Vitamins and Minerals in Lettuce
An indispensable part of salads, lettuce is both a low-calorie and nutritious vegetable with its abundant juicy content. As for lettuce varieties, it is used in different salad recipes. With the scientific name "Lactuca sativa", it is a green leafy vegetable belonging to the Daisy family (Asteraceae), which has been cultivated by the Egyptians for hundreds of years. Considered a sacred plant, lettuce has a religious and cultural meaning in ancient Egypt. Different types of this vegetable, which was also grown in the Roman and Byzantine periods, appeared in the 16th and 18th centuries. Lettuce has also been used as a medicinal plant in the past. It has passed from Europe to the American continent.
Nutritional Value of Lettuce
Lettuce is very rich in nutritional values. in 100 grams of raw lettuce, there are:
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Protein: 1 g
Water: 93 g
Calcium: 36 mg
Phosphorus: 28 mg
Iron: 1 mg
Lettuce, a source of betacarotene with antioxidant properties, contains a lot of vitamin A. It is also a good source of folate, vitamin K and C. Vitamins in lettuce, which contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), vitamins B6 and E, as well as A, K, C.
In terms of lettuce varieties, it can have different nutritional values. However, these ratios show very small variations. We know lettuce, which has varieties such as crispa (curly), capitata (head), longifolia (flat-leaved), mostly with its subspecies. Lettuces are also distinguished by their leaves and color. Lettuce, which is distinguished as straight, slightly curly, curly, curly head, oily head (loose), Romaine lettuces, has a wide range in terms of variety. The lettuce varieties that we commonly encounter in Turkey are as follows:
Yedikule Lettuce: Yedikule lettuce, also known as Romain lettuce, is a type of lettuce that turns yellowish from leafy dark green to its root. This lettuce, which also takes its name from the Yedikule Neighborhood of Istanbul, is mostly used in salads.
Belly Lettuce: Belly lettuce, also known as Iceberg, contains fewer antioxidants than Yedikule lettuce. It is resistant to heating, so it is served with hot dishes, such as hamburgers. It has a crunchy texture and a mild taste.
Curly Lettuce: This lettuce variety, which can also be very curly, such as Lolorosso, is also a powerful source of antioxidants.
Lettuce is a food that is quite low in calories. 100 grams of lettuce is approximately 16 calories. Rich in fiber and low in calories, you can add plenty of this food to your meals to benefit from its benefits. The benefits of lettuce can be listed as follows:
The Crown of Diets
One of the first foods that comes to mind when it comes to diet is undoubtedly lettuce. Its fiber content and low calorie content make lettuce a good dietary vegetable. It can also provide enough micronutrients to not be taken on a low-calorie diet. The fact that lettuce contains a lot of fiber gives a feeling of satiety and prevents eating. It also contains very little fat. It can also be a good option for weight control.
Help Prevent Inflammation
Lettuce shows an anti-inflammatory property thanks to lipoxygenase and carrageenan enzymes and helps to control inflammation in the body. Again, vitamins A, K and E are supportive in reducing inflammation. The dark green leaves of lettuce contain more antioxidants and have a more anti-inflammatory effect. It is thought that lettuce, which is also known for its pain-relieving properties, may be useful in painful diseases such as arthritis.
Keeps the Brain ‘Young’
Neurons are cells that help memory development in the brain by making physical connections. It is known that neurons die in brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In diseases such as glycogen storage disease, the extracts in lettuce are thought to help prevent the death of these cells.
Prevents Bad Cholesterol
High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) lay the groundwork for the development of cardiovascular diseases. With its vitamin C and beta carotene content, lettuce prevents the formation of plaques in the vessels by ensuring blood flow. In this way, bad cholesterol levels decrease and heart diseases can be prevented.
Support Against Cancer
As a starch-free vegetable, lettuce can protect against cancers such as stomach, mouth, esophagus. It is claimed that extracts from lettuce will prevent the spread of leukemia and breast cancer cells. You can take precautions against cancer risks with this vegetable, which can be a part of your healthy diet.
Green leafy vegetables are known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Lettuce with a low glycemic index is also one of these vegetables and can be included in a diabetes-friendly diet. Lettuce also contains the carotenoid lactucaxanthin, which can lower blood sugar levels and be a supporter in the treatment of diabetes.
Cleanses from Toxins
The minerals in lettuce support the removal of toxins from the body. This condition also means that the acid balance is maintained in the body. The body that is cleansed of toxins can stay healthier. In addition, lettuce is rich in antioxidants, so it protects the body against free radicals that can damage healthy tissues and cells.
Support for the Fight Against Insomnia
Did you know that the lactucarium substance in lettuce has soothing properties? This substance, which is released by breaking or cutting lettuce leaves, can be useful in the fight against insomnia. Lactucarium is relaxing and can bring sleep.
With the intake of iron, potassium and magnesium, the body helps regulate metabolic processes. Again, vitamins of group B, which support metabolism, are found in lettuce.
Protects Eye Health
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, which improves vision, is indicated to be effective in preventing cataracts and yellow spot disease. Again, lutein, which is found in green leafy vegetables, is also helpful in improving vision health.
It Puts the Digestive System in Order with Fiber
"Fiber” means "a good digestive system". With its fibrous structure, lettuce has a property of preventing constipation and relieving digestive problems such as bloating. Lettuce should be added to the diet for those who have indigestion problems.
It also Nourishes the Bones
The vitamins in lettuce are also important for bone health. Vitamins A, K and C are effective in collagen formation. Vitamin K is involved in the formation of cartilage and connective tissue; vitamin A is involved in the formation of new bone cells; vitamin C fights bone loss that can occur as a result of aging. Vitamin K deficiency increases the risk of low bone density (osteopenia) and bone fractures. It is important to be able to get enough of these vitamins to increase bone mass and strength.
Pregnancy Should Be Added to the Nutrition List
The folate contained in lettuce is important in reducing the risk of birth anomalies during pregnancy. Again, in the case of a lack of vitamin K in lettuce, it can cause bleeding during pregnancy. Among the foods that can be consumed in pregnancy nutrition, you can take lettuce. Decanter. Again, the constipation problem that pregnant women often complain about can be reduced thanks to the fiber in lettuce.
Can Strengthen The Muscles
Potassium is very important for November muscles. Lettuce, rich in potassium, can strengthen November muscles. More research is needed for the benefits of lettuce, which also contains nitrates, which are known to increase exercise capacity.
The Power of Vitamins in Lettuce
Vitamin A promotes skin regeneration, while vitamin C protects the skin from UV rays. This, in turn, delays the aging of the skin. Its fibrous structure also makes lettuce an important vegetable in terms of skin health. Vitamin K also strengthens your hair. Consuming lettuce, which is almost 95 percent water, can also help keep your skin hydrated.
In addition to your salads, you can also add lettuce to your sandwiches and drinks such as smoothies. However, lettuce must be washed very well before being consumed as a leafy green vegetable.