The greener the leaf, the more nutrients it provides, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Green leaf lettuce makes a nutrient-dense choice, and for those young eaters who may be a little picky, it also has a milder taste than other greens. Just 1 cup delivers fiber, iron and B vitamins together with a boost of several other vitamins.
Green leaf lettuce contains vitamin A in the form of three carotenoids: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene is converted into the type of vitamin A that’s needed for normal vision and to support the immune system. You may not think of your skin as part of the immune system, but it forms a barrier that’s the first line of defense against bacteria. Mucous in the respiratory tract is the next barrier encountered by pathogens. Vitamin A is needed to synthesize mucous and to build the proteins that maintain skin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that protect your retina and may prevent age-related macular degeneration. One cup of shredded, green leaf lettuce has 88 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A