Lettuce is a leafy vegetable predominantly used in salads. There are multiple types of lettuce but all fall within four broad varieties. Most are green to yellow-green, but some may be brownish-purple. The health benefits vary from one type to the other.
Types of lettuce
Head lettuce: round in shape and is the type most commonly sold in grocery stores.
Leaf lettuce: don’t form a head and are instead connected to a stem. Some are darker and have reddish leaves.
Romaine lettuce: the main ingredient in Caesar salad and is also commonly sold in grocery stores.
Celtuce lettuce: also called asparagus lettuce or stem lettuce has a distinctive large stem. Common in China.
Low-calorie and nutrient-filled: its leaves are low-calorie yet are a powerhouse of nutrients that promote health and prevent disease.
Excellent source of Vitamin A and B-carotenes. Vitamin A plays a key role in preserving and maintaining eyesight. 6 Health Benefits Of Vitamin A And Food Sources
Rich source of Vitamin K which is critical for bone health. Health: Tips For Stronger Bones And Teeth
Rich source of B-complex group of vitamins.
Good source of folates and vitamin C which boosts immunity and the body’s ability to fight off infections. The Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
A healthy amount of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are essential for body metabolism.
Benefits of lettuce
Bone strength: Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin K which helps strengthen bones and reduce bone fractures.
Hydration: 95% of lettuce is water. Eating it hydrates the body although drinking water is still necessary.
Improved vision: Vitamin A plays a key role in eye health, reducing a person’s risk of cataracts. Vitamin A also prevents macular degeneration. Health: 7 Ways To Care For Your Eyes
Improved sleep: Extracts of lettuce leaves have been shown to promote sleep. This use of it dates back to medieval times and has been confirmed by studies. The white milky substance in the leaves is responsible for this and helps you relax and enhances sleep quality and has no side effects. The Four Sleep Chronotypes: How To Use Yours To Boost Your Productivity
Anti-inflammatory properties: Inflammation is linked to a variety of illnesses and problems including cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. Lettuce helps control inflammation and has been used in folk medicine to lower inflammation. Vitamins A, E, and K found in it fight inflammation. Health And Nutrition: Foods That Fight Inflammation
May aid in weight loss: It is low-calorie and has fibre which gives the feeling of being full, discouraging bingeing. It is also extremely low fat and high in nutrients. Dark varieties like Romaine lettuce have a higher nutrient content.
May promote brain health: Intake of lettuce can help slow down cognitive decline and neurological disorders related to ageing. Brain Food: 8 Foods That Promote Mental Health
May boost heart health: Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin C and contains potassium. Vitamin C reduces arterial stiffness and can help in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Potassium lowers blood pressure which prevents heart disease. It also increases good cholesterol and reduces the levels of bad cholesterol. It also improves cholesterol metabolism and increases the antioxidant status in the body. Health: What Should You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
May cut diabetes risk: Studies show that it may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The fact that it is low fat, low-calorie, low-carb makes it a healthy addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Romaine lettuce is preferable to any other because it contains essential micronutrients.
May promote digestive health: The fibre in it promotes digestion and wards off other digestive ailments like constipation and bloating. It may also relieve stomach pain through direct research is limited.
Lettuce is commonly used in salads, burgers, spring rolls, and sandwiches. Crisp leaves work well with robustly flavoured dressing. It also combines well with garden peas, green beans, and seafood like shrimps and prawns. It can also be added to soups and braised as a side dish.
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