Green leaf lettuce is just one variety of a number of lettuces categorized as leaf lettuces, a type characterized by crisp leaves that are loosely attached to a stalk. Leaf lettuce is a natural for salads because it offers a mild flavor and pleasing texture. Choosing bright or dark leafy greens over pale iceberg lettuce can help you obtain essential nutrients.
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Vitamin A supports vision health, along with the health of your skin, bones and mucous membranes. One cup of shredded green leaf lettuce contains 2,665 IU of vitamin A. Adult men need 3,000 IU of vitamin A daily and adult women need 2,310 IU daily. The type of vitamin A in green leaf lettuce is provitamin A carotenoid, which the body must convert into retinol to provide you with health benefits.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that assists with tissue repair and immunity. Antioxidants help scavenge free radicals in the body that contribute to the signs of aging and may cause disease. Green leaf lettuce provides 6.5 mg per cup of shredded leaves. The average adult man needs about 90 mg daily and the average adult woman, 75 mg.
Vitamin K supports your blood’s clotting mechanism and may protect against osteoporosis. Green leaf lettuce offers 62.5 micrograms per shredded cup, more than half of the recommended daily value of 90 micrograms.
The B complex of vitamins helps your body’s red blood cell function and supports your ability to metabolize food into energy. Green leaf lettuce provides 1 to 3 percent of five of the eight B vitamins, specifically vitamin B-6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folate.
Green leaf lettuce contains small amounts of several minerals. One shredded cup provides 13 mg of calcium, 0.3 mg of iron and 4.7 mg of magnesium. It also offers 10 mg of phosphorus, 70 mg of potassium and 0.1 mg of manganese.