If you often eat salads or put lettuce in your sandwiches, it’s highly likely that you have taken the pleasure of eating romaine lettuce. Being the most frequently included leafy greens in rinsed and ready-to-eat salad packages, romaine lettuce has then become synonymous with the term salad. Believed to have first been domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean region, the cultivation of this tangy and versatile leaf vegetable had since spread around the world. In the United States, it’s primarily grown in California, making romaine lettuce widely available in the country throughout the year. Romaine lettuce would no doubt make a healthy addition to your diet, but it should still be eaten in moderation for a number of reasons.
Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of romaine lettuce and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.
Romaine Lettuce Benefits:
Romaine lettuce is, first and foremost, a low calorie vegetable. It is high in fiber and water content, too, making it a suitable food for individuals looking to manage or lose weight. Romaine lettuce has heart-healthy benefits, too. As it turns out, the fiber in this leaf vegetable binds with bile acids. The latter are primarily made up of cholesterol which the liver makes to aid in the process of storing fats in the body. When you eat romaine lettuce, its fiber binds with bile acids and both get eliminated via the bowels. Because this is the case, the liver will then have to produce more bile acids, subsequently lowering the body’s overall cholesterol levels.
Romaine lettuce has brain-protective properties as well, as discovered in a Korea-based study. As it turns out, this tangy leaf vegetable has phenolic compounds, specifically caffeic acids. Of the four caffeic acid derivatives studied, it was found that isochlorogenic acid delivered the most potent effect in terms of protecting the brain from oxidative stress.
This leaf vegetable’s brain-protective capacity extends far beyond that of guarding against oxidative stress, as in an India-based study, it was found that romaine lettuce has anxiolytic effects as well. In said study, laboratory mice were subjected to a series of behavioral tests. Those administered with hydro-alcoholic extract from this leaf vegetable showed less biological and physical symptoms of anxiety and panic, and so romaine lettuce may just offer alternative approaches to treating these conditions.
Romaine Lettuce Risks:
Romaine lettuce, much like cucumber, has been in the news for pathogen contamination. Use of unprocessed animal manure as fertilizer, and improper harvest, handling, and packaging methods may all lead to infestation of dangerous pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella.
Romaine lettuce, just like squash, is efficient at toxic heavy metals absorption from the soil via the plant’s roots. Of course, these heavy metals will naturally transfer to the person who eats contaminated romaine lettuce.
It is for these reasons choosing organically grown romaine lettuce is crucial. For one, certified organic farms have to follow strict standards and are mandated to use only correctly processed animal manure as fertilizer, thus your risk of getting exposed to E. coli or Salmonella is lessened. For another, certified organic farms routinely rehabilitate the soil by planting heavy metal-absorbing plants in between planting seasons to ensure the integrity of the organic crops.
Romaine Lettuce Practical Uses:
Washing your romaine lettuce thoroughly is by far the best thing you can do to rule out E. coli and Salmonella exposure. Cut the base of romaine lettuce to easily unbound the leaves. Wash each thoroughly under running water to dislodge the dirt. Place in the salad spinner afterwards to remove any excess water.
For a hearty snack, prepare cubed avocados, lightly steamed snow peas, and broccoli and cauliflower in a salad bowl. Throw in some wholegrain croutons if you want, toss in your favorite dressing, and use whole romaine lettuce leaves as serving dish for a healthy bread-less wrap.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of red lettuce and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of romaine lettuce, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of romaine lettuce.