Let-tuce Keep You Healthy

by Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Let-tuce Keep You Healthy

Next to potatoes, lettuce is the most popular veggie in the United States. Which leafy greens go into your salads?

Dark-green leafy greens offer plenty of the antioxidant beta carotene (forms vitamin A) — which may help protect you from cancer and may slow aging — and the antioxidant vitamin C. The darker the leaves, the more nutrient-rich the lettuce. (Romaine has seven times more vitamin A and C than iceberg lettuce.) Some greens deliver folate, potassium and fiber, too. Greens supply lutein, which contributes to good vision and may help protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. And, leafy greens fill a plate with few calories and essentially no fat (except what's added with dressing).

Perk up your salad making with more flavor, color and texture by mixing in different greens.

  • For a peppery flavor: arugula or watercress
  • For leaves that aren't green: red-and-white radicchio
  • For flavor with a "bite": chicory or escarole
  • For a mild flavor and delicate green color: mache, Boston or Bibb lettuce
  • For a deep-green color: spinach
  • For a crisp texture: Romaine
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About the author:

Roberta L Duyff MS RDN FAND

Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Author of "Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Fourth Edition" and "365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association" (both published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey).




  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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