A highly nutritious food, lettuce is popular variety of greens for salads and blending in green smoothies such as Green ‘n’ Clean Smoothie. Romaine lettuce scores a 95 out of 100 in Dr. T.C. Fry’s “A General Guide to Food Selection.” In this guide, Bibb lettuce scores a 95, with iceberg lettuce netting a 75.
Popular varieties of lettuce include romaine; butterhead; crisphead, or iceberg; leaf, or looseleaf such as green oak leaf and red oak leaf; summercrisp, also known as Batavian or French Crisp; and Chinese variety, featuring long, strong-tasting leaves. A pound of romaine lettuce, pictured above, is 77 calories.
Lettuce is a hardy annual plant of the sunflower family Asteraceae.
Romaine lettuce is a rich source of folate and Vitamins A and K, the latter of which is critical for bones. It contains 95 percent water by weight.
China produces the most lettuce, with 13.4 million metric tons—more than half the world’s production—in 2011. The United States produced 4.1 million metric tons and India, 1.1 million metric tons, in 2011. Rounding out the list of the leading five producers, Spain and Iran each produced more than a half-million metric tons in 2012.
Some raw fooders say lettuce and celery are the optimal greens choices for human beings based on our physiological design.
Stats for 100 Grams of Lettuce (Cos or Romaine, Raw)
- 17 calories
Percentages based on the Reference Daily Intake for a 2,000-calorie diet
- Fiber: 8.4%
- Folate: 34%
- Vitamin A: 29%
- Vitamin C: 6.7%
- Vitamin K: 128.1%
- Iron: 5.4%
- Manganese: 7.8%
- Potassium: 7.1%
- Carbohydrates: 68.1%
- Protein: 17.4%
- Fat: 14.6%
- Vegetable, greens