Published: 11/30/2012 - Updated: 09/30/2018
Author: Miriam Reyes
Lettuce is one of the amazing green leafy vegetables, full of essential nutrients that benefit health in general. In fact, it is one of the most used, either for its crunchy sensation, or its use for salads or sandwiches, a vegetable lettuce is also healthy.
Botanically, this wonderful plant is lush, with a deep green color; varieties of bitter-tasting leaves are quite rich in antioxidants.
Nutritional properties of lettuce
Vitamins in lettuce are plentiful. The fresh leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene. These compounds have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance of mucous membranes and skin, and it is also essential for vision.
The consumption of natural fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids helps protect the body from cancers of the oral cavity and lung. Furthermore lettuce is a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin K has a potential role in bone metabolism which is to increase bone mass by promoting activity in bone cells. It has also been established that it plays an important role in patients with Alzheimer's disease limiting neuronal damage in the brain. Fresh leaves contain folate and a good amount of vitamin C. Folates are required for DNA synthesis and therefore are crucial in the prevention of neural tube defects in the fetus during pregnancy.
Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and fights free radicals.
It also contains good amounts of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for the body's metabolism. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells. Lettuce is a vegetable rich in B complex, which includes vitamins such as thiamine, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and riboflavin.
Including lettuce in salads regularly helps to prevent osteoporosis and iron deficiency or anemia; it is believed that lettuce protect against cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and cancer.
Besides, lettuce offers good supply of dietary fiber, which helps in digestion and fights constipation.
Select a good lettuce
In the store, pick the leaves that have bright and crunchy leaves. Avoid sunken spots or discolorations. Each variety of lettuce has a unique quality of maintenance, so there are different methods to be applied during storage.
Always remember to wash and disinfect it before use, since lettuce can save impurities, dirt, and bacteria that can affect consumption.
Let’s eat lettuce
The lettuce can be used in a variety of dishes, usually as an accompaniment. The raw lettuce can be used in salads, burgers, wraps and sandwiches to prepare.
The leaves can also be combined with peas, green beans, and seafood.
Finally remember that pesticides are employed in most lettuce cultivations, so it is advisable to consume organic lettuce, since it is believed that these have fewer toxins and are safer for consumption.
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