7 nutrients in lettuce that might surprise you

by Eliza Martinez




Most leafy greens contain some amount of iron. This nutrient is particularly important for women since we lose blood each month during menstruation. It’s also vital during pregnancy, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on iron. 

I’m sure you’ve heard that lettuce isn’t much more than water, but there are a surprising number of nutrients in lettuce. So don’t believe everything you’ve read about eating lettuce because it’s actually very healthy and because it’s super low in calories, you can make it a great part of your meal plan. The water in lettuce even contributes to your daily quota and that’s nothing to shake a stick at either. So, check out the nutrients in lettuce and you’ll feel even better about your next salad.


It might not be as much as beans or apples, but fiber is one of the nutrients in lettuce that make it a valuable choice. Fiber is great for appetite control because it digests slowly, leaving you feeling full for longer than low fiber foods. It’s also important for controlling your cholesterol and warding off heart disease, as well as regulating your bowel function.


Surprise! Some types of lettuce contain enough vitamin A to satisfy your entire day’s needs. Vitamin A is important for your immune system and is considered an antioxidant, which means it helps fight free radical damage and keep your body free of a range of health issues, including heart disease and cancer.


Most leafy greens contain some amount of iron. This nutrient is particularly important for women since we lose blood each month during menstruation. It’s also vital during pregnancy, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on iron. Adding lettuce to your meal plan is a great way to increase your intake. Mix and match your favorite varieties to get the most benefit.


It’s not much, but lettuce does offer a bit of protein. It’s nowhere near enough to meet the daily intake recommendations, but it certainly contributes. Add cheese, beans or seeds to your salad to increase the protein content of your meal. Protein is important for muscle function and it also plays a role in a huge number of bodily functions. A deficiency is pretty rare, but you don’t want to mess around with getting enough protein.


Again, it’s not a ton of calcium, but it’s a good way to add a little bit to your diet. Calcium is great because it builds and maintains strong bones and teeth. Women need plenty of calcium, so it’s a good idea to be sure you’re getting enough each and every day. You can’t rely on lettuce alone, but you can definitely mix and match it with other calcium rich foods to help you meet your daily quota.


B Vitamins are necessary because they help convert your food into energy that your body uses to get through the day as well as to fuel exercise. Some of them only come from animal foods, but you can get a pretty good dose from some types of lettuce. Romaine is an especially great choice.


Potassium is a nutrient that helps regulate your blood pressure. Getting too low in this nutrient can mess with your heartbeat and even result in a heart attack. Lettuce might not be the best source, but it can really add to how much you get on a daily basis.


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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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