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Iceberg lettuce (crisphead group), raw, organic?

With its crunchy leaves and refreshing taste, raw iceberg lettuce from the Crisphead group is a popular leaf salad. Organic quality?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 74.06%
Macronutrient proteins 22.44%
Macronutrient fats 3.49%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Iceberg lettuce or iceberg lettuce ( Lactuca sativa var. capitata nidus tenerimma , Crisphead group) is low in calories but contains few vitamins and nutrients.

Use in the kitchen

Iceberg lettuce is characterized by very firm, closed heads. The leaves are dark green on the outside and become lighter towards the middle. The inner leaves in particular, which can no longer unfold, are crisp and mild in taste. Batavia lettuce , on the other hand, which also belongs to the crisphead group, has an open head and curled leaves.

Iceberg lettuce combines well with other salads, such aslettuce or romaine lettuce , as well as any kind of raw vegetable. Ingredients with a more intense flavor, such as radishes , rocket or romaine lettuce , are ideal. However, it also goes well withsweetcorn kernels and cherry tomatoes . An oil-free salad dressing can easily be made with walnuts - either as a light vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar or as a dressing with orange juice and ginger . Alternatively, an oil-free dressing can be made from avocado and lemon . Ingredients with earthy notes, e.g. walnuts , hazelnuts , potatoes or lentils, can refine the vegan salad.

Garnished with grilled vegetables such as eggplant , zucchini and sweet peppers and optionally supplemented with cashew cheese or vegan mozzarella, iceberg lettuce is a varied main meal. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and onions together with a raw vegan patty made from sweet potatoes or portobello with eggplant make a delicious vegan burger.

Iceberg lettuce can also be used for vegan raw food smoothies, such as the apple-banana smoothie with spinach and lettuce .

Vegan recipe for summer rolls with iceberg lettuce and vegetables

Ingredients (for 4 servings): 15 sheets of rice paper, 1 iceberg lettuce, 2 carrots , 1 cucumber , 1 avocado , 1 mango , 50 g coriander leaves , 1 handful of sprouts ( mung bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts ).

Preparation: Wash the iceberg lettuce, spin dry in a salad spinner and cut into strips. Wash the carrots and cucumber and cut into strips. Peel the mango and avocado and cut the flesh into strips. Wash and roughly chop the coriander leaves. Wash the sprouts and dry them well. Fill a deep, large plate with water. Pull a sheet of rice paper through the water and place on a plate or board. Place the ingredients in the middle of the sheet. Fold the right and left outer sides of the rice paper over the filling. Then place the bottom side of the rice paper over the filling, roll the sheet up tightly from bottom to top and press the seam firmly. Repeat the whole process with the remaining rice paper sheets.

Miang Kham sauce ( ingredient notes), soy sauce or an oil-free vinaigrette are suitable as a dip for the summer rolls.

Vegan recipes with iceberg lettuce can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Iceberg lettuce can usually be found in the range of large supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Billa , Edeka or Hofer , occasionally also in controlled organic quality (organic quality). Iceberg lettuce can also be bought in organic supermarkets such as Denn's Biomarkt or Alnatura and seasonally at the weekly market. In Central Europe, iceberg lettuce has its main harvest season from May to October as an outdoor product. Outside of the season, the lettuce is grown in greenhouses, which is why it can be found in stores almost all year round.

The availability of iceberg lettuce in the supermarkets mentioned varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. If you are interested, click on our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries (above under the ingredient image). There you will find current prices from various supermarkets and their price development.

Storage tips

Compared to other lettuces, iceberg lettuce can be stored for a long time and remains crisp. In the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator and wrapped in paper, foil or a damp tea towel, iceberg lettuce will keep for around 1 to 2 weeks after harvest. 1

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Iceberg lettuce (raw) contains 14 kcal per 100 g and is therefore very low in calories. It consists mainly of water. The protein content is low at 0.9 g/100g and there is also hardly any fat at 0.14 g/100g. Of the 3 g/100g carbohydrates, 2 g are sugar. 2

Does iceberg lettuce contain fiber? Iceberg lettuce contains little fiber, at 1.2 g/100g. Endive and chicory have significantly more fiber, both containing 3.1 g of fiber per 100 g. 2

Raw iceberg lettuce contains 24 µg/100g of vitamin K (32% of the daily requirement). This is low compared to other salads.Lettuce and romaine lettuce contain 102 µg/100g and rocket 109 µg/100g, which covers around 136% and 145% of the daily requirement of vitamin K respectively. More vitamin K is contained in kale (705 µg/100g) and chard (830 µg/100g), both of which can also be eaten as a salad. 2

Green salad is known for its high folate (folic acid) content. However, unlike other salads, iceberg lettuce contains little of it: 29 µg/100g, which is 15% of the daily requirement. There is also little folate inlettuce (73 µg/100g). In contrast, romaine lettuce with 136 µg and endive with 142 µg contain a lot of folate. 100 g of romaine lettuce can cover 68% of the daily folic acid requirement, and 100 g of endive even 71%. 2

Potassium is also present in iceberg lettuce at 141 mg/100g, which covers 7% of the daily requirement. More potassium is found inlettuce (238 mg/100g) and romaine lettuce (247 mg/100g). Rocket with 369 mg and lamb's lettuce with 459 mg per 100g have significantly higher values. This corresponds to a coverage of 18% and 23% of the daily requirement. Good sources of potassium are pulses and nuts, for example almonds (733 mg/100g) or chickpeas (718 mg/100g), which cover 37% and 36% of the daily requirement respectively. 2

You can find all the ingredients of iceberg lettuce, how much it covers your daily needs and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables below the ingredient image.

