Lettuce leaves are indispensable to a great salad! These green leaves are known for their crunchy, refreshing taste and are one of the most widely used veggies. The origin of leaf Lettuce dates back to thousands of years when it was first cultivated during the Egyptian civilization. It was highly popularized during the 16th and 18th Centuries and was widely used for its Culinary and medicinal properties. However, there is a misconception that these leaves have zero nutrition, but the truth is quite the opposite! Check out this article to learn the many Lettuce Leaves Benefits to your skin, hair and health.
What Is Lettuce?
Lettuce is a green leafy vegetable with a scientific name of Lactuca Sativa. It belongs to the family of Asteraceae. It was originally used as a medicinal herb and was later used in making a variety of dishes. Lettuce leaves are the highest used ingredients in western countries, especially in Salads, Burgers and other snacks.
Types Of Lettuce Leaves:
There four different types of lettuce leaves, namely iceberg, butterhead, leaf and romaine.
- Iceberg Lettuce is the common one used in almost every salad. It has a crisp bite to it.
- Butterhead is a delicate kind with supple leaves. These are used as a garnish for various hors d’oeuvres.
- Green and red lettuce leaves are a very delicate kind that and only be dressed just before serving.
- Romaine lettuce has a bitter bite to it and is crisp and sweet at the ribs.
Romaine Lettuce Vs Iceberg Lettuce:
Romaine lettuce and Iceberg lettuce are two different varieties of the Lettuce plant. They are more or less the same in terms of calories and nutrition levels but vary in micronutrients. Iceberg lettuce is 95 % water and 5 % nutrition. Romaine Lettuce, on the other hand, contains higher percentages of nutrition, especially Vitamin K, A, and Folate, making it a more desirable variety of this veggie.
How To Use Lettuce Leaves?
If you are wondering how to eat Lettuce leaves, you are in for a surprise. There are many ways to incorporate Lettuce in your food, which not only enhances the overall taste and texture but also the nutritional value of your dish:
- Lettuce leaves are best eaten raw. Cooking them can strip off all the nutrients in them.
- Shredded Lettuce leaves are used in Salads.
- You can use lettuce leaves as a healthy replacement to the dough while making spring rolls.
- Lettuce leaves are used as edible cups to hold salads and stir-fries.
- You can use lettuce leaves instead of the regular taco shells.
- Adding lettuce to sandwiches and burgers adds a great crunchy layer.
Nutritional Value Of Lettuce Leaves:
Below is the nutritional value of lettuce leaves per 100 grams:
- Total Calories: 15
- Total Carbohydrates: 2.9 gm
- Total Fat: 0.2 gm
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 28 mg
- Potassium: 194 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 1.3 gm
- Protein: 1.4 gm
- Vitamin A: 148 %
- Vitamin C: 15 %
- Vitamin B6: 5 %
Lettuce Leaves Benefits For Skin, Hair & Health:
Here we enlisted 18 wonderful lettuce leaves benefits for health, hair and skin. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Nourishes Skin:
The vitamin A level in lettuce leaves is quite high. This is one nutrient that helps in repair and rejuvenation of the skin cells. This, in turn, helps the skin feel revitalized in more than a perfect manner. Adding about 5-6 leaves of lettuce in the daily diet is all you need to do.
2. Removes Toxins From Body:
Removing toxins from the body and from the skin is another of the benefits associated with lettuce solely because of the dietary fibre and the antioxidants in the vegetable. This helps in youthful skin free from the damage of free radicals as well as complete detoxification of the body. This is one of the important uses of lettuce to our body.
3. Treats Insomnia:
The antispastic and sedative effects are present in lettuce leaves. Consumption of 5-6 leaves daily ensures good sleep. For an easier way of consumption, you can always prepare juice from the lettuce leaves. Using this remedy regularly can help in treating chronic insomnia by inducing good sleep.
4. Protects Skin From Sun Damage:
The lettuce benefits for our skin are numerous. The effective combination of vitamin C and vitamin E is present in lettuce leaves. This helps in keeping the skin healthy and fit. Well again, it also helps in giving the skin a protective layer that saves it from the harmful rays of the sun. This also helps in the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts in the eyes and protects this vital organ as well.
5. Rich Source Of Omega Acids:
Omega fatty 3 acids are one of the very essential nutrients required by the body for proper functioning. Along with this, omega fatty 6 acids is also present in a lot of different types of lettuce making it perfect for fulfilling the nutrient requirement of the body.
