Lettuce, which is also known as "rabbit food" and "the perfect weight loss food” is one of the most popular and healthy green leafy vegetables. Its' crispy, green/crimson red leaves are among the most amazing sources of the essential nutrients which greatly benefit your health. As a matter of fact, it's among the most sought after greens, be it for a crunchy green salad, juicing or for healthy sandwiches.
When cut, lettuce leaves exude a milk like fluid (also known as sap), thus its' name which is derived from the Latin word "lactuca" which means milk. Lettuce contains energy, moisture, sugars, protein, fat, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and more. The vitamins and minerals found in lettuce include; sodium, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, along with other vitamins like Vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6, C, A, and E. This marvelous, nutrition rich leafy green offers many surprising health benefits. They include, but not limited to;
1.Strengthens Your Bones
Lettuce is very rich in vitamin K, a vitamin which helps in strengthening your bones by increasing the bone mass. It also helps prevent osteoporosis. Moreover, vitamin K reduces brain damage, which in turn helps prevent Alzheimer's disease. Lettuce is also a great source of phosphorus and calcium, which play a key role in bone structure and health.
2. Helps in Weight Loss
Lettuce is great for dieters because it's very low in calories, (it has an average of 1 to 50 calories per serving.) Lettuce is also very rich in water, which allows the body to stay hydrated. It also contains dietary fiber and cellulose, which helps in digestion, and gives one a sense of fullness for much longer.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Lettuce is very beneficial in lowering the cholesterol levels which usually lead to cardiovascular diseases and some other dangerous conditions. A high cholesterol level, particularly the LDL (the bad cholesterol), is harmful and can lead to stroke and even a heart attack.
4. Helps with Insomnia
The white fluid which you see after you cut a lettuce leave is known as lactucarium. It has sleep inducing and relaxing properties which are similar to opium, however, without any strong side effects. Actually, one of the main traditional uses of the lettuce leaves was as a sleep inducer.
5. Antioxidant Properties
Lettuce is rich in antioxidants, especially beta carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C. These substances normally help in cleansing the body from the toxins, prevent damage caused by the free radicals, prevent any premature aging, and lowers the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Regular consumption of lettuce will help the body develop strong resistance against the infectious agents and the scavenge harmful, pro inflammatory free radicals.
6.Helps Prevent Age-related Macular Degeneration
Lettuce contains zeaxanthin that helps in improving eyesight. Zeaxanthin has anti oxidant properties, and also helps in preventing cataracts. In addition, the flavonoids found in lettuce help in preventing lung cancer.
7. It's a Great Whole Life Food
If you find good quality lettuce you can enjoy eating it raw and it will provide you with many micro nutrients which are not found in processed or cooked foods. Eating raw lettuce also gives you lots of vital energies.
8. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Lettuce possesses anti inflammatory properties which help in controlling inflammation in the body.
9. Anti-Allergy Properties
Lettuce are considered to be hypoallergenic (meaning it's unlikely to cause any allergic reactions), however, romaine lettuce offers additional health benefits to those who normally suffer from allergies, thanks to its' high folate content.
10. Prevents and Relieves Constipation and Coughs
Thanks to its' high fiber content, lettuce helps stimulate the functions and motility of your intestinal tract, which in turn relieves constipation and cleanses your colon. Lettuce also has anti cough agents that help in relieving irritable cough, and also the symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.
11. Enhances Your Sexual Health and Improves Fertility
The lettuce milk contains pro sexual substances which help fight impotence. Lettuce contains folates and vitamin C. The folates help in keeping a much healthier fetus during pregnancy and reduces the risk of complications; this also helps improve the reproductive health of both men and women. Basically, folates in lettuce help in increasing fertility, while vitamin C helps fight infection and boosts the body immune system.
12. Enhances the Body's Metabolism
Lettuce contains a great amount of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, which are all very essential for the body's metabolism. Potassium is a very important component of the body cells and fluids, and helps control blood pressure and heart rate.