LettuceIt 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 and have an alkalising effect on the body. It has lots of dietary fibre and lettuce is very low in calories, with its glycemic load considered to be practically zero.

The high fibre 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 fibre binds to bile salts in the colon and removes them from the body. 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 flavour. Leaf lettuce is a favourite 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 also are beneficial for your health. One reason why salads are so healthy is because they are almost always eaten raw.

The best lettuces to include into your diet would be a variety of different lettuces and salad greens, as this will provide you with an array of different phytonutrients with all their specific health benefits. In general you can say that the darker the leaves, the more sunshine they get and in turn synthesize more vitamins. It’s best to buy organic lettuce because lettuce can contain a lot of toxins 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.

Some benefits of lettuce on 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 fibre 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 you see when you break leaves of lettuce contains a substance with sedative properties.

2019 Gezond eten met Ed   All rights reserved   Website, text & photo's by Ed