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Mar 16

Health Foods A-Z: Iceberg Lettuce

Greens are known for their health benefits, and salads have very high fiber and vitamin content, apart from being low calorie. Thus, they are a weight watchers best friend.  Having salad helps fill your tummy when you have those hunger pangs, and does not add calories. Its also great for in between meals.You can also try other tricks such as adding a blue light to your fridge when watching your weight. This can help curb your appetite and keep you from binging.

Iceberg lettuce is very popular owing to its crispy texture, and its taste. It is a green leafy vegetable and has zero fat and cholesterol. It is very low in calories, which is what makes it a dieters food. Apart from this, it also has iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, beta carotene, calcium and protein. Much like other leafy vegetables, it is also a good source of dietary fiber, that helps the digestive system. It also has antioxidants that are higher than nearly all animal foods. It is also good for the liver.

Iceberg lettuce gets its name from the way it was transported. California farmers found that when this lettuce was transported in heaps of crushed ice in the 1920s, it was able to last longer, and could be easily transported and remain fresh and crisp. It was also previously called Crisphead lettuce.

Recently, there has been much controversy around iceberg lettuce, and people claim that it is not as nutritious as it is believed to have been. Although iceberg lettuce is not as nutritious as other dark red and dark green leafy vegetables, it still has a lot of nutrients.

Besides, its taste and crispiness make it a choice vegetable in any salad. It is advised, though, that iceberg lettuce be used along with other  green leafy veggies to get the best nutrients from your salad. Other popular greens include romaine lettuce, spinach,

When buying iceberg lettuce, make sure the leaves look healthy, fresh and crisp. There should be no dark spots or wilting. Also, try and get darker lettuce since it is more nutritious. Store the lettuce in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper section. Also, make sure it is dry as moisture can encourage growth of bacteria. It can last up to two weeks if stored in this way, and is the best among other kinds of lettuce as far as shelf life goes.

The best way to have iceberg lettuce is in a salad. Its fresh, crispy and all its nutrients are intact. The simplest salad to make is with salt, pepper and lemon. My recipe below is a very simple salad and very quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

1 Cucumber, chopped into small cubes

1 Bell pepper- red, chopped

1 bell pepper- yellow, chopped

1 head Iceberg lettuce, thoroughly washed and shredded

1 cup feta cheese, mashed

5 tbsp. Olive oil

Oregano to tatse or 1 tsp

lemon juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

salt to tatse

pepper to taste

Method

Make sure the lettuce is thoroughly washed before consuming, as lettuce and other greens are known to carry bacteria that is harmful if consumed. Put it in a colander and under running water till you do not see any dirt or particles.

Take all the vegetables and cheese in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice and  remaining ingredients and mix well. Salad is ready to serve.

This salad should make about 6 servings.

This post is part of a series on health foods. So far, I have discussed Avocado, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Dates, Eggs, Fennel, Green Chickpeas and Honey. Coming up: Jackfruit

1 comment

6 pings

  1. Otilia Gloeckner

    Generally grown as a hardy annual, lettuce is easily cultivated, although it requires relatively low temperatures to prevent it from flowering quickly. It can be plagued with numerous nutrient deficiencies, as well as insect and mammal pests and fungal and bacterial diseases. L. sativa crosses easily within the species and with some other species within the Lactuca genus; although this trait can be a problem to home gardeners who attempt to save seeds, biologists have used it to broaden the gene pool of cultivated lettuce varieties.

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