The American Institute for Cancer Research has identified Romaine lettuce as containing cancer-inhibiting cartenoids.
The word lettuce comes from the name, lactuca, which is Latin for milk; this is due to the white liquid that seeps out when lettuce leaves are broken. Even though they have the same white blood running through their veins, not all lettuce is created equal. The common iceberg lettuce is almost nutritionally useless, compared the deeper green and more nutrient-dense Romaine. When it comes to greens, the darker the color, the richer the nutrients, and more distinct the flavor.
The idea of lettuce being a symbol of health is not new. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed these green leaves held medicinal powers; in fact, the great Caesar Augustus erected a statue to honor lettuce because he was convinced it was responsible for aiding in his recovery from serious illness. Today, there is good science to support his claim.
If you are used to the light taste of iceberg, there may be a little adjustment to the stronger, slightly bitter taste of darker greens like Romaine but, if you’re interested in the biggest nutritional bang for your caloric buck, it’s well worth the adjustment. I have grown to love the sturdy taste of Romaine in my juice, salads, and veggie sandwiches.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Lettuce Juice
Lettuce Juice Nutrition
Even though iceberg lettuce’s impotent taste and nutrition may be perfectly suited as a token garnish for fast food, conversely, the leaves of Romaine, Boston, Bibb, or any dark green edible leaf will be rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals, and are so low in calories you almost don’t have to count them, even on a weight loss program. A minuscule 14 calories (85g) of Romaine will provide 148% of your daily need of vitamin A, 34% of vitamin C and 5% of iron. Romaine is also an excellent source of vitamin K, thiamin, folate, potassium, and manganese, and a good source of riboflavin, calcium, vitamin B6, copper, and magnesium. So juice all you want—and often!
Lettuce Juice is an excellent source of:
- Vitamin A (beta-carotene)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Folate Acid
Lettuce Juice is a good source of:
- Vitamin B6
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Lettuce Juice
The American Institute for Cancer Research has identified Romaine, among other greens, as containing cancer-inhibiting cartenoids. The mix of sulfur, chlorine, silicon, and B complex in Romaine contributes to hair growth, healthy skin, and defense against lung cancer. Let’s not forget the energizing and blood-rebuilding chlorophyll found in Romaine, especially the dark outer leaves.
Preparing for Juicing
Even though a little inconvenient, dirty lettuce is a good sign that it was grown in real dirt, which will translate into a higher concentration of minerals. Rinse leaves individually under tap. I have fitted my tap with a sprayer nozzle, saving water and time. Push leaves through the juicer with a carrot.
I have spent over twenty years juicing thousands of pounds of produce and tried just about ever juicer on the market. I can confidently say that our Juice Nut Top Pick Juicers are the very best in workmanship, warranty, juice yield and juice quality. I’m nuts about these juicers!
Lettuce Juice Tips
First impressions can be very important when introducing your family to healthier foods. A trick to help with the transition from useless iceberg to rich Romaine is to start with Romaine hearts. They are the inner leaves of the head and are lighter in color and taste. Once your family becomes accustomed to the slightly stronger flavor of Romaine hearts, they will be more willing to move onto the whole Romaine head, which is a mix of dark and light green leaves.
Picking Perfect Produce
Look for the heaviest heads promising the highest yield of juice. Leaves should be crisp with no dark spots. The darker green, the better.
Storing Your Produce
Romaine will keep for 3 to 5 days in the crisper. If too long in the fridge, don’t discard; simply remove the wilted outer leaves.
Lettuce is a wonderful addition to any vegetable juice. Throw away those unhealthy energy drinks! Adding green to any juice will inject chlorophyll, providing a boost of get-up-and-go.