Fun fact: Lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable in the United States. Americans eat about 30 pounds of lettuce every year!
A prominent ingredient when making salad or sandwiches, lettuce is packed with incredible amount of nutrients that’s good for your health. This crunchy leafy vegetable (scientific name: Lactuca sativa), available in around six different cultivars, is a powerhouse of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
A great option for smoothies, lettuce contains only 15 calories for every 100 grams or 1% of the daily-recommended allowance as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Nutrition data base. This low calorie vegetable comes with zero cholesterol and almost no fat. A good source of energy, lettuce yields 2% DRA of carbohydrates and another 2% DRA from protein.
Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamins A and K. It has 247% DRA of vitamin A and 105% DRA of vitamin K. More than than the more common healthy vision benefit of Vitamin A, it also helps growth and development of cells. Aside from vitamin A, lettuce is abundant with B-carotene, which are converted into A vitamins by the body. They function as antioxidant to keep the skin and mucous membrane healthy. Vitamin K, on the other hand, is vital in making necessary proteins for blood clotting. Latest studies also revealed that vitamin K plays a vital role in the formation of bones.
It is also a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant tasked to develop resistance protecting your body from harmful agents. Folates, at 9.5% DRA, also helps in the synthesis of DNA in the body. It is also crucial for brain function as it affects both emotional and mental health. The importance of having enough folates in the body can be proved by the defects of children whose mothers did not get enough folic acid.
This vegetable is also supplied with good amount of potassium, which ensures normal functioning of tissues, organs, and cells. The presence of potassium in the food we eat is necessary to offset or balance the sodium we get from it.
Lettuce is also rich in numerous minerals particularly iron and manganese. It contains 11% DRA of manganese and 10% DRA of iron. Found usually in bones, liver and kiney, manganese enables metabolism of body’s fat and carbohydrates while regulating blood sugar. It also fights free radicals that threaten the DNA and cell membranes. Iron, meanwhile, is primarily found in red blood cells. It helps carry oxygen to each cell in the body.
Other minerals contained in lettuce include phosphorus (4% DRA), calcium (3.5% DRA), and copper and magnesium (3% DRA).
The Critical Health Benefits of Lettuce
Lettuce is popularly used in making low-calorie salads because of its ability to promote weight loss. It is a perfect source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients at very low calorie content. Aside from the fact that it is low in calorie, eating lettuce regularly can bring the body so much good. There are many astounding health benefits associated in regular lettuce intake. There are various types of lettuces like romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and red leaves lettuce. These types of lettuce depend upon the place of origin. But despite the diversity in the origin of lettuces, they yield the same health benefits discussed below.
Encourage Weight Loss
Lettuce is concentrated in fiber which is a common property that aids digestion and calorie stabilization. This is why this fruit is a common ingredient in fresh salads because it is very nourishing to human health. On top of its high fiber count, it is also rich in cellulose that will keep you feel full in hours. It will help lower your appetite and cultivate satiety. This will demote excessive food intake thus resulting to weight loss. This vegetable is also very low in calorie which prevents the development of unwanted fats.
Conditioned Heart Health
Lettuce is a great source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene that works together against cholesterol oxidation. As mentioned above, this vegetable is very low in calories and calories drive oxidation of cholesterol. What is cholesterol oxidation? This process heightens production of LDL cholesterol or known as the bad type of cholesterol that causes high sugar levels in the body as well as weakens the walls of the blood vessel. Weak blood vessel walls increases chances of blood clots that can possibly lead to heart attack and various heart ailments. Lettuce also has Omega-3 fatty acids that regulate normal body fats.
If you are having problems with getting enough and comfortable sleep, you should probably associate lettuce in your diet plan. This vegetable has lactucarium that has stronger effects than opium. This compounds help in relaxing the body that will help you get a nice time sleeping.
Revitalizes the Skin
The Vitamin A content of lettuce is very high that it will suffice the daily Vitamin A requirement of the body. What this vitamin does is promote development and healthy cell growth. This vegetable repairs and revitalizes the skin on a cellular level. Plus lettuce also has Vitamin E that protects the skin from harmful effects of sun exposure. You can assure that your skin is protected from ultraviolet rays. Eating lettuce on a daily basis will make your skin beautiful inside out resulting to fairer, young-looking, and flawless skin.
Beautifies the Hair
If the body gets the nutrients it needs, it reflects from the inside to the outside. This justifies why eating lettuce results to a nourished skin and hair. Lettuce bears various nutrients that aid hair growth and wellness. It has silicon, phosphorus and sulfur that combat hair damages like hair loss and others more.
Boosts Metabolic Rates
20% of lettuce’s nutritional value is protein. Protein plays a vital role in the human body especially in metabolism. Increased metabolic rates lead to proper digestion, regular bowel movement, and weight loss. Weight management is very important to the overall health because gaining too much weight can cause obesity and further causes more serious disease and illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart ailments.
This vegetable is an excellent source of Vitamin K that helps in bone cell repair and maintenance. It keeps your bones strong and healthy especially if you are highly engaged with sports and other intense physical activities.
Develops Strong Body Resistance
Lettuce is rich in Vitamin C which is a strong and effective antioxidant that enables the body to fight off common disease and infections like cough, flu, cold and the likes. Consumption of lettuce promotes stronger body resistance so that you will not easily get sick. Your system will have the ability to remove harmful toxins on its own.
Stabilizes Eye Health
Zea-xanthin is a carotenoid that improves eye health and protects it from visual loss, ARMD, age-related blindness and the likes. Lettuce is high in zea-xanthin that is absorbed by the retinal macula lutea that helps improve overall eye health. If you want a sharp vision and healthy eye condition through the years, regular consumption of lettuce is of great significant.
Lettuce is abundant in nutrients that benefit the human body in many ways possible. Aside from the properties mentioned above, this green vegetable also has magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron that promotes overall optimal health. If you want to stay healthy through the years, consuming lettuce on a daily basis is essential.