If you want to lose weight, the go-to response from many people is to go on a diet.
When you think of diets, however, you tend to generally think of salads.
And what is the key component of any salad?
The lettuce of course.
This is why for today’s topic we’re discussing the various health benefits of lettuce.
It turns out, however, that lettuce can be used in many other different ways, than those that are simply based around throwing a bland and boring salad together because you’re trying to lose weight.
Lettuce is a very versatile, tasty, healthy, and nutritious food that does not get the appreciation or recognition that it deserves.
That’s why we’re compiling this article today.
Below you’ll find a list of several mind-blowing lettuce benefits, that you may not have previously been aware of.
Take a look and we guarantee that by the end of this article you’ll never look at lettuce in the same way again.
What is lettuce
First off, before we can start looking at the lettuce health benefits, we need to ensure that you know precisely what it is.
The word ‘lettuce’ for example, is very broad as there are countless varieties of lettuce out there, with each one offering its own unique health benefits and nutritional qualities.
The word itself has Ancient Roman roots as it is derived from the Roman word ‘Lactuca Sativa’.
You would, therefore, be forgiven for assuming that lettuce originated in Rome.
In actual fact, however, it was the ancient Egyptians that first began cultivating lettuce.
Rather than eating the leaves, however, they instead grew lettuce in order to harvest the seeds it produced, as they contained oils.
As time went by, more and more civilizations began cultivating lettuce, primarily for medicinal purposes.
Lettuce is a member of the daisy family.
There are countless varieties of lettuce to choose from, though many of them have very similar qualities in terms of taste, texture, and appearance.
Some of the more popular varieties of lettuce consumed nowadays include Iceberg, Romaine, Little Gem, and Rocket.
Typically, most forms of lettuce are green, though some can be yellow, brown, purple, and even red.
Health Benefits Of Lettuce
Now we’re going to look at why health experts and nutritionists are so impressed with lettuce for its health and nutritional properties.
Here are several health benefits.
1. Rich In Vitamin A
When people think of lettuce, they don’t realize that it’s actually as nutritious as it is.
Lettuce was once thought to be lacking in certain nutrients, yet it is surprisingly nutritious.
In particular, you’ll find that most varieties of lettuce are loaded full of vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that boosts immunity, improves eyesight, protects the cells, and much more besides.
100g of most forms of lettuce will provide nearly 158% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
As it is fat-soluble, you must remember to consume healthy fat with your lettuce, which is where oil-based dressings can be so beneficial.
2. Lettuce Can Promote Sleep
When you struggle to sleep at night, forget counting sheep, why not chomp down on a few lettuce leaves instead?
Lettuce is packed full of nutrients, though in particular, you’ll find that lettuce contains lactucarium which is actually very, very, very loosely related to opium.
It has similar properties to opium, albeit hugely scaled-down.
This milky white substance is located within lettuce leaves and it works by helping you to relax and sleep.
3. Lettuce Keeps You Hydrated
Hydration is an integral part of any healthy living regime yet not everybody is able to drink water on a regular basis.
Sometimes our hydration needs to come from whole foods and this is where lettuce leaves prove to be so beneficial.
Lettuce leaves contain naturally high amounts of water, which is why salads are so useful for people lacking water.
4. Lettuce Helps Fight Inflammation
When we picture anti-inflammatory ingredients, we often think of drugs and medications, which, although effective, can often cause their own health issues and drawbacks.
Lettuce, however, is a surprising ingredient renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties.
You’ll find that lettuce contains active compounds including Carrageenan and Lipoxygenase, which help to ease inflammation in the body.
5. Lettuce Provides Pain Relief
Another of the lesser-known lettuce benefits is the fact that it is able to provide such effective pain-relief for people.
Whether you’re dealing with an injury, a headache, pain caused by inflammation, or anything else, lettuce can help.
To begin with, lettuce helps ease inflammation as we looked at above.
This means that it can help to deal with headaches and sore joints and muscles.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that lettuce also shares similar properties with opium, so it functions similarly to how opiate medicines work.
6. Lettuce Is Anti-bacterial
Lettuce is revered for its health benefits, particularly when it comes to the anti-viral properties that lettuce possesses.
Lettuce contains active ingredients which help to destroy harmful bacteria in the body, whilst simultaneously protecting your body from harmful microbes and other nasties that cause all kinds of health risks and ailments.
7. Lettuce Is Very Versatile
When you think of lettuce, be honest, you think of salad, don’t you?
Whilst salads can be delicious if prepared right, the truth is that there is so much more that can be done with lettuce.
Though it’s perhaps not as important as some of the other health benefits that we’ve looked at so far, lettuce’s versatility is still to be admired.
