Lettuce has long been known as a powerful flab fighter but did you know it also packs above its weight when it comes to combating the sun’s powerful UV rays?
Lettuce comes in 4 main types: crisp head (iceberg and the like), Romaine, Bibb & leaf lettuce, leaf lettuce is the most nutritious.
Obviously like all green plants The Sun is vital it’s growth, but those harsh UV rays are as damaging to fragile lettuce leaves as they are to our skin. Plants have perfected their own natural sun protection by creating a chemical sunscreen which we see in their color rich leaves in shades of red, purple & reddish-brown.
When you tuck into a salad packed with the leaves from a dark leaf lettuce, those same chemicals go to work protecting you from UV light.
The plants generously pass on their protection to become our protection. Look for Leaf lettuce which has most of its leaves open and arrayed to the Sun, giving it lots of surface space that is highly vulnerable to damage from UV light. To combat the damage it creates a high concentration of protective chemicals.
Crisp head lettuce with it’s tightly wrapped leaves hidden deep inside are just the opposite, in fact those inner leaves have only 1% of the antioxidants found in leaf lettuce as only the outermost leaves are exposed to the sun. Bibb and Romaine lettuces expose some outer and leaves to the sun but have incased inner leaves which puts their nutrition levels in the middle of Crisp and Leaf.
Your best bet – opt for the Red leaf varieties because they are rich in anthocyanins