Iceberg lettuce is the most popular among lettuce varieties consumed in the United States. Formerly called crisphead lettuce, this leaf vegetable purportedly earned its modern name in the 1930s when East Coast residents would excitedly wait for the shipment from California covered in ice, and would call out eagerly that the “icebergs are coming” as trains carrying the crop pulled into each stop. Most of us love it for its characteristic crunch. However, eating iceberg lettuce in reasonable amounts is still advised for a number of reasons.
Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of iceberg lettuce and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.
Iceberg Lettuce’s Benefits:
Iceberg lettuce’s characteristic crunch is due to its considerable water content. Aside from this, iceberg lettuce is practically calorie-free and full of fiber, too, and so one can eat lots of this leaf vegetable and feel adequately full without the worry of high caloric content. These characteristics of iceberg lettuce are what make it a great addition to a diet regimen specifically created for weight loss purposes.
Fiber facilitates cleansing of the digestive tract as well and so eating iceberg lettuce and other high-fiber salad greens like romaine lettuce and red lettuce helps protect against colorectal cancer. Fiber provides natural protection against cardiovascular diseases, too, because of its inherent capability to bind with bile acids in the digestive tract. Bile acids, which are predominantly made from cholesterol, assist in the body’s fat storage process. When you eat iceberg lettuce, its fiber sticks with bile acids and both get excreted via the bowels. Because bile acid levels decreased as a result of the elimination, more of these will have to be made by the liver by taking from the existing cholesterol reserves, resulting in the overall lowering of the latter’s levels in the body.
Iceberg lettuce was also one of the subjects of a Spain-based study and it was found that this leaf vegetable contains measurable amounts of phenolic compounds that serve as antioxidants in the body. Aside from phenolic compounds, iceberg lettuce contains hydro-alcohols that have anxiolytic properties, too. In an India-based study, mice were made to go through numerous behavioral tests. Those given hydro-alcohols from iceberg lettuce exhibited less biological and physical manifestations of panic and anxiety, and so this unassuming leaf vegetable may just provide alternative treatment approaches to managing stress.
Iceberg Lettuce’s Risks:
Iceberg lettuce is one of the fifty fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue, this according to the Environmental Working Group. Among the harmful petrochemicals identified are perchlorate and nitrate, as well as pharmaceutical and personal care products residue, which stay well in the leaf tissues of the contaminated iceberg lettuce.
Unsafe farming and handling methods result in E. coli- or Salmonella-contaminated iceberg lettuce, too. And in an effort to minimize the risk of foodborne diseases, irradiation of this leaf vegetable was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Iceberg lettuce was discovered to have similar allergens like those present in carrots as well and individuals with food-related symptoms like atopic dermatitis may want to steer clear of this salad greens.
Iceberg Lettuce’s Practical Uses:
Minimizing exposure to harmful petrochemical residue is of utmost importance and so opt for organically grown iceberg lettuce whenever you can. Organic farms are required to use sufficiently composted animal manure as fertilizer, too, and so when you choose produce from these farms, your exposure to E. coli and Salmonella may be lessened as well. Washing iceberg lettuce thoroughly under running water must be done as well so that you don’t contract foodborne diseases.
For a satisfying cold salad, mix shredded carrots and iceberg lettuce, diced cucumber, thinly sliced radishes, and chopped mint leaves in a glass bowl of cooked and cooled rice noodles. Toss with dressing made from lemon juice, ginger juice, minced garlic, fish sauce and chopped cilantro, and sprinkle your choice of coarsely chopped raw nuts.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of radishes and how to moderately use said vegetables 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 iceberg 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 iceberg lettuce.