A leafy green that is consumed by many people of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds, iceberg lettuce is commonly used in sandwiches, salads, and other food dishes. Though it is considered a low-calorie food, gram for gram, iceberg lettuce generally has fewer calories than other darker, leafy greens. A cup of diced lettuce has about 7 calories.
Iceberg lettuce is a viable source of vitamin A, also called retinol, which promotes healthy eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. The vitamin is known to specifically help the eyes focus in low-light settings. Regular consumption of iceberg lettuce has been noted to slow down the formation of cancerous tumors, with vitamin A inhibiting rogue DNA from forming cancerous cells.
Iron is another important nutrient found in iceberg lettuce, and can help to fortify the body’s cells with oxygen. As a key component to the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce, iron wards off anemia, a condition where the body has a low blood count. Low iron deficiency can potentially cause weakness and fatigue, so eating iceberg lettuce will help to replenish iron stores within the body.
Calcium, a mineral used to help with bone growth, is naturally found in iceberg lettuce. Adding to the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce, calcium can be beneficial for growing children, who are still in the developmental stage of their lives. Elderly people can also benefit from the calcium found in iceberg lettuce, with the mineral helping to ward off osteoporosis.
Potassium found in lettuce can help prevent stroke, lower blood pressure, facilitate muscle growth, and improve kidney and heart functions. This electrolyte contributes to healthy muscle contractions and to fluid balance within the body. The potassium adds to the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce and has been noted to improve nerve function as well.
Beta carotene, a type of phytonutrient most often associated with carrots, is another part of the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce. Commonly found in leafy greens, beta carotene improves the functions of the immune system. Consuming iceberg lettuce is beneficial for individuals who have compromised immune systems.
Due to its relatively low calorie count, iceberg lettuce can be a beneficial diet staple for any individual who is on a weight-loss program. Large amounts of the lettuce can be consumed, subsequently filling up the stomach and making the person feel full for long periods of time. Lettuce tends to be fibrous with a high water content, which lends to its ability to make the stomach feel full.