Among Salad Greens?
Salad greens are a great source of both fiber and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and potassium.
Both romaine lettuce and iceberg lettuce have plenty of these nutrients but they do vary quite a bit in other nutritional content.
So where does lettuce rank among salad greens when it comes to vitamins like vitamin A or folate? And how does that compare to other sources of plant-based protein? Read on to learn more about lettuce’s nutritional value and where it ranks among salad greens.
Romaine is one of the most nutrient-dense types of lettuce around. One cup (67 grams) contains almost half your daily recommended intake for vitamin K1 (kale, spinach, and turnip greens are also good sources).
It’s also an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin (which help protect against eye disease), along with carotenoids such as beta carotene.
This type of lettuce is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and thiamine.
There’s a downside though: Romaine contains phytochemicals called glucosinolates which may make it go bad faster than some others do.