Lettuce is a leafy vegetable that is often a part of salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups. The scientific name of lettuce is Lactuca sativa. It is low in calories but packed with antioxidants, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Let’s discuss some of the health benefits of lettuce in detail.
1. Rich in Antioxidants - Lettuce contains plenty of vitamin A and C, which are powerful antioxidants. They fight free radicals and keep our cells healthy. Hence, including lettuce in our diet has a protective effect on our organs like eyes, heart, brain and skin.
2. Anti-inflammatory - Lettuce is effective in reducing and fighting inflammation as it contains carrageenan and lipoxygenase. These two biocatalysts suppress the effect on inflammation, which makes lettuce specifically beneficial for people with joint pain and arthritis.
3. Promotes Weight Loss - Lettuce is a must-have leafy vegetable for all aiming to lose weight. Its high dietary fibre content promotes fullness, prevents food cravings and supports fat loss.
4. Relieves Insomnia - If you are suffering from insomnia then lettuce might be your ally. It contains two substances - lactucin and lactucarium, which have shown to induce sleep and relax our nerves.
5. Strengthens the Digestive System - High dietary fibre content of lettuce is also good for our digestive system. Fibre promotes the growth of good microbes in our intestine, alleviates any indigestion issues and regularises bowel movement.
6. Good for Bone Health - Lettuce contains vitamin A, C and K, all of which works in favour of our bones in the body. These nutrients assist in the production of collagen, bone cells and reduce the risk of osteoporosis by promoting bone mineralization.
7. Boosts Immunity - Presence of vitamin A, C, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of lettuce supports our immune health. It amplifies our body’s ability to fight infections, inflammation and foreign pathogens. In addition, lettuce possesses anti-microbial properties due to the presence of terpenes and cardenolides.
8. Aids in Detoxification - Regular consumption of lettuce aids in detoxification of the body, removing all the toxins and heavy metals keeping us healthy.
9. Good for Heart Health - Lettuce is high in potassium which is a beneficial mineral when it comes to our heart health. Also, lettuce promotes the level of good cholesterol and prevents bad fat from getting deposited within blood vessels. This ensures smooth blood flow, the supply of oxygen, nutrients to our heart and better functioning.
10. Good for Vision Health - Daily intake of lettuce keeps our vision healthy as it contains two powerful carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin, which are known to enhance vision health, prevent diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
To sum up, lettuce is very beneficial for our health hence, fondly consumed across the world in many culinary preparations. Before using it, be sure to wash properly to wash pesticides, if present. Choose leaves that are tender, crisp and bright coloured. Always consume it fresh and do not store for too long as its high moisture content accelerates the deterioration within a few days.