Including romaine lettuce in your diet will improve the nutritional quality of your meals. Nutrient-dense foods such as romaine lettuce provide a lot of vitamins and minerals without extra calories. Eating more nutrient-dense foods can help you maintain or lose weight while consuming a healthy diet.
LIVESTRONG's The Daily Plate provides a complete listing of the nutritional components of romaine lettuce. One cup of lettuce provides only 10 calories, 0.67 g carbohydrates, 0.42 g protein and 0.06 g fat. Assuming a standard 2,000 calorie diet, one cup of romaine lettuce supplies less than 1 percent of the daily value of your calories. While low in calories, romaine can offer flavor and high-quality nutrients.
A cup of romaine lettuce provides 19 percent of the DV of folate. According to the National Institute of Health, folate supports many processes in your body, such as the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. Pregnant and lactating women have an increased need for folate because it assists in the growth of the fetus. Without the proper amount of folate during pregnancy a baby may be born with birth defects. If you eat two cups of romaine lettuce, then you are meeting over one-third of your folate needs with only 20 calories.
Romaine lettuce remains one of the best sources of vitamin A, without adding excess calories to your diet. One cup of romaine lettuce provides 29 percent of the DV. Vitamin A assists in body functions such as vision and growth. Healthy skin, hair and immune function are also affected by the presence of vitamin A.
The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Every cup of lettuce provides about 1 gram of fiber. Fiber helps increase the bulk of your stool and speed up the transit time in your body, reducing the risk of constipation. The American Dietetic Association reports that those who eat the recommended amount of fiber tend to have lower occurences of chronic diseases. With only 10 calories per serving, eating more romaine lettuce is an efficient way to include fiber in your diet.
Including Romaine Lettuce in Your Meals
The most popular use for romaine lettuce tends to be in Caesar salad, but there are many more uses. If you decide to have a tuna or turkey sandwich, add some romaine lettuce to boost the nutrient level without a lot of calories. A delicious recipe to try is chicken wraps with romaine lettuce instead of a tortilla. Grill a breast of chicken, add onion, tomatoes and your favorite sauce, then wrap it all in a romaine lettuce leaf. The romaine leaf only has 5 calories, compared to 81 calories in a tortilla.