See More: Lettuce During Pregnancy
6. Works As A Skin Toner:
To tone the facial skin you can easily use the paste or the juice of lettuce leaves in the various face masks. This will surely give you the benefits for the skin that you deserve. It will also make the skin firm and more youthful.
7. Prevents and Treats Anaemia:
To improve the levels of haemoglobin in the blood and the formation of red blood cells, it is very important for the body to get the essential mineral we know as iron. This is one of the important health benefits of red leaf lettuce. It will, therefore, help in treating anaemic conditions as well that is caused by a lack of iron in the blood.
8. Helps Lose Weight:
The high levels of nutrients and low levels of fat and calories along with a unique combination with dietary fibre help in keeping the weight in check. It also helps in flushing the accumulated fat from the body. This helps in proper weight loss that also helps in keeping away a lot of body problems.
9. Prevents Heart Disorders:
Keeping the heart healthy is one of the advantages associated with lettuce leaves. The beta carotene and vitamin C oxidizes the bad cholesterol to achieve a healthy heart. It also keeps away plaque formation. Lettuce is a good snack as well as a good meal for the health-conscious.
10. Promotes Good Hair Growth:
Lettuce is rich in Vitamin K which essentially enriches the roots of hair thereby strengthening them. Also, with frequent intake of lettuce, prevention of hair fall is quite possible. Alongside this, since lettuce is rich in potassium it prevents premature greying of hair and enhances the texture of hair.
11. Fights Inflammation:
Lettuce has many anti-inflammatory agents to fight inflammation in the body, including arthritis, clotting of blood, tissue damage etc., It is loaded with Vitamin C and Calcium to strengthen your bones and offer better oxygen supply to the cells. Romaine lettuce is one of the best varieties of Lettuce to reduce pain and swelling in the body.
12. Promotes Brain Health:
Studies show that lettuce can help in boosting the functions of Brain and also slowing down the declination of cognitive abilities with ageing. The high amounts of Vitamin K, Lutein, Beta-Carotene and Folate stimulates brain cells and aid in better functioning. It even helps in speeding up the response rates.
See More: Green Leafy Vegetables
13. Fights Cancer:
Lettuce is regarded as one of the top 10 Cancer-fighting vegetables. It is proven that lettuce can effectively curb many types of cancer, breast cancer in particular. Regular consumption of Lettuce can also lower the chances of falling prey to cancers. A compound called Lutein is shown to kill the cancer cells and reduce tumour growth.
14. Promotes Better Vision:
For better eyesight, doctors recommend having a generous portion of leafy greens, particularly Lettuce. Consuming lettuce regularly can help in reducing macular degeneration of the retina and also treat vision loss. Lutein and Zeaxanthin present in Lettuce can nourish the cells in the eye and sharpen your vision.
15. Strengthens Bones:
One of the many benefits of green leaf lettuce is to strengthening your bone structure. Lettuce contains a plethora of nutrients which can strengthen your bones and teeth. It contains good amounts of calcium, Vitamin K and other important nutrients to improve the density of your bones. Studies also show that regular intake of lettuce can reduce the risks of Osteoporosis.
16. Good For Pregnancy:
A lot of women have reported having cravings for lettuce during pregnancy. Lettuce is definitely good for you during this critical phase of your life. It contains many important vitamins and minerals, including key anti-oxidants for the well-being of your baby. It is advised to choose the dark varieties of lettuce like Romaine for better nutrition.
17. Prevents Harm To Neuronal Cells:
It is proven that lettuce can prevent many nerve degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, by strengthening the neurons. Many compounds present in lettuce are known to prevent the death of these neurons, which causes these nerve disorders. It is therefore advisable to include these leaves in your everyday diet.
18. Treats Anxiety:
One of the key lettuce leaves benefits is to help in reducing the anxiety levels. The anxiolytic properties of lettuce can calm down your nerves and give a soothing feeling. It even has positive effects in treating depression and many anxiety-related issues. It certainly plays an important role in your neurological development.
See More: Spinach Benefits
Lettuce Side Effects:
Lettuce is generally safe for regular consumption but may cause side effects in certain conditions. Also, overconsuming lettuce can lead to many health issues like:
- Stomach Upset
- Allergic reactions due to high amounts of pesticides
Surprised knowing about these amazing lettuce leaves benefits? This low-calorie vegetable has always remained an unsung hero in the kingdom of healthy foods. Many people tend to use lettuce for the presentation of food and tend to discard it before consumption. Now that you have understood the many advantages of this incredible green, we are pretty sure you would love to sink your teeth in its juicy, crunchy leaves!