These days, iceberg and romaine are scoffed at for salads. By many, they're considered a less nutritious and lowbrow leaf to use.Is romaine lettuce nutritious or not? The facts speak for themselves. Based on the testing of its total antioxidant content, romaine comes in at around 1000. That is actually a respectable ORAC value to have. It's much more nutritious than iceberg - over twice as high (1017 versus 438).But is romaine more nutritious than kale? No, it's not, but it certainly qualifies as being a decent contender next to that cruciferous vegetable. Kale calculates out to be 1770 - about 70% higher than romaine. Obviously this is a huge difference but you're still getting a lot of antioxidants regardless. Furthermore, because of its less fibrous content, many people have an easier time chewing and digesting it when compared to the tougher greens like kale and chard. That means for many, even though it is less nutritious than kale, they're able to eat lettuces like romaine in greater quantity.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010