Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is one of the most common leaf vegetables and a basic ingredient of many salads. There are basically 6 different types of lettuce, namely Butterhead (Boston or Bibb), Chinese lettuce, Crisphead (Iceberg), Looseleaf, Romaine and Summer Crisp (Batavia), each having many varieties that vary in nutritional content. Although all varieties of lettuce are very low in calories, they do not all rank the same in nutritional value. Romaine has one of the highest nutritional values in the lettuce category. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, has the lowest nutrition. Lettuce in general is a good source of chlorophyll, vitamin K, vitamin C, B-vitamins, calcium, fiber, folate and iron. As a highly nutritious vegetable, lettuce provides a lot of health benefits.
Health benefits of Lettuce:
1. Weight loss:
Since lettuce is pretty low in calories (100 g fresh greens provide just 15 calories) combined with its fiber content that gives a feeling of fullness for long, it makes the perfect snack for those trying to lose weight.
Thanks to its high fiber content, lettuce and its juice can help stimulate the function and motility of the intestinal tract, relieve constipation and cleanse the colon. During chronic constipation, just eat a lettuce head + 1 apple, three times a day with sufficient rest and your constipation will be remedied within a day or two.
The white fluid that you see when you break or cut lettuce leaves is called lactucarium. Its medicinal use is limited to treat sleep disorders, nervous excitability, anxiety and restlessness, especially in children and elderly persons. Simply eat a few leaves or drink some lettuce juice. The juice of lettuce, when mixed with rose oil and applied to the forehead, can help ease headache.
4. Bone health:
It is a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K has a potential role in the bone metabolism where it thought to increase bone mass by promoting osteotropic activity in the bone cells. This bone health action is particularly effective in preventing osteoporosis-related fractures in post-menopausal women and older adults. In addition, lettuce is a good source of calcium and phosphorous which play a key role in bone structure and health.
5. Sexual health:
Several types of sexual disorders are treated by Lettuce juice. It is frequently suggested to men who are suffering from the problem of premature ejaculation. Consuming lettuce juice regularly helps in improving fertility rate and increases the sperm count. Whether this is true or not, one thing is sure: drinking a lettuce juice can’t do much harm in this sense!
Lettuce contains a relatively high amount of chlorophyll and iron, which are essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin in blood red cells. Therefore, for patients suffering from anemia, lettuce is used as an excellent tonic food. The iron obtained in this way is absorbed by the body to a much greater degree than the inorganic iron tonic found in drug stores.
7. Skin and Hair Benefits:
Lettuce contains 8% silicon, 9% phosphorus and an ample supply of sulphur. These three minerals are vital for maintenance of skin, hair and nails. Boil two salads of the lettuce leaf in 1 litre of water for about 20 minutes. The resulting liquid can be used as a compress on the face and other body parts. This compress can help in curing acne and psoriasis by cleaning the skin. To give strength to hair roots, fresh extract of lettuce blended with extract of spinach and carrots should be consumed.