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I would like to know how many varieties of lettuce are they in the market. And what nutrients are dominat in the lettuce family. I like your website.Renee

Though there are probably hundreds of varieties of lettuces, they all basically can be categorized into 5 main categories:  butterhead, crisphead (Iceberg), looseleaf, Romaine (Cos) and stem.



Butterhead lettuces include

Boston and Bibb.  They are loose heads and have a sweet, mild flavor.



Crisphead or Iceberg lettuces also have a mild flavor, but have tight, pale-green, cabbage-like heads.



Looseleaf lettuces don’t form heads, but rather are loose packed leaves joined at the stem.  They are typically ruffled leaves with dark green or deep red edges.



Romaine or Cos lettuces have long, deep green leaves formed into loaf-shaped heads.


Stem lettuces are also known as Chinese lettuce and have thick, edible stems about 6 to 8” long.  The flavor is mild and is sometimes described as a “nutty cucumber”.



Many salad greens are mixed in convenient bags these days and are quite convenient and tasty.  Generally, the darker the lettuce, the more nutrients but my family likes the crunch of iceberg. Since we add other veggies to our iceberg salads, I don’t worry that iceberg isn’t as dark as some other lettuces. Without the crunch of iceberg, they wouldn’t be eating the salad. Many of the darker lettuces and greens are excellent sources of beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) and good sources of folate.  They can also be considered dietary sources of vitamin C, calcium and iron—though not significant sources of these nutrients. And there are many natural compounds in fruits and veggies, called phytochemicals, that are beneficial to health but are not yet completely understood.



Be creative and create your own colorful salads starting with a mixture of different lettuces/greens and lots of chopped up veggies, dried fruit and even some nuts!



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