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The Nutrition of Romaine Lettuce

Fitday Editor
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The nutrition of romaine lettuce is often missed. Because iceberg lettuce doesn't contain a measurable amount of nutrients, people assume that the same is true of all lettuce. Romaine lettuce actually contains many essential vitamins and other nutrients. The benefits of eating romaine lettuce range from boosting your immune system to lowering your blood pressure to increasing weight loss. This article discusses the nutrition of romaine lettuce and 5 nutrients it contains to promote health and well being.

1. Fiber

The fiber found in romaine lettuce will not only help you to feel satiated, but it will reduce your blood cholesterol. The fiber found in romaine lettuce promotes a healthy colon by easing digestion and protecting your colon from colorectal cancer. Adults should consume approximately 30 grams of fiber a day for optimum health. Fiber can also be a diet aid, because it can inhibit fat absorption and help you feel full without increasing your caloric intake.

2. Folate

Folate is a B vitamin which is found in various leafy green vegetables, like romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce contains 136ug of folate per serving. Folate is important for energy and it also regulates mood. Folate has been implicated in the prevention of neurological disease, such as Alzheimer's disease. Folate can also decrease depression and anxiety. A deficiency in folate can cause irritability, fatigue, mental confusion and gum disease. Folate deficiency has also been linked to birth defects, so it is essential for pregnant women to consume enough leafy green vegetables.

3. Carotenoids

Carotenoids are antioxidants which protect your cells from damage. Carotenoids are especially important for the health and protection of your eyes. Romaine lettuce specifically contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are thought to prevent ocular diseases such as Macular Degeneration. Additionally, the carotenoid nutrition found in romaine lettuce can also reduce some of the adverse effects of smoking (if you were formerly a smoker). Carotenoids can repair damaged tissue.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Romaine lettuce contains 24mg of vitamin C per serving. This essential antioxidant found in romaine lettuce protects your body from foreign invaders and promotes healthy tissue growth. In addition to strengthening your immune system, vitamin C is thought to reduce inflammation in the body and increase your pain threshold. This is especially important if you are an athlete and/or suffer from chronic pain.

5. Saponins

Saponins are phytochemicals found in leafy green vegetables, like romaine lettuce. Saponins have numerous health benefits including lowering cholesterol and increasing your immune system health. Saponins help to lower cholesterol by removing LDL cholesterol from your intestine and making absorption of cholesterol difficult. Saponins have a special antioxidant-like property which decreases your risk of contracting a parasite infection.

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