The road to being healthier begins with little tweaks in our eating habits. I’ve taken a closer look at what I’m choosing to fuel my body. One tweak I’ve made is in the salad department. I’ve eaten a million salads in my lifetime and never gave a thought to the nutrients in lettuce. I recently learned that romaine lettuce has more nutrients than iceberg lettuce which I’ve been eating my whole life. I decided if I’m going to eat salads I might as well get the most from them so I purchased some romaine lettuce and loved it. You know what I loved? I loved the crispness. Food texture is so important isn’t it?! For instance, I cannot stand soggy bread. I detest when a salad has too much dressing and the lettuce gets droopy or slimy. I hate when I am eating broccoli and cheese soup and the soup is too runny or too gelatinous. Back to the romaine lettuce, it’s easier to clean and prepare. You have to love that.
Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Economic
Research Service (ERS) lettuce is the leading
crop in the U.S. in terms of its production value and
the second most consumed vegetable behind
Here is a rundown of romaine lettuce versus
iceberg lettuce from Livestrong.com:
Vitamin A: Romaine lettuce provides more than 10
times the vitamin A that's available in iceberg
lettuce. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin,
teeth and enhancing vision, especially in low light.
Vitamin K: Romaine lettuce can contain up to 48 micrograms of vitamin K, while iceberg lettuce contains 17 micrograms. Vitamin K is important for is important for protein building that supports healthy bones and especially for blood clotting.
Folic Acid: People who consume folic acid have a decreased risk of contracting cancer. It also treats depression. Romaine contains 64 micrograms of folate per cup, while iceberg contains 21 micrograms of folate per cup.
If you want even more benefit eat a spinach salad. Spinach beats lettuce in spades in providing nutrients for our bodies. Spinach has four to five times more Vitamin K and folic acid than leaf lettuce. Vitamin A: Spinach has 2,813 international units and lettuce as 2,666 international units.
Did you know roughage is the colon whisperer? Most people don’t talk about bowel function in polite company unless you’re in a commercial for a plumbing product or you have a toddler, but it’s so important isn’t it? Nothing makes people crankier than when their bowels are on strike. I’m sitting here thinking that when I started this post I had no idea I’d be heading down this road to bowel town, bear with me, please. Both romaine and iceberg lettuce provide 1 gram of fiber per cup. Two cups of spinach have 1.7 grams of fiber. Fiber, as you know, makes the world go round in the bowel department. So eat up!
The little tweaks I’m making are all apart of just making conscious decisions about what I eat and why. I’m not saying I always eat the right thing, but when I don’t it’s a conscious decision and I know the consequences. That in itself is a change for me. Before I just ate what I wanted when I wanted. And I have to say the healthier decisions I’m making are becoming natural and I’m feeling better. The road to healthy town is paying off.