You can use lettuce in salads, on burgers, in sandwiches, in wraps, in sauces, and you can even cook lettuce.
In fact, lettuce was once cooked similarly to how we prepare cabbage now.
8. Lettuce Tastes Great
Whilst we’re on the subject of how versatile lettuce is, we can’t overlook the fact that lettuce also tastes great.
Everybody has their favorite variety of lettuce, and each one tastes so different.
Iceberg, for example, is crunchy and mild, the little gem is sweet, whereas the rocket is peppery.
We can all agree on the fact that lettuce tastes great.
9. Lettuce Is Great For Weight Loss
Let’s face it, when it comes to losing weight, lettuce is synonymous with the weight loss world.
There’s a reason why people associate salads with diets and weight loss, and that reason is simply the fact that lettuce is great for weight loss.
Lettuce contains fiber, which helps to promote satiety, so you feel full for longer after eating it.
Not only that, but lettuce is also virtually fat-free and is very low in calories, so you can eat plenty of it and still stay well below your daily caloric requirements.
10. Lettuce Promotes Cardiovascular Health
One of the more surprising lettuce benefits is the fact that it has been found to promote cardiovascular health.
Yep, lettuce is great for the heart.
This is because lettuce is so nutritious, though it is the vitamin C and beta-carotene found in lettuce that proves especially beneficial here.
The antioxidant-like properties of these nutrients help to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaque, which can block the arteries and cause heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, and much more.
11. Healthy Fats
Some varieties of lettuce actually contain healthy oils and fats that promote health and wellness in a number of ways.
These healthy fats promote cardiovascular health, plus they help to boost metabolism and improve cognitive health and function as well.
12. Lettuce Promotes Cognitive Health
Another of the very prominent health benefits of lettuce is the fact that it is great for the brain.
Lettuce is packed full of nutrients that promote cognitive health, meaning that it helps you to think clearer, it improves your memory, it boosts your concentration and focus, and it can even help to ward off cognitive health issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, dementia, and more besides. Put simply, lettuce is extremely good for the brain.
13. Lettuce Is Great For Anxiety
Though we’ve touched upon the cognitive health benefits associated with lettuce already, this next benefit is so important that we’re giving it its very own section.
Anxiety is a mental health issue that affects a vast percentage of the population.
In fact, more people suffer from anxiety than a lot of us realize, it’s just that they choose to suffer in silence.
One reason why lettuce is so useful for people suffering from anxiety is the fact that it has sedative properties so it helps people to relax and think clearer.
For people suffering from anxiety, the benefits are very prominent.
14. Lettuce Boosts The Immune System
Whether you’re looking to ward off the common cold or promote great health in general, it’s absolutely vital that you ensure that your immune system is healthy and functioning as it should.
The immune system is what helps to protect you from illness and disease.
When you get sick, your immune system is what helps you to recover.
If your immune system is weak, your health is at risk.
The immune system works at its best when it is supplied with a constant stream of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients in general.
Lettuce contains a wide variety of nutrients that help to strengthen the immune system.
The stronger your immunity, the less likely you are to get sick.
15. Lettuce Is Nutritious
We need nutrients to perform at our best and in order for our bodies to perform a variety of physiological processes.
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all serve very important purposes in the body.
But what does this have to do with lettuce?
Well, lettuce is one of the most nutritious foods in existence.
Lettuce is loaded full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that make it so incredibly healthy.
You’ll find vitamins A, B, C, K, and E in lettuce, as well as minerals such as Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and many more besides.
16. Surprisingly Rich In Protein
Some varieties of lettuce are actually surprisingly high in protein.
When you think of protein, you think of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, you do not think of lettuce.
Some forms of lettuce, however, are great sources of protein.
Romaine lettuce, for example, is almost 20% protein.
That means that 20% of the lettuce’s caloric contents are made up of protein.
17. Lettuce Balances PH Levels
Now, assuming that your PH levels are out of sync and are hovering around the acidic range, lettuce is the perfect food for you.
This is because lettuce contains active compounds which help to promote alkalinity in the body and balance your PH levels.
This is very important for people looking to prevent acidosis in the body, which is a condition causes by PH levels being too acidic.
18. Lettuce Has A Low Glycaemic Index
For people worrying about their carb intakes, or who are simply looking to control their blood sugar levels, lettuce is perfect.
This is because lettuce has a naturally low glycaemic index.
It is very, very low in carbs and contains virtually no sugars whatsoever.
Therefore, for people with elevated blood glucose levels, diabetics, people on keto, or people who simply do not wish to consume too much sugar, lettuce is the perfect food.