Shades of greens: Some varieties

There are umpteen varieties of lettuce and other green leafy vegetables to mix and match. Besides being nutritious, they are very low in calories. A 250-ml (1-cup) serving of arugula, for example, has only five calories and the same amount of spinach only seven.

Iceberg: The pale green leaves on this firm round head retain their crunch; not as flavourful or nutritious as some other varieties but often the least expensive.

Boston: Soft, flexible light green leaves in a loose head; has a smooth, buttery taste.

Leaf: Crisp, ruffled leaves in red or green, grown from a single stalk.

Romaine: A long, loaf-shaped head with crisp, narrow leaves; usually used in a caesar salad.

Endive: A loose head with narrow, curly, ribbed leaves and a sharp, peppery taste.

Kale: Comes in both curly and flat-leaf varieties in shades of green or purple; sturdy leaves slightly bitter; very high in nutrients; 35 calories per serving.

Arugula: Dandelion-like succulent, elongated, lobular leaves with green veins. Young, tender leaves have a sweet flavour but mature leaves have a strong, peppery taste; best when combined with other strongly flavoured foods, such as lentils.

Spinach: Smooth baby leaves sold loose, larger slightly crinkled leaves may be bunched, packaged in bags, canned, or frozen; high in nutrients; good to eat raw or cooked.

Collard greens: Large, dark-coloured, thick, slightly bitter, edible leaves; staple of southern U.S. cooking.

Source: Various.