Although iceberg lettuce is typically called the zero-scale salad green because of its nutritional inferiority, you can still benefit from the trace amounts of vitamins, folate, potassium, and fiber found in it. It is also packed with water, making it a great addition to your salads during hot weather.
Iceberg lettuce, also called crisphead lettuce, is typically called the zero-scale salad green because it is nutritionally inferior to other salad greens. For instance, iceberg lettuce is nowhere in the nutritional profile compared to cabbage, kales, or spinach. Nonetheless, this pale green lettuce is packed with trace amounts of vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, and fiber, and combining it with other vegetables helps you reap these nutritional benefits.
What is iceberg lettuce?
First things first, let’s understand what iceberg lettuce is before exploring the health benefits associated with it. It grows in bulbs resembling cabbages, making it appropriately belong to the greens’ family. It is the pale green lettuce varietal often added to your favorite burger as a salad. Do you remember the crunchy green in your best burger? That’s iceberg lettuce the burger industry appreciates for its crunch. In fact, it is also called crisphead lettuce because of its crispy or crunchy nature.
Iceberg lettuce thrives in cold climates and requires long winters to grow and thrive fully. Consequently, it is packed with a lot of water, making it great during the hot weather. In fact, its water content makes it hydrating and explains why many people appreciate it. Besides, crisphead lettuce has a mild or flavorless taste and blends well with many home and restaurant dishes. Being mild means that you can add it to your recipes and have them in their original taste; the lettuce does not alter taste. Additionally, iceberg lettuce is not as bitter as other leafy greens, making it ideal for children who would not eat other lettuce varietals. In fact, this is the other reason why the burger industry embraces it.
Iceberg: the nutritional profile
Admittedly, iceberg lettuce is inferior to other leafy greens or lettuce variants. Green vegetables such as spinach and kale have a lot of antioxidants and vitamins that iceberg lettuce cannot compare to. However, this does not mean that you cannot reap any nutritional benefit from crisphead lettuce. Actually, it’s one of the leafy greens with the least calorie content, making it a wonderful option for those trying to lose weight. A cup of shredded iceberg lettuce has only 10 calories, adding no calorific content to your body as you take it. It has other healthy dietary components, including;
Of course, these vitamins and minerals are only found in iceberg lettuce in trace amounts, but at least the pale green veggie is not zero-scale in the nutritional window passe. Besides, combining the lettuce with other leafy greens when preparing salads or any recipes that need greens is the wisest move for exploring these nutritional benefits.
Iceberg lettuce can still be a healthy pick in your home recipes
Although iceberg lettuce is not as mineral-or-vitamin-packed as other leafy greens, it competes well with them. For instance, like many vegetables in this category, it is low on calories, having less than 1 calorie per leaf. Consequently, it can still fit well in your health plan at home. Besides, no one can dispute the water content of iceberg lettuce. This makes it a wonderful hydrator, especially if you live in hot areas. Growing in cold conditions and taking a long winter to mature works to the iceberg lettuce’s advantage, packing a lot of water molecules in it.
Health benefits of iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce makes a great bridge for those not eating enough vegetables. Since it is packed with trace amounts of vitamins A and K, folate, potassium, fiber, and calcium, it may be associated with the following health benefits;
- Blood clotting
Iceberg lettuce is packed with vitamin K, a vitamin the body needs for blood clotting. Most people get enough vitamin K through their diet, but suffering from kidney problems or having a bleeding disorder may compromise your blood clotting. Adding iceberg lettuce to other leafy greens is a good way to boost your vitamin K levels and blood clotting.
- Visual health
Iceberg lettuce, together with other greens, may help promote your visual health. It has trace amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which the eyes need to be healthy. As such, you can include it and other leafy greens in your recipes to lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration and promote eye health.
- Fetal development
If you are pregnant or are anticipating pregnancy, you do well to increase your folate or folic acid intake by eating iceberg lettuce and other leafy greens. The body needs it for DNA synthesis and replication, which is why doctors advise pregnant women to boost their intake of this compound. Iceberg lettuce may not have much of it, but taking it alongside other greens helps optimize these benefits.
Iceberg lettuce tips for home recipes
Choose the best iceberg lettuce greens by looking for pale leaves without brown spots. Once you have them, wash them thoroughly to get rid of pests and any pesticides. You might want to use a salad spinner for this. Always remember to remove the bulb, as it is hard and not easy to eat. Chop off the lettuce and add it to your salad, sandwiches, burger, wraps, or tacos.
Iceberg lettuce is the pale green vegetable often added to burgers for its crunchy and mild taste. Although it is deemed zero-scale for being nutritionally inferior, it has some trace amounts of vitamins A and K, folate, potassium, calcium, and fibers. As such, it may help with fetal development, good visual health, and blood clotting, especially when used together with other vegetables. It is also packed with a lot of water, making it a great hydrator you could readily turn to on a hot day.