The word Lettuce is derived from the Roman word ‘Lactuca Sativa; it did not originate in Rome, but rather in Egypt. Ancient Egyptians first cultivated Lettuce for its oil-rich seeds. In addition, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans revered the vegetable for its religious and medicinal significance.
Today, Lettuce is cultivated as a green leafy vegetable nearly all around the world. It’s an annual plant, which can only be harvested 60 to 120 days after sowing. Lettuce belongs to a daisy family named Asteraceae. The green leafy vegetable is often eaten raw as a salad or used as a food wrap. Inducing sleep, fighting inflammation, fighting bacteria and fungal, keeping you hydrated, memory retention, cognitive function, anxiety control, a rich source of omega-three fatty acids, promotes muscle development, weight loss, skincare benefits, and pregnancy development are just a few of Lettuce’s health benefits.
Having lettuce salad every day can be beneficial in many ways. Lettuce is high in fibre and cellulose, which aids digestion and encourages long-term weight loss. In addition, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc are all abundant.
Nutrition Info of Lettuce (per 100 g)
· Calories 62
· Protein 1.4 g – 3% of RA
· Vitamin C 18.0 mg – 30% of RDA
Vitamin A 7404 IU – 148% of RDA
· Vitamin E 0.3 mg – 1% of RDA
· Thiamin 0.1 mg – 5% of RDA
· Riboflavin 0.1 mg – 5% of RDA
· Folate 38 mcg – 10% of RDA
· Choline 13.4 mg
· Niacin 0.4 mg – 2% of RDA
· Pantothenic Acid 0.1 mg – 1% of RDA
· Calcium 36 mg – 4% of RDA
· Iron 0.9 mg – 5% of RDA
· Vitamin B6 0.1 mg – 4% of RDA
· Phosphorus 29 mg – 3% of RDA
· Potassium 194 mg – 6% of RDA
· Sodium 28 mg – 1% of RDA
· Zinc 0.2 mg – 1% of RDA
· Vitamin K 174 mcg – 217% of RDA
· Magnesium 13 mg – 3% of RDA
· Manganese 0.3 mg 13%of RDA
· Selenium 0.6 mcg – 1% of RDA
Benefits of Lettuce
For thousands of years, this leafy vegetable has been cultivated as more than a vegetable. It can possess several fantastic health benefits, including the following-
1. Lettuce Induces Sleep– The ability of Lettuce to promote sleep is one of its oldest properties, dating back to mediaeval times. Studies have already proven that this benefit exists. It contains lactucarium, a compound with characteristics and a structure comparable to opium. The white, milky fluid found within the leaves is known as lactucarium. When compared to opium, this chemical helps you relax and improves the quality of your sleep. However, it has no severe side effects.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties– Inflammation harms many parts of your health, including dental difficulties, lower back discomfort, and migraines, to mention a few. However, by include lettuce in your diet, you can avoid these problems. This is because its extracts contain biochemical catalysts like lipoxygenase and carrageenan, which have been found to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal Properties-When digested, it has antifungal effects. The latex of Lettuce, known as lactucarium, can kill a variety of yeasts, including Candida albicans. Furthermore, it can aid in the protection of your body from hazardous germs. Its biochemical terpenes and cardenolides are responsible for this characteristic.
4. Keeps You Hydrated– You can stay hydrated by eating a bowl of lettuce salad. It contains a lot of potassium, which is essential for keeping your body’s fluid balance in check. Fluid balance is critical for our organs to operate correctly, which is why athletes are advised to eat potassium-rich foods after strenuous sports events to reestablish liquid credit. Potassium also enhances the efficacy of nerve reflexes and improves the passage of electrical signals throughout the body. As a result, it aids in muscle contraction, allowing you to complete various tasks without becoming overly tired.
The actual connections in the brain that make up your memory are harmed when neurons die. As a result, a neuronal loss may contribute to neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s. Lettuce, on the other hand, can protect against the spread of such diseases. Because of its role in glucose metabolism, lettuce extracts can prevent neuron cell death, which turns out to be important in the progression of the disease. Lettuce’s neurological advantages have been known since ancient times, and it has been used to alleviate sleeplessness, increase memory recall, and maintain cognitive function far into the old life.
5. Helps Control Anxiety– In addition to soothing qualities, Lettuce also contains anxiolytic attributes, according to further studies. As a result, eating Lettuce regularly can assist in decreasing stress and anxiety.
6. Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids– Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most critical nutrients for our bodies’ overall wellness. Omega 3 is an essential vitamin that has both physical and mental effects. It contains this nutrition in abundance in addition to fish, making it perfect for vegans and vegetarians. In addition, omega 3 is good for your heart because it eliminates and prevents plaque from hardening your arteries, allowing blood to circulate freely without causing your heart to work too hard.
7. Promotes Muscle Development-Meat isn’t the only source of protein. Lettuce, for example, is a vegetable that includes a small amount of protein and enzymes that aid protein synthesis. Though Lettuce by itself is unlikely to lead to significant muscle gain, its synergistic effect with other protein sources makes it just as crucial as ever.
8. Best Foods for Weight Loss– It is one of the most effective weight-loss foods. It’s high in fibre and cellulose, but it’s also low in calories and fat-free. Cellulose gives you a feeling of fullness and slows down gastric emptying, which helps you avoid overeating. It also helps with waste disposal and can increase bile acid excretion in the stool, lowering cholesterol levels.
9. May Induce Sleep– In Unani medicine, Lettuce has a long history of being used as a sleep aid. The isolation of a depressant molecule from lettuce extracts was the result of research. When this drug was given to experimental animals, it appeared to have sedative properties. According to a 2013 research report, the non-polar agent(s) detected in Lettuce’s n-butanol fraction (NBF) is most likely to be the primary component(s) responsible for this impact. There was also a decrease in heart rate and ventricular contractions. This is because this substance blocks the excitatory signal mechanisms of muscle and brain tissues.
10. Bone Strength– Lettuce is a source of vitamin K, helps to strengthen the bones. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin K can also reduce your risk of bone fracture.
11. Nutrition– The nutritional content of Lettuce varies across varieties. Almost all lettuces are rich in vitamin A, along with small amounts of vitamin C and iron.
12. Alkaline Forming– The minerals in lettuce aid in removing pollutants and maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance. There is a slew of advantages to being balanced on this level, including increased energy, clearer thinking, deep, restful sleep, and youthful skin. Lettuce is an alkaline-forming vegetable. A body that is too acidic weakens it and can become harmful. To function correctly, our bodies require a slightly alkaline environment.
13. Helps Lower Risk of Cancer- Chlorophyll, contained in dark leafy greens, has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of certain cancers.