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Nutritional Value of Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce

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Updated July 05, 2014

Red romaine lettuce
Kevin Summers/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

Paul Johnson

Bethany asks, "I eat lettuce every day, but I am not sure which lettuce is better for me? What is better nutritionally, iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce? What other greens would be good for me to eat?"

Iceberg and Romaine lettuce are both great choices when it comes to calories - each has less than 10 calories per cup of fresh leaves. Both greens are also well-suited for any low-fat or low-carb diet.

They're similar in nutritional value, but Romaine lettuce has darker green leaves -- the deeper the color, the better the nutrition. Romaine lettuce has more folate, vitamin K and lutein than iceberg lettuce. Romaine lettuce has a slight edge of iceberg lettuce, so it's probably the better choice.

Nutritional Values for Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce

One cup of iceberg lettuce has:

  • 8.0 calories
  • 0.5 gram protein
  • 0.7 gram fiber
  • 10 milligrams calcium
  • 78 milligrams potassium
  • 1.5 milligrams vitamin C
  • 16 micrograms folate
  • 13.3 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 164 micrograms beta carotene
  • 152 micrograms of lutein + zeaxanthin
One cup of romaine lettuce has:
  • 8.0 calories
  • 0.58 gram protein
  • 1.0 gram fiber
  • 16 milligrams calcium
  • 116 milligrams potassium
  • 11.3 milligrams vitamin C
  • 64 micrograms folate
  • 48.2 micrograms vitamin K
  • 1637 micrograms beta carotene
  • 1,087 micrograms of lutein + zeaxanthin

Salad Ideas -- Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg is a common salad lettuce and it can be a little lifeless and boring, but I've found some recipes from the About.com Food channel that will bring your iceberg lettuce to life:

Don't Want to Forget the Romaine

Romaine has a stronger flavor than iceberg, but it still needs a little dressing up. These recipes -- also from About.com Food -- will make your Romaine soar:

Build a Salad with Better Greens

Iceberg and Romaine lettuce are fine but if you want to boost the nutritional value of your salad, use deep dark green leafy vegetables like raw spinach or kale. They're much richer in vitamins and minerals, but just as low in calories.

Try these amazing kale recipes from About.com Food:

And these delicious spinach salads from About.com Food:

Sources:

Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26. "Basic Report: 11252, Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw." Accessed July 5, 2014. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3049.

Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26. "Basic Report: 11251, Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw." Accessed July 5, 2014. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3048.

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