Lettuce is a live food and regarded as the king of salad plant. It is the most popular salad vegetable and found in several varieties. It was cultivated as a salad plant by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It reached in China in 17th Century AD and was first used in England in 1520. It is now widely cultivated in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, South America and West and Central Africa. Lettuce contains unique nutrition that have “sedative” and “painkilling” properties which makes it an effective juice for treating sleep, anxiety and nervous disorders.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is known since time immemorial for its refreshing, purifying and sedative properties. It derives its name from the milky juice (“latex”) leaking out from the stems after they are cut.
Today, lettuce is one of the most common leaf vegetables and a basic ingredient of many salads. It is characterized by large, tender leaves, usually light green in color, but sometimes red or purple depending on the variety.
Both the leaves and the stems can be used, either lightly cooked or more frequently raw. Due to its high water content, lettuce is one of my favorite ingredients for a delicious, refreshing healthy juice.
Types of lettuce:
Iceberg/crisphead: Greener leaves on the outside and whiter on the inside. This type is most popular for its crisp texture, juicy and mild taste. A good source of choline.
Romaine lettuce: Has deep green and long leaves. It has a crisp texture and a deeper taste than the other varieties. A good source of vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, and folate.
Butterhead: This type of lettuce has large leaves that are arranged “loosely” and are easily separated from its stem. It has a softer texture with a sweet flavor compared to its other cousins.
Loose-leaf: As the name implies, this variety has loose leaves that are broad and curly. It has a delicate taste and slightly crispy texture.
Amazing Benefits of Lettuce:
1. Lettuce is high in health value- Lettuce is a live food with rich vitamin content. On an average 100 gm of Lettuce contains 50 mg of calcium with 28 mg of phosphorus and iron of about 2.5 mg. There is 10 mg of vitamin C and a small amount of vitamin B complex. The calorific value is just 42.
2. The raw juice of lettuce is cool and refreshing. It carries high content of magnesium, which has exceptional power to vitalize the muscular tissues, the nerves and the brain.
3. Lettuce is helpful in constipation – As lettuce is rich in cellulose, it increases the bulk of the intestinal content and encourages peristalsis. It is therefore highly beneficial in curing chronic constipation.
4. Lettuce improves insomnia – Lettuce contains a substance called lectucarium which has the ability to induce sleep. Thus lettuce is used in the treatment of insomnia.
5. Lettuce relieves headaches – The juice of lettuce mixed with oil of roses, applied to the forehead and temples induces sleep and eases the head-ache.
6. Lettuce helps in curing anemia – Lettuce contains rich quantity of iron and adds hemoglobin to the blood. It works as an excellent tonic food for patients suffering from anemia. The iron consumed in this form is absorbed much more than that provided by iron tonics.
7. Lettuce is beneficial during pregnancy – Lettuce contains folic acid that helps in preventing anemia all through pregnancy. It is said to influence the secretion and release of progesterone hormone that is responsible for lactation in feeding mothers.
8. Lettuce is good in diabetes – Lettuce belongs to that group of vegetable which contains less than 3% of carbohydrates. It is therefore, very good for diabetic patients.
9. Lettuce is very good for those trying to loose weight as it is very low in calories.
10. The juice of Lettuce combine with carrot and spinach juice is very helpful for maintaining the normal colour of the hair.
11. Lettuce is quite beneficial for people who often suffer from the problem of nervous cough.
12. Lettuce help to reduce acidity – Lettuce has rich contents of mineral salts especially the alkaline elements. These help to reduce the acidity caused by heavy food and body acid.
13. The regular consumption of lettuce is very helpful to those suffering from gastritis.
14. Lettuce helps in improving sexual disorders – Lettuce is useful in curing several types of sexual disorders. The use of lettuce juice regularly assists in improving fertility rate and increase the sperm count. The intake of fresh lettuce improves erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in males.
15. Lettuce helps in relaxing sexual passion.
16. The juice of lettuce mixed with lime juice, mint juice and honey is as effective medicine to treat dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and piles.
17. The presence of beta-carotene, the chief disease fighting nutrient in lettuce helps in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts.
18. Lettuce also helps in purification of blood. It makes the mind alert and improves the general health of the body.
19. Lettuce has been found to be beneficial in the prevention of spina bifinda and anemia.
20. Lettuce is a good source of Iron, which is the most active element in the body, therefore lettuce is very useful to meet any sudden demand of the body such as the rapid formation of red blood corpuscles in heavy loss of blood.
Lettuce is a very safe vegetable and has no adverse reaction reported so far.
There is only one condition in which large quantities of lettuce are contra-indicated: For patients undergoing anti-coagulant therapy with vitamin K antagonists (such as warfarin). The high amount of vitamin K, may interfere with the therapy, possibly leading to blood clots formation (thrombosis) and related complications. So be aware if you’re on such medication.
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Sources: saviodsilva.net / kalashseedsonline.com