There are some who say that lettuce is the king when it comes to having a punch of various antioxidant properties as well as vitamins. They also say that it is probably one of the greenest and the leafiest of all the leafy greens. In fact, it is one of the most popular vegetables all over the world. However, there is more to lettuce than meets the eye. The health benefits of lettuce, for instance, are actually astounding. Furthermore, they are beneficial in making the health better and more improved. If you want to know more about the health benefits of lettuce, read on to this article.
Lettuce: What is this?
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Scientifically, lettuce is popular as Lactuva sativa. It is an annual plant, which actually belongs to the Asteraceae family. More often than not, lettuce is used in salads, and in some other foods, just like wraps, soups, and sandwiches. Not just that, lettuce might also be good for grills. Moreover, the cultivation of lettuce can also be easy. In fact, it just requires a low temperature to be able to prevent the plant from flowering very quickly.
Lettuce is rich in vitamins A and K, and it also has folate and iron in moderate amounts. Even though lettuce looks like a cabbage, there is one difference between them. Their water content, in fact, the cabbage has less water and is also a tougher one than the lettuce. This is what makes lettuce very much crunchier.
It was in the 16th and in the 18th centuries when the various types of lettuce were introduced. This is mainly due to the discovery that a certain sub-species may cross-pollinate with some other sub-species. Furthermore, it is during the medieval period in Europe when lettuce was considered to have a potential in treating various medical conditions. In fact, it is prescribed for insomnia, loss of appetite, disturbed blood pressure, as well as fro bilious eructation. Furthermore, it was also used as a tonic for the digestive system, as well as for the intestines.it is during the 19th century that lettuce spread to various parts of the world. Most particularly in Australia, Africa, South America, and Asia. In today’s day and time, the vegetable is widely available in almost all the parts of the world.
Types of Lettuce
Here are some of the most popular types of lettuce:
- Loose leaf: basing on its name, it is a variety of lettuce that has a loose leaf, which is curly and broad. Furthermore, it also has a delicate taste and a crispy texture.
- Butterhead: this particular type of lettuce actually has huge leaves, which are loosely in order and are easy to separate from the stem. Furthermore, it also has a sweeter flavor.
- Romaine lettuce: this has deep and long leaves. Furthermore, it also has some crisp texture and a deep taste than some other varieties.
- Iceberg: the greener the leaves on the outermost part, the whiter on the inside of this type of lettuce.
Nutritional Value of Lettuce
A cup or about 36 grams of lettuce may contain just about 5 calories and 10 grams of sodium. Furthermore, it does not contain any cholesterol nor any type of fat as well. Here is a more detailed nutritional value of lettuce:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total fat||0.15 milligrams||0.5%|
|Dietary fiber||1.3 grams||3%|
|Vitamin C||9.2 milligrams||15%|
|Vitamin A||7405 IU||247%|
|Vitamin K||126.3 µg||105%|
|Vitamin E||0.29 milligrams||2%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.134 milligrams||2.5%|
Health Benefits of Lettuce
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of lettuce:
- Helps in treating cancer: this is probably one of the best health benefits of lettuce. The leaf extracts of lettuce are beneficial in controlling various types of cancer. There is various research on human cancer types that are being treated with the lettuce leaf extract, and it shows some good results.
- Helps in controlling anxiety: the neurological properties of the lettuce are beneficial in controlling the anxiety.
- Aids as an antimicrobial agent: the latex in the lettuce has antimicrobial properties, which are all beneficial in getting rid of various infections that may harm the body.
- Rich in antioxidant properties: the antioxidant levels in lettuce are beneficial in fighting off the free radicals in the body. thus making it beneficial in improving the health.
- Helps in inducing sleep: lettuce has always been believed to be effective as a sleep inducer. What makes it effective for this particular benefit is its chemical compounds.
These are just some of the many health benefits of lettuce. Undeniably, it is not just a good addition to various foods, it is also good for the health.