Iceberg lettuce is sort of the black sheep of the lettuce family. It’s one of those most ignored foods, so often taken for granted and stuffed in a bun with a burger to make it “look healthy”. As a child, it was a staple in our house, along with tomatoes and cucumber for a “British Salad”. So why does it get honorable mention in our A-Z list? Do we just not have anything else that starts with the letter I?
Actually, iceberg lettuce has plenty of nutrients. It just doesn’t have quite as many as some other forms of lettuce. The fact is though that iceberg lettuce is tasty, and it has a delightful crunch that can be just what you need when you are craving an unhealthy snack.
Take this as an example of the benefits of eating iceberg lettuce. Just 2 cups of iceberg lettuce on a daily basis can help you to get about a third of the vitamin K that you need each day. This vitamin is important for clotting and for bone health, and that’s just one of the benefits of this type of lettuce that gets a bad rap.
Check out these facts about the nutritional benefits of iceberg lettuce:
- It’s a low calorie food. An entire cup of iceberg lettuce only has 11 calories.
- It may be able to help keep you regular thanks to a high dietary fiber content.
- Iceberg lettuce contains minerals such as magnesium (also good for the digestive tract), potassium (excellent for hydration and for your heart), manganese, calcium (important for teeth and bones), and phosphorus.
- High iron levels help your body to produce red blood cells. That makes iceberg lettuce a nice pick me up in the morning.
- It’s also good in the evening. Iceberg lettuce helps to relax the body, especially the eyes. Some have used iceberg lettuce as a natural cure to insomnia.
- A serving of iceberg lettuce will get you 9% of the vitamin A that you need for the day, 4% of your vitamin C needs, and provides as much as 2% of other vital vitamins like B6 and thiamine.
- Pregnant women can benefit particularly from iceberg lettuce because it contains folate. This along with vitamin A are important in preventing eye problems which can accompany pregnancy.
So given this, don’t leave it on the shelf. Pick one up, chop it up, add some other veggies, a few nuts or seeds, some avocado and a splosh of balsamic vinegar for a delicious and healthy, filling and fibre full Plantalicious salad!
Another idea is to use the natural shape of the leaves as serving cups – just load them with some finely chopped veggies, maybe some chinese vegetables with water chestnuts and a drop of tamari or soy sauce – YUM – Plantalicious canapes!