Superfood of the Week- Romaine Lettuce

By June 27, 2017 March 29th, 2018 Super Foods

Lettuce talk about green leafy goodness!

Romaine lettuce has been around for centuries. In fact, Egyptian tomb art depicts a lettuce that looks quite like it. In England, it’s sometimes known as cos lettuce, allegedly because it was brought from the Aegean island of that name. The name romaine comes because it was supposedly introduced to France when the pope moved from Rome to Avignon in the 14th century.

It is one of the fastest growing vegetables in terms of popularity and that it has the potential to provide significant antioxidants and widespread health benefits to people’s diets.

Many people know that certain lettuces, like iceberg lettuce, tend to be lower in nutrients that other varieties, and sometimes people can confuse romaine lettuce as falling into this low-nutrient category. However, romaine lettuce nutrition is actually quite impressive due to its high level of antioxidants and other crucial vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, and more.

Thanks to its durable nature and sturdy “crunch,” romaine lettuce adds not only nutrients to your salads, sandwiches, or other recipes, but also variety in terms of texture and flavor. It’s one of the best loved lettuces for having a mild, non-bitter taste that deters some people from consuming leafy greens regularly.

1. Excellent Source of Antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Vitamin A and vitamin C are powerful antioxidant that play a critical role in maintaining the function of many parts of the body. They do this by fighting free radicals which can build up in the body and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. There are numerous health benefits of eating plants containing vitamin A and vitamin C, such as romaine lettuce, because the antioxidant vitamin A stops inflammation and oxidative stress, which can cause tissue and cellular damage. Just one 2 cup serving of romaine lettuce provides 164% of your daily vitamin A and 38% of your daily vitamin C needs!

2. Helps Prevent Bone Loss
Leafy greens are often considered the best natural vegetable source of vitamin K. Romaine lettuce is no exception to this since it’s a great source of bone-building vitamin K. In fact, studies have shown that vitamin K2 can help boost bone density and prevent osteoporosis even better than calcium can. In addition to building and maintaining a healthy skeletal structure, Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood clotting, healing bruises, aiding in bone calcification, and helping to prevent many diseases.

3. Boosts Heart Health
Romaine lettuce is a great source of folate, also sometimes called folic acid. Folate is a type of B vitamin that is used by the body to convert homocysteine, which when unconverted can lead to heart problems including damaged blood vessels and dangerous plaque build-up. This superfood also supplies vitamin A and vitamin C, two antioxidants which play a role in heart health by oxidizing cholesterol and keeping arteries strong. These antioxidants help prevent build-up in the artery walls that form plaque. They also increase blood flow, and help prevent blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

4. Promotes Healthy Eye Sight eyes
The rich supply of vitamin A and vitamin C found in romaine lettuce helps to protect against eye disorders. Deficiencies in these antioxidants can lead to a thickening of the cornea, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and possibly even blindness as one ages. Studies have shown that antioxidant beta carotene, the form of vitamin A found in plants including romaine lettuce, plays a big role in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related.

5. Helps Heal Skin & Prevent Signs of Aging
The high amount of vitamin A found in romaine lettuce is essential for skin health. Studies show that a deficiency in this critical vitamin can lead to a poor complexion. Vitamin C also helps to build collagen in the skin, which is responsible for building firm, healthy skin and preventing loss in elasticity. Both of these antioxidants work together to stop cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. Additionally romaine lettuce supplies nutrients that help defend against acne and inflammation including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, and more.

6. Boosts Immunity
Vitamin C and vitamin A, two of romaine lettuce nutrition’s stars, are both known as powerful immune boosters. Vitamin A is involved in several immune system functions including regulating the genes involved in auto-immune responses. The vitamin A found in romaine lettuce helps to fight infections, heal skin, and to nourish the digestive system so it can properly absorb nutrients from food and defend against harmful bacteria overgrowth. Vitamin C can help benefit your immune system by reducing inflammation, aiding in digestive health, and helping nutrients to be absorbed and used properly. It also plays a large role in your body’s ability to fight off common colds, the flu and viruses.

7. Can Help Fight Cancer
Studies have shown that the chlorophyll pigment in dark leafy greens, such as Romaine lettuce, may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers including colon and liver cancers. And studies show that diets low in green leafy vegetables are associated with an increase of cancer risk. Antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C are also known to help treat several forms of cancer thanks to their ability to control malignant cells in the body and protect against DNA damage. (10, 11) A diet high in antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C found in romaine lettuce has been correlated with a decreased risk for lung, prostate, breast, ovarian, bladder, oral, and skin cancers.

8.Can Help with Weight Loss
Romaine lettuce is extremely low in calories, carbs, sugar and fat, yet high in nutrients and water content. Because of its low calorie density but high nutrient content, you can eat as much romaine as you want even when trying to lose weight. The water and fiber found in romaine lettuces makes it filling and helps the body to shed itself of bloat and excess water weight while you begin practicing a healthier diet in order to reach your desired healthy weight.

Romaine lettuce nutrition has long been known to not only ease digestion but also used as a wonderful fiber source. Easy to add into your diet, its high water, mineral and high fiber content help keep things moving along as you digest and also helps get any toxins out of your body.

It sounds amazing- right? You can have some this week at Cuisine For Healing!

Try our Mediterranean Bean Cannelloni Salad or our CHF Chicken Salad.

Hurry over! They are going fast!

Happy Healthy Eating!


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