Lettuce

LettuceLettuce was already a part of the human diet in the times of ancient Egypt (4500 BC.) and in China it’s seen as a good luck symbol, served on birthdays. Lettuce, botanically known as Lactuva Sativa, is a staple among salad eaters and contains relatively high amounts of vitamins.

Lettuce is very good source of the vitamins A and K, and its also a source of several B vitamins. It also contains several minerals, which help to remove toxins from the body. It also adds lots of dietary fiber to your meal and with hardly any calories, its glycemic load is considered to be practically zero.

The high fiber content of lettuce in combination with its vitamins makes it a very beneficial food for people with high cholesterol levels. The vitamins prevent oxidation of cholesterol and the fiber binds to bile salts in the colon and removes them from the body with the stool. This forces the body to make more bile, and it must break down cholesterol to do this.

Leaf lettuceqLettuces are usually divided in four different basic varieties: Crisphead, Butterhead, Leaf lettuce and the Romaine or Cos variety. Iceberg salad comes from the Crisphead variety and is the least nutritious of the lettuces. Butterhead lettuce is generally known for its grassy green leaves and mild flavor. Leaf lettuce is a favorite among many home gardeners because you can pick leaves and plant continuous to grow and the Romaine or Cos variety is considered to be the most nutritious. The words lettuce and salad are practically interchangeable and lettuce is often used to denominate several leafy greens which are technically not lettuces, but they are also considered to be beneficial for your health. Another reason why salads are so healthy is because they are almost always eaten raw, and are a healthy addition to almost every meal.

The best lettuces to include into your diet would be a variety of different lettuces and salad greens, as these will provide you with an array of different fyto-nutrients which all have their specific health benefits. In general you can say that the darker the leaves, the more sunshine they got and in turn synthesized more vitamins. It’s best to buy organic lettuce because lettuce can contain a lot of toxin and pesticide residues. This is because lettuce has a high surface to weight ratio and because bugs and micro organisms like those tender leaves as well, they are treated with insecticides.

Some benefits of lettuce in a row,

  • Lettuce is very low in calories and has a glycemic load of practically zero.
  • Lettuce is a very good source of the vitamins A & K, and it contains several B vitamins and C.
  • Lettuce is a source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium & zinc.
  • Lettuce can lower cholesterol levels, due to its vitamin and fiber content.
  • Lettuce protects neuronal cells and can help in the prevention of degenerative diseases.
  • Lettuce is rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lettuce has antimicrobial properties and can help with fungal overgrowth
  • Lettuce were traditionally used to induce sleep and to help with insomnia. The white juice that leaks out when you break the leaves of lettuce, contain a substance with sedative properties.

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