Which vegetables are the least nutritious?

The lettuce lie - how healthy are the leaves?

Nutrients: lettuce versus carrots and co

Salad is 95 percent water. In terms of its ingredients, lettuce actually does worse than other vegetables. It has about less provitamin A - a precursor of vitamin A - and vitamin C than tomatoes or carrots.

Salad, on the other hand, contains more folic acid than other vegetables. This is a vitamin that prevents malformations in babies, for example. In addition, the secondary plant substances from lettuce are said to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer.

However, the nutritional content of lettuce varies from variety to variety. Chicory, endive and radicchio in particular are rich in vitamins and minerals.

When is salad healthy?

How healthy a salad is depends on when it is harvested. If you want to eat salad, you should always choose the seasonal variety. In spring the time of the Batavia and the green salads begins. Lettuce from German open-field cultivation is available from the beginning of May to November.

In winter, however, lettuce has neither taste nor vitamins. In the cold season, the classic winter varieties such as lamb's lettuce, chicory or radicchio should therefore be on the table.

In addition, the fresher the better. The salad that comes fresh from the field still contains many flavors and ingredients. It is therefore best to buy regional organic produce.

Contaminated raw food

Pollutants, for example nitrate, can accumulate in lettuce and vegetables. The plants absorb the substance from the soil as they need it to grow.

Nitrate is initially safe for humans. However, it becomes dangerous when nitrite is formed from it, which is considered to be carcinogenic. The substance is created when salads or vegetables are packed airtight. In addition, certain enzymes in the saliva and intestines promote the formation of the substance.

If you want to take care of your health, you should buy salads that have a low nitrate content from the outset, for example free-range and organic salads.

There is also less nitrate in salads that were harvested in the evening on a sunny day. The light and the heat promote the breakdown of the pollutant. Varieties such as lettuce, lamb's lettuce, and arugula contain more nitrate.

Salads can also contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and residues from pesticides. Brief but thorough washing helps here. Organic salads are usually less polluted than conventionally grown ones.