by Sharon Quercioli
Perhaps we have all heard at some point that Iceberg is just not as healthy as Romaine. Is there truth to that? What do the facts show? There are a lot of studies out there, but we found some common themes we’d like to share. Ultimately, if we are choosing between a bacon double cheeseburger and a Wedge salad, naturally, the Wedge is the way to go.
What if we have a choice though when ordering our salads? It turns out some restaurants have already started serving Romaine as their default lettuce of choice. Others, like the Olive Garden, offer Romaine lettuce upon request. Why switch to Romaine when prepping your favorite Iceberg lettuce salad? Is it worth it? What do nutritional studies show?
Grab some tea or coffee, because we are going to do some number crunching. We will look at the numbers when comparing one cup of Iceberg to one cup of Romaine lettuce. It is worth mentioning that calorie-wise, they both weigh in a light and bright 8 calories each.
Consider the fact that Romaine’s dark leaves carry more phytonutrients than Iceberg. There are many types of plant nutrients that work together within the plant and strengthen it and these are called phytonutrients. In fact, Beta Carotene is considered one such phytonutrient. These phytonutrients, which demonstrate antioxidant properties, are especially valuable because of their ability to ward off ailments before they arise. So, by stuffing a salad with Romaine instead of Iceberg, you are actually working harder to boost your immune system.
Here is an interesting finding: the naturally occurring combination of Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene found in Romaine lettuce is proven to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Without oxidation of cholesterol, the sticky build up in artery walls that become a harmful plaque cannot form. Thus, greens enthusiasts may not even know it, but their Romaine salads help to dodge life threatening conditions such as arteriosclerosis, stroke or heart attack.
The fiber in Romaine adds another plus to its long list of benefits, helping contribute to the health of the digestive tract and normalize cholesterol levels.
Cynthia Stadd, a New York-based holistic health and nutrition counselor, shared her findings saying, “Dark green vegetables are the food most missing from modern diets. They…fight depression naturally.”
Many natural-health advocates report that greens are energy-giving foods, increasing mental clarity and sustaining energy. So, all greens are not created equal. We’ve enjoyed sharing these findings with you and we wish you the best of health as you go about life—salad munching all the way, hopefully feeling a bit more informed.