Iceberg lettuce is a crispy kind of lettuce. We eat it raw. But it has not always been this way. In ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, people eat their lettuce well done. We can only hope they did not boil there warm salad too long. Is this vegetable a good candidate to be used in a medicinal way? Unfortunately, unlike with many other vegetables, the answer is this time: no, this lettuce is nutrient deficient. But still it is a good idea to use it!
In traditional Chinese medicine, the colors of medicinal plants are important. Iceberg lettuce has a pale color. Therefore it does not contain so many nutrients. This way of reasoning may seem odd but in fact scientists all over the world conclude that iceberg lettuce does only contain a little nutritional value. It seems that the traditional knowledge has been confirmed.
Don´t forget the enzymes!
Iceberg lettuce does not contain many nutrients when you compare it with other vegetables or types of lettuces. Though, we can find reasons to consume this lettuce still. There are many enzymes in the leafs. We need enzymes to digest our food properly. A western food based diet does not contain enough enzymes. Every form of food processing costs the loss of enzymes. Food in jars and cans contain no enzymes. Therefore, it is good to eat lettuce as side vegetable. Daily raw salads will supply you with enough enzymes.
Folates and lettuce
In a survey, folates in iceberg lettuce were compared to folates in other kinds of lettuces. It turned out that iceberg lettuce had the least amount of folates. Oakleaf, lettuce, butterhead lettuce, frillice lettuce and romaine lettuce were all moderate sources of folates and lollorosso lettuce is a good source. Still, iceberg is the most popular kind of lettuce and therefore the most important source of folates from lettuce in the western world.
Vehicle for nutrient rich food
Iceberg lettuce is fresh and crispy, ideal for a salad. That means you can use food sources of higher nutrient value to accompany with iceberg lettuce. Vegetables like bell peppers, olives, onions and tomatoes can be added to your fresh summer meal. You can vary with salad leafs as well. You can mix lettuce leafs with leafs of healthy plants as Chinese cabbage, dandelion, watercress, spinach and purslane.
Make it a complete meal salad with iceberg lettuce
You can make creative salads with this vegetable. Try boiling chick peas or lentils and cool them down. They are perfect in a salad together with fresh vegetables. You can use iceberg lettuce as a vehicle for vegetable medicines. Mix it with cucumber, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and enjoy your medicine!