Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia

Romaine Lettuce

Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia, better known as Romaine Lettuce, originates from the Mediterranean and North Africa. Its name is derived from a Latin word meaning milky juice; referring to liquid obtained from leaves. From the times of the ancient Egypt, romaine lettuce has been used for culinary and cultural purposes. Romaine lettuce has gained tremendous importance over decades of years due to its taste and nutrient rich properties. 

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NUTRITIONAL FACTS: ROMAINE LETTUCE

Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia, better known as Romaine Lettuce, originates from the Mediterranean and North Africa. Its name is derived from a Latin word meaning milky juice; referring to liquid obtained from leaves. From the times of the ancient Egypt, romaine lettuce has been used for culinary and cultural purposes. Romaine lettuce has gained tremendous importance over decades of years due to its taste and nutrient rich properties.

There 12 KEY Benefits of adding romaine lettuce to your diet. These are listed below.

Benefits of adding Romaine Lettuce to your diet. 12 Key advantages of Romaine Lettuce in Science and Research. by Dr Lackenby

1. ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES Antioxidants act by neutralizing the harmful molecules which are produced in response to negative factors like smoking, environmental, emotional and physical stress, disease conditions, alcohol abuse etc. They therefore exhibit a positive impact on our health and have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and aging. Romaine lettuce has anti-oxidant compounds. Flavonoids and phenolic compounds contribute to its anti-oxidant properties.

2. ANTI-FUNGAL
Shown to have anti-fungal properties due to the presence of terpenes and carotenoids found in romaine lettuce.

3. PROMOTES HEALTHY VISION
Presence of carotenoids (plant pigments) and vitamin A has strong effect on eye sight. Carotenoids are beneficial due to their anti-oxidant effect and ability to be converted to vitamin A.

4. ANTI-AGING
Antioxidant activity and ability to scavenge free radicals, contributes to anti-aging properties.

5. PREVENTS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Vitamin C and A are also strong anti-oxidants present in romaine lettuce. They act by oxidizing cholesterol and contributing towards reducing the cholesterol levels in blood, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. ANTI-CANCER
Lettuce has strong anti-tumor activity and has shown to decrease oxidative stress . Anti-cancer activity is due to the presence of antioxidants.

7. NEUROPROTECTIVE
Studies have shown that daily consumption of romaine lettuce has a strong neuroprotective effect. This property is attributed to the presence of isochlorogenic acid which has stronger neuroprotective activity than other derivatives.

8 ANALGESIC & ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
This plant has anti-inflammatory properties. The seed extract from romaine lettuce has shown analgesic and anti- inflammatory activity. This may be due to the presence of phenols and terpenoids.

9. ANTI-DIABETIC
Lettuce has shown anti-diabetic effects due to the presence of carotenoids with some anti-diabetic properties. This means they help lower the blood glucose levels in addition to the intake of lettuce which is low in sugars, this helps maintain blood sugar.

10. ANTI-ANXEITY
Scientists have reported the anxiolytic effects of lettuce. Anxiolytic agents inhibit anxiety. Studies also reveal that lettuce is a source of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants also act to inhbit or decrease anxiety levels by decreasing the oxidative stress build up by harmful free radicals.

11. STRENGTHENS BONES
Daily consumption of romaine lettuce can prevent osteoporosis which is the process of bone degeneration making the bones weak. Romaine lettuce being a natural source of calcium and vitamin K helps in preventing bone loss . Vitamin K even in lower doses helps to promote bone health.

12. DEPRESSANT / SEDATIVE
In 1986 a component was isolated from the stems of lettuce leaves. This agent was shown to have sedative effects and it also lowered the heart rate during tachycardia and normal heart rate.

Phytochemical constituents of Romaine Lettuce:
Lopez A et al (2014) studied various varieties of romaine lettuce to evaluate their anti oxidant capacity. The constituents present in romaine lettuce are;

  • Phenolic compunds : chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid derivatives
  • Flavonoids (these are basically plant chemicals)as quercetin
  • Among carotenoids (plant pigments attributing color and health benfits), β-carotene was the major. Others are lutein, lactucaxanthin, violaxanthin and neoxanthin
  • Vitamin C and Folate

Buying Romaine Lettuce:
Easily available in most supermarkets or farmers' makerts. 

