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Lettuce – food facts

Lettuce is a vegetable that belongs to the sunflower family. It originates from Mediterranean region. Lettuce was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who turned it from a weed, into a food plant grown for its succulent leaves.

The top lettuce growing states are California and Arizona

Varieties: Iceberg, Romaine and Leaf lettuce are the best known varieties of lettuce. They differ in color, texture and in the amount of nutrients.

Related: Artichokes, Chamomile

Harvest season in the LV: May to November

Growing Conditions: Lettuce prefers colder climate, which postpones development of flowers and ensures proper development of leaves. Lettuce can be cultivated in the ground or in the water.

Pollination: Self-pollinated.

Cooking/Preparation required: Best raw. Lettuce can be consumed in the form of salads or as an ingredient of sandwiches. It can be also used for the wrapping of food.

Fertilizers or pesticides: Lettuces are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food such as Imidacloprid and Mandipropamide.

Nutrients: Lettuce provides dietary fiber, vitamins A, B9 and C and minerals such as calcium, iron and copper. Darker varieties provide more nutrients than light green varieties.

Health considerations: Low in calories and almost no fat. High in fiber and cellulose. Helps with insomnia, low glycemic index, heart healthy.

NOTE:

Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results.

‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ ratings do not necessarily apply to produce grown on local farms — you need to check with the farmer to determine if and when any fertilizers or pesticides were applied.