Nutrition and DietLettuce: benefits and properties

Lettuce: benefits and properties

Lettuce has important benefits and properties, thanks to its nutritional values. We discover all its most important qualities.

There is no doubt that it is the season to enjoy wonderful light and refreshing salads, which can indeed become a deliciously nutritious option for lunch or dinner. Among the most useful ingredients that commonly tend to include are cucumbers, which cannot be missing in a good and exquisite salad, and neither are lettuces.

Not surprisingly, we could say that almost as a general rule lettuce has become a food that is part of our diet, being precisely one of the classic products of many salads.

Depending on our body, the different benefits and properties of lettuces are very important, since – as we will see below – they have a series of fundamental virtues for the proper functioning of our body.

What are lettuces?

The lettuce is a leafy green that stand out precisely because it is one of the most popular and consumed every day around the world. They are part of a wide variety of recipes, although the most common is to use them to make wonderful salads, but we can also prepare a delicious, refreshing and light lettuce juice.

The lettuce is characterized by short plant stem and bright green leaves very characteristic.

They are scientifically known by the name of Lacuna sativa, and consist of an annual herbaceous plant that usually reaches approximately 25 centimeters. They are native to the Middle East, although today they are grown in greenhouses practically all year round.

There are different types and varieties of lettuces, although Chinese lettuces differ fundamentally in that they have a much more robust texture, hence the most common is that they are consumed after having cooked them before.

Lettuce varieties

Although there are a wide variety of lettuces, the most common and popular are the following:

  • Romaine lettuce: it has a long bud and lanceolate leaves, less thick and very crunchy.  In Spain they are known by the name of mule ears.
  • French Lettuce: they have fine leaves with a certainly buttery texture, and a round bud. Its flavor is more intense but stands out for being extremely delicate. They are also known by the name of Boston.
  • Beluga lettuce: it is one of the most popular. It has tight buds and is practically tasteless. Its texture is crunchy but it is easy to cut, hence it is commonly used in the preparation of recipes.
  • Batavia lettuce: it has curly leaves and the bud is rather loose. On the other hand, it is quite similar to the French variety, having a rather buttery texture.

Benefits of lettuces

High nutritional value

Among other aspects, we can indicate that it is rich in fiber, lactenin, pectin and beta-carotene; vitamins like B1, B2 and B3, A, E and C; as well as minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.

For everything indicated up to this point, its high iron content helps fight anemia, tiredness and fatigue.

Useful in case of flu and colds

It is ideal as a home remedy for colds and flu, as it strengthens the airways. In these cases, a good salad whose main ingredient is lettuce can help a lot.

Calming qualities

It has a calming effect on bumps, muscle aches and sprains, and it also has sedative and calming effects, helping to control insomnia problems, calm nerves and relieve palpitations.

In fact, thanks to its analgesic qualities, it helps in a very positive way when it comes to relieving nervous tension, pain, regulates the palpitations of our heart and is especially useful when it comes to helping us fall asleep better.

What better way to enjoy a delicious salad with lettuce at night, before going to bed? It will undoubtedly help us to go to bed lighter, and it will also help us sleep better.

Ideal against high cholesterol

It helps against high cholesterol, being an important source of antioxidants, which means that in addition to delaying cellular aging, it activates circulation preventing the appearance of arteriosclerosis. In fact, did you know that lettuces are useful for activating blood circulation?

For this reason, they are especially useful when it comes to regulating high cholesterol levels, and therefore preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Digestive properties

Lettuce also has digestive properties, fighting flatulence problems. In addition, it stands out for being a tremendously light food, especially rich in water and very low in fat and calories.

Helps eliminate toxins

Lettuces also stand out for being a food with diuretic qualities; that is to say, they help to activate the natural diuresis of our organism. In this way, thanks to its high water content (which is combined with its low sodium intake), it helps eliminate toxins and purify other unnecessary substances.

Therefore, as it stimulates diuresis, it is ideal in cases of fluid retention.

Nutritional information for lettuce

100 grams of lettuce provide:

Calories 10 kcal Vitamin B9 215 mcg
Carbohydrates 2.3 g Vitamin C 8 mg
Protein 1.2 g Match 23 mg
Fats 0.2 g Sodium 5 mg
Water 95.5 g Selenium 0.2 mcg
Vitamin A 970 UI Calcium 32 mg
Vitamin B1 0.06 mg Potassium 257 mg
Vitamin B2 0.06 mg Magnesium 13 mg
Vitamin B3 0.3 mg Iron 1 mg

 

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