Health Matters – An A to Z Guide to Good Health – L is for Lettuce

Health Matters – An A to Z Guide to Good Health – L is for Lettuce 🥬

L is for lettuce with its multitude of varieties.  Lettuce is very low in calories being 90% water but is still a healthy food providing nutrients including Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, calcium and iron. The nutritional content of lettuce does vary from variety to variety and of course, it is only low in calories if you resist smothering it with fatty salad dressings like mayonnaise.

🥬 Cos or Romaine has elongated leaves which are firm and tasty, often used in Caesar salad.

🥬 Iceberg is round and tightly packed with a lovely crunchy texture but low in flavour yet surprisingly high in folate.

🥬 Lamb’s Lettuce has small smooth leaves with a lovely nutty flavour and is one of my favourites.

🥬 Lollo Rosso has become more popular in recent years and has green leaves with a distinctive reddish tinge around its frilly edges.  Often used as a garnish.

Rocket, known also as arugula has dark green leaves a bit like the dandelion with a pepper flavour. I was very successful in growing this last year.

This brings me to my next point; lettuce is extremely easy to grow and you can simply plant it in pots and enjoy that feeling of achievement when you just pop into the garden and use it as and when you want to eat really fresh healthy lettuce.

Growing your own has the advantage that you know it has not been grown with artificial fertilisers or sprayed with toxic pesticides.

Some lettuces may have been sprayed as many as eleven times which is why I recommend you only buy organic lettuce if you are not growing your own.

Interestingly, lettuce leaves are thought to have a sedative effect by many herbalists so if you are having trouble sleeping a large bowl of fresh leaves may calm you and induce sleep.

Live with joy and health 💚

Elizabeth Beetham

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