Spring is here and I thought it would be interesting to post about a seasonal fresh vegetable. Hope you enjoy! Lettuce is an annual plant, most often grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its stem and seeds. Lettuce was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who turned it from a weed, whose seeds were used to produce oil, into a plant grown for its leaves. Lettuce spread to the Greeks and Romans, the latter of whom gave it the name “lactuca”, from which the English “lettuce” is ultimately derived.
1. Healthy Snack
Lettuce leaves are one of the very low calorie green-vegetables. 100 g fresh leaves provide just 15 calories. Nonetheless, they are the store house of many phytonutrients that have health promoting and disease prevention properties.
2. Vitamin K Source
Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin K, which has a potential role in the bone metabolism where it is thought to increase bone mass by promoting osteotropic activity in the bone cells. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
3. Cures Anemia
Lettuce contains rich quantities of iron and that’s why it is used as an excellent tonic food for patients suffering from anemia.
4. Treats Constipation
The rich content of cellulose in lettuce makes it good roughage for the body. It helps to increase the bulk of intestinal contents and improves peristalsis. Lettuce is therefore, used for curing constipation and other stomach disorders.
5. Insomnia Treatment
Lettuce contains a substance called lactucarium, which has the ability to induce sleep. Thus lettuce is used in the treatment of insomnia. The effect of Lettuce juice is similar to tranquilizing effect of opium but the former lacks the accompanying excitement. A mixture of lettuce juice and oil of roses, if applied to the temples and forehead, stimulates sleep in patients suffering of insomnia and relieves headaches.