Romaine vs. Iceberg Lettuce
Romaine and iceberg lettuce are similar in terms of their calorie and macronutrient content. Both types of lettuce do not have many calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, or sugar. The main difference between romaine and iceberg lettuce is the micro-nutrient content. Romaine beats out iceberg in almost every nutrient category, especially Vitamin A, K, and Folate. Romaine lettuce contains 111 µg of Vitamin A, while iceberg lettuce only contains 14 µg. Vitamin A helps with your vision, immune system and reproductive system. Along with these functions, Vitamin A helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs function properly. For Vitamin K, romaine lettuce contains 84 µg, while iceberg lettuce contains 13 µg. Vitamin K is important for your health because it helps your blood to clot properly and it regulates the insulin in your body. Finally, romaine lettuce contains 52 µg of Folate, while iceberg lettuce contains 16 µg. Folate helps your body make DNA and other genetic material. Folate is also important for your body because it helps the cells in your body divide.
Romaine lettuce has a higher percentage of the Daily Value for many nutrients especially Vitamin A, K, and Folate since there is a greater quantity of micrograms for the nutrients. For example, romaine lettuce contains 94% of the Daily Value for Vitamin K compared to iceberg lettuce only containing 15% of the Daily Value.
The Verdict: As you can see romaine lettuce contains greater quantities of important micro-nutrients. However, smaller quantities of these nutrients does not mean iceberg lettuce is not good for your health. And often people, especially children, prefer iceberg lettuce when eating a salad, or on a sandwich. With all the key micro-nutrients, iceberg lettuce is still a great choice and can be a powerful tool to help form healthy eating habits. If this is true in your family, try mixing iceberg with romaine in a salad, and people may not even notice. In the end, romaine lettuce provides greater quantities of important micro-nutrients, but both will go a long way towards helping you to live healthier!
Megan Farr, Intern with Weight of the Fox Valley