Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Red Lettuce

Red lettuce is a distinct looking leaf vegetable because of its red- or purple-pigmented leaves. Red lettuce is classified as a loose-leaf lettuce because it doesn’t have a tight core, quite unlike other types of lettuces where the leaves grow tight around the stalk. It is suitable for practically all types of salad dishes because of its delicate taste, making it easy to integrate into one’s diet. But while this is the case, reasonable consumption of this leaf vegetable is advised for a variety of factors.

Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of red lettuce and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.

Red Lettuce Benefits:

Much like other salad greens such as romaine lettuce and bok choy, red lettuce is very low in calorie as well, with one 85-gram serving containing only 14 calories. Red lettuce contains lots of fiber and water as well which help in making  one feel full easily. This high-fiber, high-water content aid in facilitating elimination, too, and so provides protection against colorectal cancer.

High-fiber vegetables like red lettuce have heart-protective properties as well through its bile acid- binding activity. Bile acids, which are manufactured by the liver to assist in the fat storage process, are primarily made up of cholesterol. When you eat red lettuce, its fiber binds with bile acids and both get eliminated from the body. The liver will then have to create more bile acids by drawing from the body’s cholesterol reserves, resulting in the overall lowering of cholesterol levels.

The heart-protective properties of red lettuce go far beyond its bile acid-binding activity. In a South Korea-based study, laboratory rats purposely kept at a high-cholesterol diet were given red lettuce for 28 days. As it turns out, the phytonutrients in this salad vegetable have direct antioxidant action as well as function as inducers of antioxidant enzymes and conventional antioxidants like glutathione and beta-carotene, and overall provided support not only to the heart but to the liver and kidneys as well.

Lettuce has been found to have anxiolytic activity, too. In a study conducted in India, laboratory mice were subjected to a variety of behavioral tests. Those given the hydro-alcohol extract of lettuce showed marked decrease in physical and biological symptoms of anxiety and panic, and so this leaf vegetable may just prove to be useful in managing these conditions.

Red Lettuce Risks:

Vegetables typically eaten raw like cucumbers and lettuces have been in the news due to pathogen contamination. Red lettuce, for instance, was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak. Because these vegetables are eaten raw and therefore don’t go through the cooking process, they do not get subjected to heat that aid in eliminating pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. These vegetables are often sold sliced, rinsed, bagged, and ready to eat as well, and so consumers have no way of knowing just how properly these prepared salads were handled.

In an effort to curb foodborne illnesses, applying radiation to produce like red lettuce is now being done as it was found that it’s effective at killing E. coli and inactivating Salmonella. It is crucial to note that studies on the negative effects on both the irradiated produce and the health of those who eat these food items are sparse, and so it might be best to err on the side of caution and steer clear of these altogether.

Red Lettuce Practical Uses:

Minimizing your exposure to pathogenic bacteria is crucial. One way to achieve this is to choose a reputable source of organically grown red lettuce. With industrial farms, you’ve no way of knowing whether the animal manure, which by the way is a potent carrier of pathogens, has been properly processed prior to using it as fertilizer. Organic farms, on the other hand, are mandated to use adequately composted animal manure.

Opting for whole, unwashed red lettuce is a better idea than going for the rinsed and bagged salads as well. To wash, first remove by hand each red lettuce leaf from its stalk. Wash each side under running water, making sure to pay attention to the petioles or leafstalks as well as the crinkly portions of each leaf. Pop in the salad spinner to remove the excess water, and cut to desired serving sizes prior to serving in a salad bowl.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of iceberg 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:

Eat:

Sprouts

Avocados

Olives

Asparagus

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut

Naturally Fermented Pickles

Bok Choy

Collards

Swiss Chard

Kale

Mustard Greens

Nori (Seaweed)

Organic Greens Powder or Capsule

Moderate:

Sweet Potatoes

Yams

Plantains

Potatoes

• Corn

Peas

Carrots

Celery

Cucumber

Squash

Zucchini

Romaine Lettuce

Red Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

• Fennel

Radishes

Avoid:

Canned Vegetables

Non-Organic, Un-Rinsed Vegetables

Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:

Potatoes

Tomatoes

• Peppers

• Garlic

Onions

Eggplant

If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of red 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 red lettuce.