Green vegetables or greens in short are gaining popularity with the growing health consciousness and importance of taking a balanced diet. Lettuce is an important member of the family of greens and probably one of the oldest vegetables known to the mankind.
Indigenously, it is found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In India, it is commonly known as ‘salad patta’ in Hindi. As its name suggests, it is most widely used in salads all over the world and finds its place among the list of nutritious foods. Apart from salads, it is also used in soups, sandwiches and wraps. It is also used for the purpose of juicing.
Lettuce belongs to the scientific genus Lactuca, and Lactuca sativa are one of the most widely known species of lettuce. It is a seasonal vegetable which is mostly grown in spring when the soil is dry enough to be worked. It is relatively easier to grow and just like other greens, this vegetable is rich in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Several types of lettuce are available such as green or red leaves, romaine, iceberg or asparagus lettuce.
Lettuce: Skin benefits
With growing pollution levels, exposures to harmful chemicals, stress and improper diet, skin problems have become a common sight these days. In fact, having flawless skin seems like a dream and all those beauty products promising a range of benefits have very little effect whatsoever. It is important to understand that proper supply and absorption of nutrients are vital for a healthy body which includes the skin as well. Green vegetables such as lettuce are a storehouse of vital nutrients, vitamins and fiber which contribute to a healthy skin, keeping skin problems at bay. Some of the skin benefits of lettuce are as follows:-
1. Revitalizes Skin:
Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin A with six leaves providing more than 100% of your DV (daily value) of vitamin A. Vitamin A increases the cell turnover, thus revitalizing your skin (1).
2. Supplies Nutrition:
It also contains potassium which gives a rich supply of nutrients and oxygen by improving circulation, thus resulting in a healthy and glowing skin (2).
3. Protects Skin:
The combination of vitamin E and vitamin C in this vegetable helps in keeping your skin healthy as you age (3). Vitamin E also provides protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Removes Toxins:
Consumption of lettuce stimulates appetite (4) and removes toxins from the body. Furthermore, it can also cure deficiency of hemoglobin and mineral salts resulting in clear and radiant skin.
5. Fights Various Skin Problems:
The compresses of this vegetable is effective against several skin problems. Boil two salads of the lettuce leaf in 1 litre of water for about 20 minutes. The resulting liquid can be used as a compress on the face and other body parts. This compress can help in curing acne and psoriasis by cleaning the skin. To be effective, compresses should be at room temperature and kept for 10 minutes.
Compresses also help in toning your facial skin and can be used as masks, particularly for dry skin.
[ Read: Clementine Health Benefits ]
7. Aids Better Sleep:
The infusion made from lettuce salad has anti spastic effect and acts as a diuretic and sedative. Drinking this infusion induces a good night sleep yielding the resultant benefits to the skin (5).
Lettuce: Hair Benefits
Just like the rest of the body, your hair also needs adequate supply of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for their growth and health. Being highly nutritious, lettuce offers a range of benefits for your hair.
8. Stimulates Hair Growth:
Drinking lettuce juice on a regular basis stimulates hair growth by furnishing food to the nerves and roots of hair (6).
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9. Provides Vital Micro-minerals:
It contains 8% silicon, 9% phosphorus and an ample supply of sulphur. These three minerals are vital for maintenance of skin, hair and nails.
10. Provides Nutrition:
The primary cause of hair loss is consumption of food in inorganic form such as cereals and devitalized food as the hair does not receive proper nourishment. Consumption of lettuce combats this problem as it provides proper nourishment in the form of essential vitamins and nutrients (7).
Health Benefits of Lettuce:
Lettuce, if allowed to be chosen, must be of the romaine type instead of the iceberg one. The romaine variety has the highest nutritional components.
Proteins are the building blocks of a developing body. They are needed for muscle development and many important metabolic reactions in the body. Lettuce contains a good 20 per cent of proteins in its total quantity (8).
12. Less sugar:
Not only artificial flavors but also artificial sugars harm the body, if eaten in excess. People who wish to consume lettuce in good amounts need not bother about this as it has less sugar content.
Iron is important for the blood hemoglobin amount and also for many other heart-related benefits. Iron content can be very well-balanced with lettuce leaves as they provide almost four times the iron in the romaine variety than in the iceberg one (9).
[ Read: Benefits of Mango Juice ]
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