Vegetables usually pack a lot of antioxidants and vitamins. But lettuce has incredibly higher amounts of these nutrients, as well as other essential nutrients. Typically, consuming this vegetable can lower the level of bad cholesterol, protect neurons, moderate sleep, control anxiety, as well as reducing inflammation. Additionally, lettuce can help you lose weight.
Scientifically called Lactuca sativa is an annual crop that can be eaten in various ways, including salads, sandwiches, soups, and wraps. Again, you can grill it. In ancient times, Egyptians used the leaves as vegetables and extracted oil from its seeds.
There are different types of lettuce. They include:
- Romaine lettuce – it makes the classic Greek salad. It is sweet and crunchy.
- Iceberg lettuce – it is Crisphead and crisp textured and White on the inside. It has a mild taste.
- Butter lettuce – Boston and Bibb lettuce. Features large green leaves, which are soft and sweet.
- Red and Green Leaf: the leaves and the taste are delicate
- Devils lettuce
When you eat the lettuce, you consume a high amount of water and a small amount of energy, protein (1.4 g), dietary fiber (1.3 g), fat, carbohydrates (2.9 g), and sugars (0.8 g). Also, it packs plenty of vitamins and minerals including calcium (3%), iron, magnesium (3%), phosphorus, potassium (194 mg), sodium (28 mg), and zinc along with B-vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6 (5%), and vitamin C (15%), A (148%), E, and vitamin K. The calories of 15 is sufficient.
Health benefits of lettuce
Modern scientific studies confirm the benefits of lettuce. They include:
1. Anti-inflammatory properties
Lettuce fights inflammation effectively because it has certain types of proteins, such as lipoxygenase, which can control inflammation.
Studies have shown that foods having a high amount of Vitamin K, such as lettuce, work against inflammation effectively. In fact, one research shows that lettuce is used in folk medicine to relieve inflammation and osteodynia.
The antioxidants in the lettuce reduce inflammation also. Darker types of lettuce have more antioxidants
2. Aids in weight loss
Lettuce has a high amount of calories cellulose and dietary fiber. one serving, i.e., a cup has 5 grams of calories.
The fiber and the cellulose keep you full for longer and discourages binging, which means you eat less food than before. The outcome of this is a reduction in body weight.
Besides, lettuce has a meager amount of fats. Fat is a massive contributor to weight. Consuming lettuce means you are not adding any fats to your body.
3. Protects neurons/nerve cells
The antioxidant effects of the lettuce protect the neurons.
Neurons are essential components that play a significant role in memory and learning. If they get destroyed within the brain, it may lead to memory loss. In severe cases, it leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Consuming lettuce causes a reduction in oxidative stress; thus, providing neuroprotective benefits.
4. Lowers cholesterol level
Bad cholesterol is usually associated with cardiovascular diseases.
If the level of cholesterol is higher than usual, it leads to a heart attack or high blood pressure.
Studies conducted on rodents indicated a reduction in the amount of cholesterol in rodents fed with lettuces as compared to the ones that were not.
In most cases, there was Lipid peroxidation, which controlled the cholesterol.
5. Suitable for the heart and blood vessels
Vitamin B is vital for the health of the heart as it converts homocysteine, which, if left unconverted, it accumulates into plaque and can damage the heart.
On the other hand, Vitamin A and C help in the process of strengthening arteries and oxidizing cholesterol.
Additionally, they improve the flow of blood; thus, preventing heart attack.
6. Induce sleep
Research has shown that lettuce has depressant chemicals.
When this chemical was applied to animals, it causes sedation. The study points to non-polar agents found in n-butanol fraction (NBF) of the plant.
7. Anti-cancer properties
The extracts from lettuce are believed to lower the risk of certain cancers such as cancer of the stomach, breast, and leukemia.
Studies published in Oncology Reports indicate that water extracts inhibited the growth of breast cancer and leukemia cells.
8. Reduces the risk of diabetes
Lettuce has a lower glycaemic index, which means it doesn’t cause an increase in blood sugar significantly.
Again, a cup of lettuce has five calories and 2 grams of carbs, which makes it an excellent food for people with type 2 diabetes.