In ancient times, the people of Egypt were the first to cultivate lettuce. Those days, people grew the wilted-leaf plan mostly for its medicinal value. They prescribed it for different conditions including appetite loss and insomnia. They also used oil from its seeds and considered it of religious importance. Thus, lettuce health benefits have been well known since ancient times.
As the plant was essential in the past, so it is to date. Today lettuce is most popular for its health and nutritional value. The plants exist in red, green or semi-red colors. The most common types of lettuce are Romaine and Iceberg. In this article, we will look at lettuce health benefits, nutritional value and uses.
Lettuce Health Benefits
There is a vast range of health advantages that are in this simple vegetable. They include;
People in the middle ages discovered this health property of lettuce. They fed the leaves to animals who begun to settle more and move less. Other medicinal systems such as Unani, use lettuce to reduce anxiety. The plant contains anxiolytic characteristics responsible for the calming effect.
The body often triggers a harmful response that it cannot defend leading to inflammation. Reducing inflammation is among the outstanding lettuce health benefits. Lipoxygenase and carrageenan are proteins found in the lettuce plant. These properties give the shredded-leaf plant its inflammation effect.
Not sleeping as a habit or general inability to sleep are unhealthy experiences. This situation is also known as insomnia. Introducing lettuce to your diet reduces it. People in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt used the vegetable for this purpose. Lettuce has a depressant tissue that is responsible for triggering sleep.
When buying your lettuce, you must put keen interest in the color you choose. Color determines the speed at which its antioxidants act. The antioxidants protect the body from cell damage by fighting the harmful free radicals in the body.
Green lettuce constitutes antioxidants that act at an intermediate rate. The semi-red one entails three compounds that can act at any speed. Red lettuce’s antioxidants work both intermediately and rapidly.
Lettuce is essential for neuroprotection. Neurons are cells in the brain that connect to create memories. They are very vital, as keeping memory is the brains core function. When the neuron cells are damaged, people become victims of memory loss and Alzheimer. Lettuce plays a part in glucose/serum deprivation. This role prevents the death of neuron cells.
Lettuce Nutritional Value
Beyond the lettuce health benefits listed above, this plant is also highly nutritious. Different types of lettuce may have different nutritional content. The lettuce nutritional value offered below is based on an average.
Source of vitamin A and C
Vitamin A and C are antioxidants present in lettuce. These antioxidants protect the body from conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. They fight the free radicals that form naturally in the body.
Vitamin K and K2
Vitamin K is responsible for bone support and building proteins in the body. Romaine lettuce has a higher content of vitamin K compared to the Iceberg. There are 48 micrograms of vitamin K in Romaine lettuce, while the iceberg lettuce has 17 micrograms.
Both Iceberg and Romaine lettuce contains an equal amount of fiber. People looking to lose weight require fiber in their day to day meals. A high fiber diet also controls blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Lettuce is a nutritious source of calories. For instance, in 100 grams of Iceberg lettuce, there are 14 calories. The content has minimal cholesterol and saturated fat.
Lettuce is also a source of potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium and copper.
Lettuce is not just your regular salad vegetable. It has a vast range of healthy uses that people overlook. Its main uses include consumption, weight loss, for good skin and hair just to mention a few.
Good for the skin
Lettuce is an effective food when it comes to matters skin. When you regularly eat the crispy leaves of lettuce, they revitalize your skin. It contains vitamin A which is responsible for this nourishing effect. The vegetable also contains vitamin E. this nutrient is essential for keeping the skin safe from UV rays and external pollution. Lettuce also gives a glowing and toned skin.
Benefits to hair
Lettuce supplies the body with minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. When you incorporate lettuce into your diet, it stimulates your hair. The vegetable also prevents hair breakage and leaves the hair healthy.
Other Lettuce recipes include;
Most people are used to the usual bread wraps. Lettuce would make a great recipe for persons avoiding carbs. This recipe is great with baked falafel, Asian filings, and tacos. You can also do the wraps in pork belly lettuce wraps.
Grilling lettuce is as easy as having it and putting it on a hot grill. The grilled lettuce recipe is an out-of-the-norm kind of diet anyone can explore. It tastes great with cheese sprinkled on it.
Lettuce and soup
Lettuce and soup are quite uncommon. Chop the lettuce leaves into small pieces and sprinkle them in your readily prepared soup. The vegetable tastes great with a tinge of a crunch. The combination is quite nutritious too.
Lettuce in juice
There is nothing more refreshing than some good revitalizing blended juice. Add lettuce to your usual fruit blends. The freshly mixed vegetable adds extra nutrients to your intake. Next time you are thinking juice, drop some lettuce leaves in the mix!
You may have underestimated lettuce health benefits and nutritional value. The plant is of ancient Egypt decent and has ever since been beneficial to health and nutrition. It exists in different types including iceberg and romaine lettuce.
The pure vegetable eases anxiety, induces sleep and controls cancer. It is also rich in vitamin A, K, C, and K2. Other than the usual cliché salads, lettuce is good as juice, wraps, soup, and as a grilled snack. If you have experiences and thoughts, please share below. In case of any questions do not hesitate to ask.