Top 10 Lettuce Benefits
Lettuce is well-known as the perfect food for weight loss, but there is so much more to this amazing vegetable. Lettuce is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, which makes it a very popular superfood in the US. Some of the best lettuce benefits for your health include antibacterial properties, anti-inflammation, promotes brain health, controls anxiety, helps in muscle development, supports pregnancy development, keeps you hydrated, and so much more.
Get to Know More About Lettuce
Lettuce was first cultivated in ancient Egypt for medicinal and religious uses. Today, lettuce is cultivated and harvested in many countries around the world. It is harvested 65 to 130 days after being planted, which makes it an annual plant. Lettuce is usually eaten raw in salads or used in sandwiches and burgers, or as a food wrap.
There are different types of lettuce available today, namely Romaine, Crisphead, Iceberg, and Butterhead lettuce. If you haven’t eaten a lettuce yet, it has a crunchy texture with a mild sweetness. Some of the varieties of lettuce are green, yellow-green, and darkish purple.
Lettuce Nutritional Info
Having a bowl of salad filled with lettuce and other nutritious vegetables can be very beneficial to your overall health. Here are some of the nutritional facts about lettuce that everyone should know, Per 100 grams of lettuce:
- Potassium – 194 mg or 5% RDA
- Dietary fiber – 1.3 g or 5% RDA
- Protein – 1.4 g or 2% RDA
- Vitamin A – 148% RDA
- Vitamin C – 15% RDA
- Vitamin B6 – 5% RDA
- Iron – 4% RDA
- Calcium – 3% RDA
- Magnesium – 3% RDA
One cup of lettuce is about 36 grams, which contains only 5 calories and zero fat and cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Lettuce
As you’ve seen in the nutritional info above, lettuce is very rich in essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamins A, and C. Lettuce is also loaded with vitamin K and antioxidants that help prevent serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Here are ten of the best lettuce benefits that will keep you healthy and strong against diseases.
Lettuce for Weight Loss
Lettuce is a perfect weight loss food because it has very few calories. One serving of lettuce will provide you with only 5 calories. This means that you can eat several servings of lettuce without the guilt of consuming too many calories.
Romaine lettuce is made up mostly of water and contains one gram of fiber per cup. Fiber keeps you feeling full, which helps you avoid overeating. The darker varieties of Romaine lettuce are most recommended because they have the highest nutrient content. Lettuce has almost zero fat content, which is why it should be a part of your weight loss diet. It also helps in waste removal, which aids in the elimination of bile acids. This waste removal process is vital in reducing the cholesterol level. If you want to lose those extra pounds, you should take advantage of the lettuce benefits.
Lettuce for Heart Health
Lettuce benefits can boost heart health. Lettuce is a heart-friendly food because it is loaded with folate, which helps convert homocysteine. If homocysteine is not converted, it can damage the blood vessels, which leads to the accumulation of plaque that increases the risk of heart attack.
Lettuce is rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene and vitamin C, which strengthens the arteries, oxidizes cholesterol and improves blood flow. All of these factors can help prevent the occurrence of heart attacks. The high level of potassium in lettuce is effective in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. You can increase the good cholesterol and reduce the bad cholesterol by including more lettuce in your daily diet. Studies have also shown that eating lettuce can improve the body’s cholesterol metabolism and antioxidant activity, thus protecting you against several cardiovascular diseases.
Lettuce for Fighting Inflammation
Romaine lettuce contains proteins such as carrageenan and lipoxygenase, which is capable of controlling inflammation. Lettuce has been known in traditional folk medicine to treat inflammation and osteodynia or pain in the bones. According to leading studies, vegetables that are rich in vitamin K, like lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage, can significantly lower inflammation. It is recommended to include 2 cups of leafy green vegetables in your regular diet to prevent inflammation. When choosing lettuce, you can go for the darker varieties because it is known to contain more antioxidants. Lettuce also contains omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation. For people who have arthritis, lettuce benefits can help because it does not contribute to arthritis or other pain-related conditions.
