Bet you didn’t know these lettuce health benefits 🥬.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is grown as a leaf vegetable and was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. In ancient Egypt, it was used to produce oil and the leaves were also utilized.
The plant also had cultural and religious significance in ancient Egypt, as it was considered to be sacred. Later, the Greeks and Romans also cultivated this crop.
However, in modern times, the leaves of lettuce are mixed with salad and hamburgers.
They are about seven varieties of lettuce which include; romaine, butterhead, summer crisp, crisphead, stem, leaf, and oil seed.
Lettuce Nutritional Facts
Lettuce is a rich source of different nutrients and minerals.
Particularly, they are rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat and dietary fats. They are also a rich source of vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, A, C, E, and K.
Not only that, they are also a rich source of minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Lettuce
Lettuce has a lot of health benefits that have been utilized right from ancient times. Some of these health benefits have been confirmed by science and we listed most of them below.
Please read on.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help combat inflammation.
A 2010 study shows that the lettuce extract has potent anti-inflammatory properties induced by lipoxygenase and carrageenan (1).
2. Antimicrobial Properties
The latex of lettuce has some antimicrobial properties.
The latex from this vegetable completely deforms Candida albicans and other yeast.
They are said to contain biochemical compounds with antimicrobial properties like terpenes and cardenolids as well as enzymes like glucanases (2).
3. Induces Sleep
Lettuce has some sleep inducing properties.
A study shows that lettuce extract has a significant sedative effect while also decreasing heart rate and ventricular contradictions.
This particular chemical responsible for this action acts by blocking the excitatory signal processes of muscular and neural tissues.
4. Controls Anxiety
In addition to sedative effect, lettuce also has anxiolytics (anti-anxiety) properties according to research (3).
This vegetable has calming effects that can settle you when riled up, of course you’re going to have to consume in moderate portion alongside other veggies that will help you.
5. Anti-Cancer Properties
Lettuce has potential anti-cancer properties. It can be used to control certain types of cancer particularly leukemia and breast cancer (4).
Research suggests that consumption of lettuce kills 50 percent of leukemia cells.
Also, lettuce is rich in antioxidants which help destroy free radicals that mutate healthy cells and turn them into cancerous cells.
6. Improve Brain Cognition
Lettuce also improves brain cells and boost memory.
They are known to contain folate and other important antioxidants that provide neurological benefits.
Folate has been shown to cause a decline in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
What’s more, potassium has been linked to a decrease blood flow to the brain and heightened neural activity and cognition.
Word of Caution
Lettuce can cause some allergies so people suffering from food allergies are generally at risk when they try this vegetable.
On that note, for first timers, try skin prick testing before eating just to be sure. However, aside from this unlikely event, lettuce is quite beneficial and healthy.
Keen on learning more? Read 9 Kidney Cleansing Foods For Optimum Kidney Function next 🙂