  • Look for fresh leaves
  • Purchase heads that are firm with tightly closed leaves Avoid dry or brown leaves
  • Avoid dry or brown leaves

Preparation of Romaine Lettuce:
How to prepare Romaine lettuce. 

  • Remove any bruised or discard leaves
  • Wash under cool running water to remove any dirt
  • Dry the leaves using paper towels
  • Cut the leaves using a knife or tear them with your hands (true paleo).

Storage of Romaine Lettuce:
How to store Romaine lettuce. 

  • Once dry, store whole head of romaine lettuce enclosed in a plastic in the fridge
  • Ensure leaves are dry and pack in tightly sealed container and place in the fridge.
  • Romaine Lettuce should last for at least a week long in the fridge if stored appropriately.

Issues Concerning Romaine Lettuce:  

  • When growing Romaine Lettuce, use of unprocessed animal manure as fertilizer and improper harvesting, handling and packaging may lead to pathological infestations like E-coli and Salmonella.
  • Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC, 2018) issued a warning against use of romaine lettuce due to the outbreak of E coli infections in US.
  • Symptoms of E coli infections are diarrhoea, vomiting and bloody stools.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS ROMAINE LETTUCE  

NUTRIENT

Calories (kcal)

  • Protein
  • Total Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Sugar
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E

Value/100g

18

  • 1.18g
  • Nil
  • 3.5g
  • 2.4g
  • 1.18g
  • 24mg
  • 0.85mg
  • 200mg
  • 6mg
  • 4.2mg
  • 7647 IU
  • 102.5 mcg
  • 0.13mg

From the Keto CookBook by Dr Lackenby

Salmon and Rocket Salad with Romaine lettuce

Ingredients for Salad:




  • ¼ cup romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup spinach

  • ¼ cup rocket / arugula 
  • A sprinkle of pepper 
  • 1 slice smoked salmon
  • ½ cup sugar



Macros:



  • Carbohydrates - 1.5 grams net

  • Fats
 - 1.6 grams
  • Protein - 5.8 grams
  • Calories - 55 calories

This salad is great if you are in a rush but want something delicious, healthy and keto diet friendly. If you have any remaining green leaves and salmon you can throw them together. 

Lettuce, Spinach and Arugula/ Rocket are not only Keto Diet Friendly, they are packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Smoked Salmon is a great source of protein and omega fish oils.
  
Lettuce - High levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Folate (in particular romaine lettuce). 
Spinach - High levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Potassium, Phosphorus. 
Arugula / Rocket - High levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Folate, Manganese, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron 
Salmon - High Levels of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Omega 3 fatty Acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), Selenium, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6, Iodine, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin.

Antioxidants
They are molecules that fight damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that react with other structures such as cells or DNA and cause damage to them. Antioxidant levels in salmon are high, suggesting benefits against oxidative damage in the body. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant generally present in krill oil but not fish. It is a colorful carotenoid antioxidant is responsible for the red color observed in salmon meat, cooked shellfish, and certain krill oil supplements. Astaxanthin lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing oxidation of LDL (the "bad") cholesterol and increasing HDL (the "good") cholesterol. Astaxanthin is thought to work with salmon's omega-3 fatty acids to protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation. 

Antioxidants in lettuce are vitamin C and Beta carotene. 
 

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salmon salad

This salad is great if you are in a rush but want something delicious, healthy and keto diet friendly. If you have any remaining green leaves and salmon you can throw them together. Lettuce, Spinach and Arugula/ Rocket are not only Keto Diet Friendly, they are packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. Smoked Salmon is a great source of protein and omega fish oils.

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romaine lettuce

Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia, better known as Romaine Lettuce, originates from the Mediterranean and North Africa. Its name is derived from a Latin word meaning milky juice; referring to liquid obtained from leaves. From the times of the ancient Egypt, romaine lettuce has been used for culinary and cultural purposes. Romaine lettuce has gained tremendous importance over decades of years due to its taste and nutrient rich properties.

kale

Brassica Oleracea var. acephala. Kale is an extremely nutritious vegetable. Its biological activity is attributed to the presence of various phytochemicals which mainly act as anti oxidants. Kale reduces cholesterol level in blood due to its high fiber content and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis (cholesterol build up inside arteries) and heart attacks.

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