If you love eating salads then you are definitely familiar with lettuce. Many women avoid buying this leafy vegetable because it has a slightly bitter taste yet it’s health benefits are way more than it’s taste.
Lettuce, scientifically known as Lactuca sativa, was first cultivated by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. The Egyptians used the seeds to produce oil and also utilized the leaves of this useful vegetable.
The plant also had cultural and religious significance in ancient Egypt, as it was considered to be sacred. Later, the Greeks and Romans also cultivated this crop.
What are the health benefits of lettuce?
Lettuce contains a number of vitamins and nutrients. In ancient times it was used for medicinal purpose and today, modern scientists have confirmed it’s many health benefits.
Here are 5 health benefits of lettuce worth knowing
1. It is an Anti-inflammatory Agent
Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help in controlling inflammation. In experimental models, lettuce extracts have shown significant controlling power over inflammation induced by biocatalysts like lipoxygenase and carrageenan.
2. Lettuce helps to fight insomnia
One of the major traditional uses of lettuce was as a sleep inducer. Research into the extracts of lettuce resulted in the isolation of a depressant chemical. This chemical, when administered in experimental animals, showed significant sedative effects. If you suffer from insomnia include lettuce in your diet.
3. Helps Weight Loss
Lettuce contains fiber and cellulose. Besides filling you up, fiber improves your digestion. Improving your digestion may not sound like a good thing for losing weight, but it is actually essential for long-term weight control.
Fiber also helps remove bile salts from the body. When the body replaces these salts it breaks down cholesterol to do so.
4. Antioxidant Agent
Antioxidants are a wide range of biochemicals mostly found in our diet; they are also very necessary for human health. Studies have shown that lettuce possesses antioxidants with significant free radical-scavenging capabilities.
5. Helps to Control Anxiety
The neurological properties of lettuce have long been suggested and exploited during ancient times and the Middle Ages in medical treaties such as the Unani system. In modern times, research has shown that lettuce can have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.
6. Lettuce has anti-cancer properties.
Lettuce leaf extracts can control leukemia cells and breast cancer cells. Also, lettuce contains antioxidants, which have shown to seek and destroy free radicals that mutate healthy cells and turn them into cancer cells.
7. Lettuce can help improve the condition of your eyes.
Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin A. This compound promotes better eye health and can prevent macular degeneration and cataract formation. One cup of lettuce contains 82 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.