Health effects

How healthy is iceberg lettuce? Iceberg lettuce is low in calories and can therefore help you lose weight. Studies show that eating a large portion of lettuce without any other ingredients and with a low-calorie dressing before the main meal helps you lose weight in the long term. By eating the lettuce, you eat less of the main meal, which reduces the total amount of calories consumed per meal. 5 Since iceberg lettuce, unlike other lettuces, contains little fiber, it is best combined with high-fiber varieties such as endive and chicory.

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Ice leaf lettuce contains nitrate like other leaf and root vegetables, as it needs this as a source of nitrogen for growth. In contrast to other leaf lettuces, however, this is rather small. 16

Nitrate is converted into nitrite in food or in the body. 3 High nitrite levels are problematic for infants, as they can disrupt the transport of oxygen in the blood. 6,15 Adults have less to fear from this effect of nitrite on the blood. Nitrite can also combine with certain amino acids to form so-called nitrosamines, which are considered carcinogenic. 6 This is why nitrate and nitrite have fallen into disrepute. However, if the nitrate in the diet comes from vegetables, it also has numerous positive effects on health (for more information, see Batavia lettuce ). 13 If you still want to consume as little nitrate as possible, you should choose seasonal organic iceberg lettuce (for more information, see Cultivation Harvest).

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The ecological CO2 footprint of iceberg lettuce is between 0.5-0.6 CO 2 eq per head of lettuce. It is usually grown outdoors, which in itself saves emissions from operating and heating greenhouses. However, the young plants of spring lettuce, which are available as early as May, come from heated greenhouses, and their ecological footprint is correspondingly higher than that of summer lettuce. In addition, fleece coverings are often used to protect spring produce from the weather. 19

The amount of water needed to produce 1 kg of lettuce is quite low at 237 liters and is similar to that of spinach (292 liters) or onions (272 liters). 20 When shopping, it is best to look for regional, organically grown produce, ideally choosing unpackaged iceberg lettuce. This saves the often used plastic packaging and you can store the iceberg lettuce (see storage tips) in the refrigerator for a long time without unnecessary use of plastic. In order to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible, it is best to only buy iceberg lettuce from June onwards. 19

In order to meet agreed delivery quantities and deadlines, iceberg lettuce producers calculate with a sales quota of around 70 percent. This also takes into account losses and damage caused by wild animals, weather events, rot, etc. This can, however, lead to an oversupply of iceberg lettuce. In this case, however, the lettuce can simply be left in the fields and worked into the soil as a natural fertilizer. 18

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

W. Atlee Burpee & Company (now Burpee Seed Co.) first cultivated iceberg lettuce in the USA in 1894. In contrast to Batavia lettuce, which also belongs to the Crisphead group, iceberg lettuce has a firm, closed head. 7

Iceberg lettuce and other leaf lettuces are grown worldwide, with China, the USA and India being the main growing areas in 2020. 17 In Europe, iceberg lettuce is mainly grown in Spain, Italy, France and southern Germany. 1 Iceberg lettuce is the most consumed lettuce in Switzerland. 12

Found in the wild

Iceberg lettuce is a cultivated group of varieties of garden lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ) that does not occur in the wild. Cultivated garden lettuce can be traced back to several wild forms, with spiny lettuce ( Lactuca serriola ) being the closest relative. 10 This grows in the warm temperate zones of southern Europe and western Asia, but is spreading further and further into northern Europe. 11

Cultivation - Harvest

Iceberg lettuce can be grown well in the garden bed, balcony box or in a pot. It prefers a sunny to partially shaded location. The soil should be loose and permeable, and have a high humus and nutrient content. Iceberg lettuce can be grown indoors or in a greenhouse from the end of February. Sowing outdoors and planting out the seedlings takes place from mid-May. Iceberg lettuce can be sown and planted out until the end of July. Plant the seeds in seed furrows 0.5 to 1 cm deep and 25 to 30 cm apart. Lettuces are light germinators, which is why they should only be covered very lightly with soil. If necessary, separate young plants. Regular watering, weed removal and loosening the soil are important for the lettuce to grow well. 1 After a relatively long cultivation period of eleven to twelve weeks, the iceberg lettuce is ready for harvest. Production is complex because the lettuce cannot (yet) be harvested mechanically. At the moment, lettuce is still harvested by hand. 14 As soon as the leaves around the head are fully developed, the lettuce can be harvested whole. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut off the head and stalk just above the ground. 1

Organically grown iceberg lettuce contains lower nitrate levels than conventionally grown lettuce because synthetic fertilizers are not used. Seasonal organic iceberg lettuce grown outdoors also contains less nitrate than that grown in a greenhouse because sunlight breaks down the nitrate stored in the lettuce. 4

Further information

Iceberg lettuce ( Lactuca sativa var. capitata nidus tenerimma ) belongs to the genus of lettuce ( Lactuca ), which belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae). Cultivated garden lettuce is divided into several groups: Crisphead group (iceberg lettuce and Batavia lettuce ), Cos group ( romaine lettuce ) and Butterhead group (head lettuce ). Cut and picked lettuces (e.g. oak leaf and Lollo rossa/bionda) are also becoming increasingly popular. 1

Why is iceberg lettuce called 'iceberg lettuce'? Bruce Church, founder of Fresh Express, was responsible for popularizing the idea of transporting lettuce from the west to the east coast of the USA. To ensure that it arrived fresh even after thousands of kilometers, the crisphead lettuce heads were covered with ice. The name iceberg lettuce quickly became established among consumers; Church may have invented it himself for marketing purposes. 8,9

Alternative names

Iceberg lettuce is also called Eissalat, Krachsalat or in Austria Bummersalat. In English it is called Iceberg Lettuce or Crisphead Lettuce.

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