Lettuce is a nutritious vegetable with a lot of impressive health benefits. It was cultivated first in Egypt thousands of years ago and the oil is gotten from the seeds which is used for a lot of things.
The plant was also respected because it held a religious and cultural significance back then in ancient Egypt. It was worshiped because they considered it to be sacred.
Later on, the Greeks and Romans started cultivating lettuce and from there it spread across the world. The medicinal properties of lettuce were discovered during the medieval times in Europe.
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Certain medieval texts make mention of lettuce and Unani medical system used it to treat several diseases. They used it to treat irregular blood pressure, insomnia, bilious eructation, loss of appetite, and it was given as a tonic to treat digestive and intestinal issues.
Latex produced from lettuce were dried and used to take insomnia. Till date, traditional healers use lettuce to treat nasal discharge, stress, and they also function as an anodyne and anti-spasmodic.
10 Health Benefits of Lettuce
Lettuce has a lot of antioxidants and they have the ability to scavenge free radicals and eliminate them from your body. They prevent the damages and mutations free radicals cause in the body.
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Free radicals can attack your healthy cells tissues and even cause DNA mutations. They convert healthy cells into cancer cells but the presence of antioxidants in your body counteracts the effects and activities of these free radicals.
These antioxidants can neutralize these free radicals before they attack your body.
Lettuce is very nutritious, although it is most times overlooked. It contains water, dietary fiber, energy, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, and sugars.
It also contains vitamins and minerals like phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folate, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.
Regular consumption of lettuce or inclusion of lettuce in your diet will help fight nutritional deficiencies and the health problems they induce.
Lettuce possesses antimicrobial properties, this enables it to fight dangerous microbes like Candida albicans and other types of yeast. The yeast cells get completely destroyed when they come in contact with the latex in lettuce.
Biochemicals are also present in lettuce that possess antimicrobial effects, examples are cardenolides, terpenes, and the enzyme glucanase.
Lettuce contains anti-inflammatory agents. These compounds help to control chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of chronic diseases.
It inhibits the actions of biocatalysts that trigger inflammation.
Lettuce help relieve anxiety due to its neurological properties which have long been exploited since ancient times. Lettuce possesses anxiolytic properties.
A study was carried out and lettuce extracts were given to rats, and it was observed that their locomotive activity was reduced.
6. Protects Your Neurons
Lettuce boosts neuronal health and protects your brain cells from damage. Neurons are your brain cells that are in charge of memory. They come together to make up the memory cells of your brain.
Loss of memory occurs when neurons die in a particular circuit or connection in your brain. In extreme cases, this can result into Alzheimer’s disease.
Lettuce extract help prevent the death of neurons by regulating glucose/serum deprivation. It is a natural remedy in neuro-protection and researches are being done on how to maximize this potential.
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7. Boosts Eye Health
Lettuce boosts your vision and promotes the health of your eyes. This is because it is rich in zeaxanthine, a powerful antioxidant that boosts eye health and prevents vision problems.
Zeaxanthine even prevents age-related eye problems and macular degeneration. Lutein is also present in lettuce and this combination is very powerful in preventing eye diseases.
They also prevent cataract and vision loss.
Lettuce prevents and controls high levels of cholesterol in the body. This, in turn, reduces the risks of heart disease, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.
A high level of cholesterol is a risk factor for stroke, heart attacks and other severe diseases. Lettuce when consumed regularly can reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol in your bloodstream.
9. Promote Bone Health
Lettuce is rich in vitamins which support and maintain healthy bones and they are vitamins A, C, and K. they help in producing collagen which is the first step in the formation of bones.
Vitamin K also helps in building strong cartilage and connective tissues. It also helps in the formation of new bone cells, a deficiency in vitamin K leads to osteoporosis and frequent fractures.
Vitamin K deficiency also leads to osteopenia, this is a condition characterized by reduced bone mass. This leads to bone thinning and weaknesses.
Regular consumption of lettuce will improve your bone health, increase its strength, improve mineralization of your bones and cut the risks of bone problems and diseases.
Vitamin C prevents depletion of bone minerals.
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10. Boost Sleep
Lettuce has been and is till being used in fighting insomnia and sleeplessness. This was one of the major uses of lettuce in Unani traditional medicine.
Lettuce induces sleep and it contains an anti-depressive chemical. It also has a sedative effect. The non-polar agents in the n-butanol fraction of lettuce could be responsible for this effect.