Lettuce nutrition facts
Lettuce is one of poular green leafy-vegetables. Its crispy, green/crimson-red leaves are one of the incredible sources of essential nutrients that benefit health. Indeed, it is among the most sought-after greens, be it in your crunchy green salads or healthy sandwiches!
Lettuce leaves exude milk-like fluid (sap) when cut, and hence its name derived from Latin lactuca for milk. Botanically this marvelous, nutrition rich leafy green belongs to the daisy family of Asteraceae. Scientific name: Lactuca sativa
Lactuca sativa is a small size annual plant that flourishes well under sandy, humus soil. There are about six varieties of cultivars exist based upon their head formation and leaf structure. Leaf varieties with more bitter taste are rather rich in nutrients as well as antioxidants.
Here are some popular varieties grown around the globe:-
- Butter-head, with loose heads; it has a buttery texture. Butterhead cultivars are most popular and widely grown in Europe.
- Chinese variety or celtuce, generally have long, tapering, non-head forming, strong-flavored leaves unlike its Western counterparts. However, celtuce is grown for its long stem which is employed as vegetable. They are, therefore, preferred in stir-fries and stews.
- Crisp-head variety forms tight, dense heads that resemble cabbage. They are generally the mildest form and valued more for their crunchy texture than flavor. Cultivars of the crisp head are the most familiar type used in the USA.
- Loose-leaf variety features tender, delicate and flavorful leaves with a loose bunch. This group includes green oak leaf, red oak leaf, valeria and lolla-rosa-types.
- Romaine-lettuce grows to a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib almost reaching to the tip of the leaf. Cultivars of Romaine are also the most popular types employed in the USA.
- Summer Crisp variety forms moderately dense heads with a crunchy texture; this type is intermediate between crisp-head and loose-leaf types.