Lettuce is one of the most popular green leafy vegetables used mostly in salads and sandwich stuffing. The crunchy green leaf is believed to have been first cultivated by the Egyptians more than a thousand years back. Even during that era, the vegetable was known to offer a wide range of health benefits and hence was considered somewhat sacred, especially as the plant held great cultural and religious significance. In the modern times, it is revered as the perfect with loss food as well as an extremely nutritious vegetable. Discussed below are the top 8 health benefits that can be obtained by making this crunchy and tasty green leaf a part of the everyday diet.
Promote Weight Loss: As mentioned before, lettuce is the perfect food for people trying to lose weight. This is because this green leafy vegetable contains minimal calories while being packed vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. One cup of shredded lettuce contains no more than 12 calories and offers 1 gm of fiber. This helps in making you feel fuller for a longer time and discourages binging.
Enhance Heart Health: Roman lettuce is a rich source of folate, a type of Vitamin B responsible for conversion of homocysteine. If left in its original state, homycysteine can damage the blood vessels and can even result in plaque accumulation that can prove detrimental for heart health. The high quantity of Vitamin A& C found in the leaves also helps to oxidize cholesterol and strengthen the arteries.
Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes: Eating lettuce can help in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes by a significant margin. This is due the fact that these green leaves have a minimal effect on the blood sugar levels. In addition, the low calorie and carbohydrate content besides the presence of anti-carotenoid compound named lactucaxanthin, makes these leaves an extremely diabetes-friendly food.
Promote Brain Health: The death of neuronal cells inside the brain often leads to the development of severe mental issues like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. However, the lettuce leaves are known to play a vital role in glucose/serum deprivation which makes it effective in controlling the death rate of neuronal cells. Moreover, lettuce being a rich source of dietary nitrate helps in promoting endothelial function, which prevents cognitive decline and other neurological issues.
Improve Digestive Health: The rich fibre content of Lettuce makes it the perfect food to promote digestion and prevent digestive issues like constipation and bloating. It makes the processing of different types of food within the stomach relatively easy and also helps to improve intestinal health besides providing relief from stomach ache.
Enhance Skin & Hair Health: Lettuce, like other green leafy vegetables is a rich source of vitamin A which is beneficial for skin and hair health. It also contains large quantities of Vitamin C and Vitamin K which prevent skin aging and help to strengthen hair. Another important ingredient of lettuce is Omega-3 fatty acids known to provide several skin and hair benefits.
Improve Bone Health: The high amounts of Vitamins A, C & K present in lettuce promote collagen simulation which is essential for bone health. Vitamin A helps in the development of new bone cells while Vitamin C prevents bone depletion. Vitamin K helps to build cartilage and connective tissues, ensures proper bone mineralization and reduces bone turnover by boosting bone strength.
Reduce Cancer Risk: Regular consumption of lettuce helps to bring down the risk of stomach cancer and various other types of cancer, including those of mouth, throat and oesophagus. Recent research has also shown that the leaves offer protective effects against this disease. It is also known to boost the immunity of the consumers given the rich content of Vitamin A & C as well as its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.