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Facts for Lettuce

  • The nutritional value of lettuce varies with the variety. In general, lettuce provides small amounts of dietary fiber, some carbohydrates, a little protein and a trace of fat. 

  • Iceberg is a head lettuce that is very low in nutritional value and flavor. The most abundant nutrient in iceberg lettuce is water. Dark green lettuce leaves always indicate higher fiber, flavor and nutritional value.

  • The spine and ribs of lettuce provide dietary fiber, while vitamins and minerals are concentrated in the delicate leaf portion.

  • The most important nutrients in lettuce are vitamin A and potassium.

  • The vitamin A comes from beta carotene (beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body), whose yellow-orange is hidden by green chlorophyll pigments.

  • Lettuce, except iceberg, is also a moderately good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper.

  • Look for salad greens that are darker green in color. Iceberg lettuce has little nutritional value.

  • One cup of raw leaf lettuce has 9 calories, 1 gram of protein, and 1.3 grams of fiber.

  • If possible, do not cut or slice lettuce leaves in advance. Damaged, cut lettuce leaves release an ascorbic acid oxidase, which destroys vitamin C and causes the cut edges to discolor.