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kathryn matthews | The Nourished Epicurean

Organic lettuces—whether red or green head lettuce, mixed baby lettuces, butter lettuce or romaine—are exactly what the body craves during the warmer months of the year.

Lettuce is a high-water (hence, hydrating) and high-fiber food that contains vitamins A, C and K, as well as hard-to-get minerals, like calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Eating organic lettuce, especially in-season, can help support heart health and bone health, improve digestion as well as your complexion, and help stabilize blood sugar. In fact, a 2021 study conducted on 16 healthy young men between the ages of 20 and 30, found that when participants consumed lettuce, specifically, with a moderately high-fat meal, they had lower blood sugar and insulin levels after the meal (1).

To reap maximum health benefits of eating lettuce greens, I recommend eating organic—as you are able—to minimize pesticide exposure. And—even if you buy lettuce that is marketed as “pre-washed” or “triple washed”—always take the time to wash your greens, ideally in filtered water with a splash of raw apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, then spin dry in a salad spinner.

Personally, I like to keep salads simple and quick-and-easy to make.

This is a simple salad that I eat at most meals. Right now, I am enjoying organic lettuces grown locally, which I buy from a nearby farm market. I do rotate my greens, depending on seasonal availability—whether it’s arugula, romaine, spinach, red leaf lettuce or green leaf lettuce.

I like to pair my greens with thinly sliced radishes for their crisp texture and peppery pungent bite, which contrasts nicely with the delicate sweetness of fresh organic lettuce greens. See recipe below.


Simple Green Salad

1 bag (or box) organic mixed lettuces OR 1 to 2 heads of fresh, organic lettuce (e.g., green leaf, red leaf or romaine)

2 to 3 organic medium red or purple radishes, root and tops discarded, washed well

If using head lettuce, chop roughly into bite-sized pieces. Rinse lettuce well in unfiltered water. Place in a salad spinner and spin dry.

Slice radishes into thin rounds. Add to greens. Make the mustard-shallot vinaigrette (see recipe below), add to greens and toss well.

Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette

1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon sugar-free Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons high quality extra-virgin olive oil

Place all above ingredients in an 8 ounce glass Pyrex measuring cup and whisk together well.


1   Shokraei S, Khandouzi N, Sina Z, Nasrollahzadeh J. The acute effect of incorporating lettuce or watercress into a moderately high-fat meal on postprandial lipid, glycemic response, and plasma inflammatory cytokines in healthy young men: a randomized crossover trial. Lipids Health Dis. 2021 Jul 15;20(1):66.

Hi, I’m Kathryn Matthews. As a Board Certified Functional Health Coach, I help clients reclaim their energy, vitality and well-being. I want you to feel empowered about taking charge of YOUR health! To learn more, see About Kathryn.

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