Lettuce is commonly used in salads or as a topping in burger, spring rolls and sandwiches. They are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, folic acid and fiber. Regular consumption of lettuce in salads prevents osteoporosis, iron deficiency anaemia, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and cancers. Following are the list of health benefits of lettuce:
• Lettuce is high in fiber so helps to remove toxins from the body and prevents constipation.
• Lettuce is rich in folic acid and good for the pregnant women as this helps to avoid neurological disorders in the newborn.
• It is beneficial for liver health because it removes the toxins from the body and reduces the load on the liver.
• Leaves of lettuce contain antioxidants which help to prevent many chronic degenerative diseases and even cancers.
• Lettuce is a very good source of beta carotene which is a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for good vision and skin. Vitamin A is an important antioxidant and helps to lower the bad effects of free radicals. Studies suggest that Vitamin A also help to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
• Lettuce is also a good source of B complex vitamins which helps in the overall functioning of the body. They are required for good hair and skin, digestion, energy production, functioning of nervous system and to form red blood cells.
• Lettuce is rich in Vitamin C which is required for the healthy tissues and immune system and it is also required for the absorption of iron and for preventing recurrent cold and cough. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps the body to fight against diseases.
• It is a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents the neuronal damage in the brain so good in Alzheimer’s disease.
• Potassium present in lettuce leaves helps to lower the high blood pressure. So very beneficial for the patients of hypertension or High B.P.
• Lettuce leaves are rich in calcium and phosphorus so good for bones and teeth and prevents osteoporosis.
• Lettuce contains considerable amounts of iron so beneficial to prevent iron deficiency anaemia.
• Lettuce is low in fat, high in fiber. It also contains strong antioxidants which help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Nutritional value of 100 gm of Lettuce as per nutritive value of Indian foods
• Moisture (g):93.4
• Protein (g):2.1
• Fat (g):0.3
• Minerals (g):1.2
• Crude Fiber (g):0.5
• Carbohydrates (g):2.5
• Energy (Kcal):21
• Calcium (mg):50
• Phosphorus (mg):28
• Iron (mg):2.4
• Carotene (mcg):990
• Thiamine (mg):0.09
• Riboflavin (mg):0.13
• Niacin (mg):0.50
• Vitamin C (mg):10
From the above health benefits it is clear that lettuce is not only a salad vegetable but gives so many of health benefits also. But before consuming the lettuce leaves one should wash them thoroughly in cold water as pesticides are commonly used in lettuce crops. However, organic lettuce is believed to be free from these toxins and safe for consumption.