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3 Main Groups Of Lettuce - Know Their Nutritional Value

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

One of the most nutritious foods is the green leafy vegetables. These are loaded with vitamins and minerals which no other food group can possibly equal. There are those that are eaten raw, some are merely blanched but there are those that had to undergo boiling and cooking. Lettuce is one of the most popular kinds of leafy vegetables. Eaten raw, these are the best ingredients for salads. They are also added to sandwiches and together with tomatoes and onions they add distinct tastes and texture as well add nourishing values.

Going to the supermarket, you will be baffled with the different varieties of lettuce. Sometimes you wonder if they all have the same food value. Do they have the same taste? Let us try to analyze three common variants of lettuce and discern the flavor and taste of each. Variants of lettuce are classified as crisp-head, butter-head and romaine.

Description of the three variants of lettuce

Perhaps the most popular of the three variants is the crisp-head, better known as iceberg lettuce. This type of lettuce is the most commonly used as add-ons to sandwich preparations. The reason can be due to its light taste. It has a crispy texture that makes it the favorite ingredient for salads. Because of the light taste, its flavor can be easily overpowered by other ingredients such as onions and tomatoes. In appearance, the iceberg lettuce grows as a head, similar to the cabbage. This head is thick and also dense.

The second group of lettuce is the butter-head, whose name or classification was deduced from its smooth velvety and butter-like texture. This has a subtle taste. Two most common varieties of the butter-head are the Boston and bibb. The bibb types have narrower leaves and are darker in color than the Boston kind. Basically, the butter-head variant forms loose-leaf head.

The third variant is known as romaine, also called Cos lettuce. The texture like the iceberg kind is crisp but this has a slightly bitter flavor. The Cos lettuce is commonly used as ingredient for Caesar salad. This romaine kind forms tall, upright and cylindrical head.

Nutritional values

A small head of lettuce, be it iceberg, butter-head or romaine variant is very low in calories. This has zero fat, no cholesterol and very little sodium. It is a great source of Vitamins A, C, E and K as well as omega fatty acids and folic acid. The iceberg lettuce is a good source of dietary fiber which is best in excreting the toxins in your body system. As it contains fiber, this can protect you from constipation and eventually from colon cancer.

Sometimes you may encounter red-leaf lettuce. Like those variants with green leaves, this also contains vitamins and minerals found in the green variants. However, the red-leaf kinds fall behind the Vitamin C contents when compared to the green kinds. The big plus of the red leaf variant is decorative purpose. When added to your salads, the red leaves add appealing look to the salad.

Lettuce is one of the best foods for dieters and non-dieters alike. For dieters, these leaves have only few calorie contents. Relive the wilting leaves by soaking them in iced water. Store unused lettuce leaves in the fridge's chiller section.

Felicitas Ramos is writing articles as a hobby and she writes on different niche. Read more about herbs and plants by visiting her site http://www.potsofherbs.blogspot.com/

Source: EzineArticles
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Variants Of Lettuce

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