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Health Benefits of Lettuce

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Most of us would reach for lettuce when we need crunchy greens for our meals. But there is more to lettuce than its crunch. The lettuce leaves are full of vitamins and minerals and fill us up in very few calories. Now this makes lettuce seem like the ideal food, doesn’t it?
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Iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce are the most popular varieties of lettuce consumed all over the world. Romaine lettuce is also known as cos lettuce and is considered one of the most nutrient rich of all lettuce types. When compared with iceberg lettuce nutritional value, romaine lettuce scores really high. It has less of sodium and sugar but more of all other nutrients.

Health Benefits of Lettuce

Nutritional Value of Lettuce

The nutritional values of raw lettuce per 100 grams are:

• Energy (Ecals) – 21
• Carbohydrates – 2 gm
• Protein - 2 gm
• Moisture - 93 gm
• Calcium - 50 mg
• Phosphorous - 28 mg
• Iron – 2 mg
• Mineral - 1 gm

Lettuce Health Benefits

Lettuce offers amazing health benefits for many medical conditions and being aware of these can help you utilize lettuce nutrition in the most effective way for your optimum health.

• Lettuce is extremely beneficial for relieving constipation and for good colon health. This is because lettuce leaves are rich in fiber. It keeps the digestive system healthy.

Health Benefits of Lettuce: Constipation

• Lettuce is a good source of iron and copper, which makes it a healthy food source for the treatment of anemia. The chlorophyll in lettuce also helps the body in hemoglobin production.

• This is one of the best food sources for weight loss. High in fiber and rich in many minerals and vitamins, not only lettuce satiates hunger well but it also gives the body much-needed nutrition.

• Lettuce being a good source of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin K protects and strengthens bone tissue. Eating lettuce can help menopausal women in maintaining bone health. Menopause often leads to osteoporosis or other bone problems. However vitamin K helps osteocalcin production, which is a protein essential for good bone health.

• Lettuce promotes healthy skin and strengthens eyesight due to its high vitamin A content.

Health Benefits of Lettuce: Healthy Skin

• Lettuce helps keep the heart healthy, clears toxins from the body and prevents free radical damage. This is because lettuce is packed with vitamins C and E. These antioxidants along with vitamin A and beta carotene help in keeping many types of cancers away.

• Lettuce leaves are high in water content. Thus they keep the body well-hydrated and also help the release of excess fat from the cells.

• Due to its high potassium and magnesium content along with calcium and iron, lettuce aids metabolic functions of the body.

• Lettuce is good for fetal health as well. It is a good source of folates, which is helpful in preventing defects in the neural tubes of the fetus.

Health Benefits of Lettuce: Fetal Health

Lettuce Recipes

Lettuce is ideal for use in salads and sandwiches. But the leaves can be used in some other delicious ways as well.

Lettuce Berries Salad

This lettuce salad can be made with any combinations of berries to vary the flavors and can be eaten everyday for its antioxidant benefits. Wash, clean and dry lettuce leaves and chop them into bite-size pieces. You can use either romaine lettuce or a combination of romaine and iceberg lettuce. Cut into quarters a bowl full of berries. Choose from strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and cranberries. You can also use dry cranberries or both fresh and dry. Add a few peeled orange stems, 5-6 prunes, chopped almonds and a few raisins. This salad is packed with the goodness of vitamins C and E and other minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Eat this lettuce salad for its many benefits including for weight management.

Health Benefits of Lettuce: Berries Salad

Soy Lettuce Wraps

The long and wide leaves of lettuce are ideal to make a variety of wraps. For this amazingly simple dish, cook half-cup soy granules with water and salt. Finely chop onions, peppers, carrots and spinach and sautι lightly in olive oil. Remove all water from soy and add to the vegetables along with tofu or cottage cheese crumble, chopped jalapeno (optional), salt, black pepper powder, chopped green chilies. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Take one lettuce leaf and put some of this mix and make wraps by rolling the leaf and securing it with a toothpick. Relish this dish as a pre dinner snack or as a party appetizer.

You can use the mix for making sandwiches as well. Instead of making wraps, use lettuce leaves as a sandwich layer and use the mix as filler. Use whole grain bread lightly toasted or as it is. You can substitute soy with chicken or eggs.

Coconut-papaya Lettuce Wraps

Grate fresh coconut and raw papaya. In a pan heat some coconut or olive oil and add mustard seeds. Remove from heat when the seeds begin to splatter. Pour this over grated coconut and papaya and mix well. Add salt, chopped green chilies and coriander leaves. You can also add grated carrots or chopped peppers in the filling. Wrap the filling inside lettuce leaves and enjoy the goodness of this delicious crunchy snack with fresh coconut chutney.

Lettuce, green leaf, raw

The nutritional values of "Lettuce, green leaf, raw" per 100 grams are:


Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 15
Protein 1.4 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 2.9 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 36 mg 3.6 %
Copper, Cu 0.03 mg 1.45 %
Iron, Fe 0.86  mg 4.78 %
Magnesium, Mg 13 mg 3.25 %
Manganese, Mn 0.25 mg 12.5 %
Phosphorus, P 29 mg 2.9 %
Potassium, K 194  mg 5.54 %
Selenium, Se 0.6 mcg 0.86 %
Sodium, Na 28 mg 1.17 %
Zinc, Zn 0.18 mg 1.2 %
Vitamin A 7405  IU 148.1 %
Vitamin C 9.2 mg 15.33 %
Vitamin B6 0.09 mg 4.5 %
Vitamin E 0.22 mg 0.73 %
Vitamin K 126.3  mcg 157.88 %
Riboflavin 0.08  mg 4.71 %
Thiamin 0.07 mg 4.67 %
Folate, DFE 38  mcg 9.5 %
Niacin 0.38  mg 1.88 %
Sugars 0.78 g
Fiber 1.3  g 5.2 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 94.98 g
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 4443  mcg
Choline 13.6 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
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Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
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