I feel like most restaurants or recipes are very partial to romaine. It’s the standard go-to lettuce green for many recipes and dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I love romaine, but it’s easy to get tired of the same thing. Let’s not forget about all the other options!
Kale is very popular, and for good reason. It’s the “gold standard” of leafy greens– packed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, potassium, and contains minerals such as copper and manganese. Kale is so versatile– you can throw it into a smoothie, roast it into chips, or sautee it and serve as a side.
This peppery green is also known as rocket or rucola. It’s commonly used in Italian dishes, and is packed full of vitamin K. Arugula is also a great source of folate, a nutrient that’s important for heart health and crucial for women of child-bearing age.
I am a HUGE fan of butter head lettuce. My favorite (and Nick’s) is the “living” butter lettuce. It’s more delicate and sweet than other types of lettuce. It has large, cupped leaves, that are the perfect replacement for wraps. It’s also rich in vitamin K, which is vital for normal blood clotting. Like other greens, this tender lettuce is packed full of vitamin A and folate.
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Red leaf lettuce is a good source of vitamin A, which may help support a healthy immune system and keep your skin looking younger, and vitamin K, which helps strengthen your bones as well as make your blood clot. This leafy green also contains some lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that are important for eye health, mainly by helping to prevent macular degeneration.
Green leaf is a popular lettuce and has a nutritional profile similar to re-leaf. Green leaf has slightly more vitamin C, which provides your immune system with a boost, promotes healthy skin, and is good for your heart.
Radicchio has a bitter taste and is very high in fiber, helping with colon health and weight management. It’s very high in antioxidants, and inulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Endive is in the same group as radicchio, and boasts nutrients including vitamin A, and vitamin C, which both boost your immune system and fight off infections. It’s also contains calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong. Endive is also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help to prevent Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer.
Iceberg has a bad rap for having no nutritional benefit. It is lower in nutrients than other greens, it’s not completely void of nutrition. In two cups, you’ll get 30% of your daily value of vitamin K, 10% of vitamin A, 7% of folate, and 4% of potassium. Iceberg lettuce has a crisp, crunchy texture and only 8 calories per cup.
What’s your favorite salad green? Any favorite recipes? Share below!