Health Benefits of Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce, also known as crisphead lettuce, has pale green leaves and grows in cabbage-like bulbs. It grows best in cool climates and requires a long winter season to grow fully. 

Lettuce and other leafy greens make up an important part of a healthy diet. Iceberg lettuce is known for having a crisp, crunchy texture and a mildly sweet flavor. This makes it a favorite in many homes and restaurants, and with children who may not like more bitter greens. 

Health Benefits

Iceberg lettuce is a great bridge food for people who don’t eat enough other vegetables. It has a mild, sweet flavor and a pleasant crunch. And while iceberg lettuce gets a bad reputation for not being as nutritious as other lettuces, it’s packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folate. Iceberg lettuce can offer a range of important health benefits for you and your family. 

Improve Blood Clotting

Iceberg lettuce is packed with Vitamin K, which has been shown to help with blood clotting. 

People who have issues with blood clotting may benefit from a diet high in Vitamin K. Still, Vitamin K deficiency is extremely rare for most people. If you do have a history of bleeding disorders or liver disease, you may want to check with your doctor to see if you could benefit from more Vitamin K in your diet. 

Support Eye Health

Iceberg lettuce is also rich in Vitamin A, a nutrient that has been shown to help with eye health. Vitamin A can help prevent age-related vision loss and even improve vision in low-light conditions. If you have night blindness, you may benefit from adding more Vitamin A to your diet. 

Help Fetal Development

Folate, or folic acid, is another compound found in iceberg lettuce. Folic acid is critical for fetal development, especially in the first trimester, which is why doctors universally recommend folic acid to women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

Nutrition

Iceberg lettuce has just 10 calories per cup of shredded lettuce, making it one of the least caloric foods you can eat. You can use iceberg lettuce to add substance to your meals without the added calories. Iceberg lettuce also contains: 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Manganese

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Nutrients per Serving

One cup of shredded iceberg lettuce contains:

Things to Watch Out For

Although iceberg lettuce has many health benefits, it is commonly known as the salad green with the least nutritional value. To make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals throughout the course of your week, it’s best to mix in iceberg lettuce with other salad greens like spinach, kale, chard, and watercress

How to Prepare Iceberg Lettuce

When preparing iceberg lettuce, it’s important to make sure the leaves are washed thoroughly to get rid of pesticides and dirt. A salad spinner is a handy tool to help you rinse and dry your lettuce. 

First, cut off the base of the lettuce bulb, which is too hard to eat. After that, lettuce chops easily with a knife. 

Although iceberg lettuce is most commonly used in salads, there are many other ways to add lettuce into your diet. Use iceberg lettuce to add a refreshing crunch to these foods: 

  • Tacos
  • Burgers
  • Sandwiches
  • Wraps
  • Pasta salad
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 17, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

CDC: “Folic Acid.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Harvard Health Publishing: “Salad Greens: Getting the Most Bang for the Bite.”

National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin A.”

National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin K.”

University of Maryland Extension: “Lettuce.”

Vitamins and Hormones: “Congenital bleeding disorders of the vitamin K-dependent clotting factors.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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