Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold and raw, in salads, hamburgers, tacos, and many other dishes.
Lettuce is exceptionally low in calories and contains over 90% water. However, dark lettuce leaves are rich in folate and contain useful amounts of beta-carotene as well as vitamin C, potassium and certain phyto-chemicals (coumarins, flavonoids and lactucin) that act as a mild sedative, especially when eaten with bread.
Lettuce contain alkaloids which is responsible for it therapeutic effect. Although all varieties of lettuce have low calories, each variety has different nutrient content. Romaine lettuce is the most nutrient-dense of all the lettuce varieties and is an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, folic acid, manganese and chromium, while Iceberg lettuce variety provides a good source of choline. It is important to know that the outer leaves may contain fifty times more nutrients than the stem, so eat everything.
The health benefits of lettuce:
1.All lettuce is a good source of chlorophyll and vitamin K.
2.Lettuce is very good for dieters because it is very low in calories.
3.Lettuce magnesium content has exceptional vitalizing powers especially in the muscular tissues, the brain and the nerves.
4.Lettuce is a good source of Iron which is the most active element in the body therefore it must be replenished frequently to meet any sudden demand of the body such as the rapid formation of red blood corpuscles in heavy loss of blood.
5.Lettuce is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep inducing substance.
6.Lettuce may also help treat the following problems; acid indigestion, anemia, arthritis, catarrh, circulatory problems, colitis, constipation, cough, diabetes, gastritis, gout, insomnia, irritable bowel, obesity, sexual addiction, stress, tuberculosis, ulcers and urinary tract diseases.
7.The juice of lettuce combined with carrot and spinach juice is very helpful for maintaining the normal color of the hair.
The darker the color of the lettuce green, the more nutritious it is. Beta-carotene is the chief disease-fighting nutrient found in the darker-colored greens. As an antioxidant, it battles certain cancers, heart disease, and cataracts. A dark-green color also indicates the presence of folic acid, which helps prevent neural-tube birth defects in the beginning stages of pregnancy.