Lettuce for Skin Care
Lettuce benefits can give you a smooth and youthful-looking skin. Taking care of your skin usually starts from within your body. It involves your diet, habits, and lifestyle. Consuming highly nutritional vegetables like lettuce can definitely improve the quality of your skin. Lettuce contains enzymes such as glucanases, cardenolides, and terpenes, which exhibits powerful antibacterial properties. These enzymes are effective in fighting bacteria that cause skin infections. Lettuce contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that can moisturize and treat certain skin infections. Omega-3 also has antioxidant properties that can slow down skin cell degeneration. This means that your skin can stay younger and prevent premature wrinkling and fine lines. The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C in lettuce can boost collagen synthesis, thus helping to maintain a healthy and vibrant-looking skin.
Lettuce for Eye Health
A lot of people do not know this, but lettuce benefits can actually help improve your vision and eye health. Romaine lettuce contains zeaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant that is good for the eyes. Studies have found that zeaxanthin is able to prevent macular degeneration, which is an age-related eye disease. Zeaxanthin is absorbed by the eyes, which filters the UV rays, thus preventing retina damage. Lettuce and other dark green vegetables contain both zeaxanthin and lutein, which is a potent combination of severe eye diseases. Studies have shown that women who constantly consume high-lutein foods have low chances of developing cataracts as they grow older.
Lettuce for Bone Health
Lettuce benefits provide vitamins A, C, and K, which are all important nutrients needed for bone formation. Your body needs vitamin K to build cartilage and its connective tissues, while vitamin A can help develop new bone cells. Vitamin C helps prevent bone depletion, which usually happens for older people. Deficiency in these vitamins can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Bones are also weak and brittle, making you more susceptible to fractures.
Lettuce can provide you with sufficient amounts of vitamin K to help strengthen your bones. If you lack vitamin K, this can lead to osteopenia or reduction in bone mass, thus increasing the risk of fractures. You can take vitamin K supplements, but you can also consume more lettuce in your diet to enhance your bone health. Studies have also concluded that vitamin K is vital for bone mineralization.
Lettuce Lower the Risk of Diabetes
Consuming lettuce regularly can significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Lettuce benefits include its low glycemic index, which means that it has a positive effect on the body’s blood sugar level. Lettuce won’t cause your blood sugar level to suddenly spike up. One cup of lettuce contains 2 grams of carbs and 5 calories, which is an ideal food for people who already have diabetes. Romaine lettuce is a good choice because it contains more of the essential nutrients that your body needs to maintain optimal health. Lettuce also contains an anti-diabetic carotenoid called lactucaxanthin, which is able to lower your blood glucose level. If you want to lower the risk of developing diabetes, then you need to take advantage of the lettuce benefits.
Lettuce for Pregnancy Development
Lettuce benefits are very useful during pregnancy because it contains high amounts of vitamin K. Research has shown that vitamin K is very important for pregnant women because it can prevent neural defects. Vitamin K can help stop hemorrhage incidence during childbirth. Lettuce also contains folate, which is essential for proper DNA synthesis during pregnancy. Consuming half a cup of lettuce can provide you with about 64 micrograms of folate. The fiber in lettuce can stop constipation, which is a common issue for pregnant women.
Lettuce for Treating Insomnia
Another helpful lettuce benefit is its ability to treat insomnia. Lettuce contains lecture cerium, which has the ability to sedate the nervous system, thus inducing sleep. If you have insomnia or cannot sleep at night, you should eat salad with lettuce during dinner. Lettuce also contains lactucin, which is another potent substance that can make you more relaxed and sleepy.
Lettuce Promotes Mental Health
Lettuce extracts can help reduce the death of neuron cells, which can prevent neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease. Traditional and folk medicine has used lettuce to improve memory retention and preserve the cognitive functions of the brain. Studies have also proven that lettuce contains sedative and anxiolytic properties that can calm and relieve anxiety and stress. Lettuce benefits are vital to improving brain and mental health, especially for the older people.