Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Lettuce

He thought of salad, remembered lettuce . One of our oldest vegetables, lettuce has been consumed in human food since around 500 BC

Originally from the Eastern Mediterranean, it was brought to the Americas by European explorers. It was so successful that it is still present almost daily on the table of modern man.

Cultivated all over the world, lettuce has several varieties of leaves, colors, shapes and textures. A certain presence in the preparation of salads and sandwiches, among the most common varieties are crisp lettuce and iceberg lettuce.

LETTUCE IN BRAZIL

With the scientific name Lactuca sativa , lettuce is the most popular leafy vegetable in the world and in Brazil it could not be different.

It is estimated that of the total invested by Brazilians in the purchase of vegetables, 40% is for lettuce, the main protagonist of our salads.

THE WORD LETTUCE DICTIONARY

In the dictionary, lettuce appears as a herb with large, smooth leaves, light green in color, used in making salads. Although it is a feminine word, it is also used colloquially in masculine when referring to its set of leaves.

The word “lettuce” is rooted in the Latin word “lactuca”, which derives from “lac” (milk), due to a kind of milky juice found in ripe lettuce.

But the most important thing is to know that this vegetable is one of the healthiest foods in the world, offering consumers numerous benefits. Let’s “flip through” some of them.

BENEFITS OF LETTUCE

With around 9 to 14 calories per 100g, lettuce is a very welcome food in our daily menu. See some of the numerous benefits of this popular vegetable.

  1. Rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, it helps reduce blood pressure and dissolve fatty plaques near the heart, reducing the risk of heart problems.
  2. It helps with weight loss – both for its high fiber content, which promotes healthy digestion, and for its very low caloric value.
  3. Aids in digestion – With a large amount of mineral salts and fiber, it helps in digestion and the proper functioning of the intestine.
  4. Easy to prepare – most of the time, it is consumed raw, which preserves the nutrients.
  5. It contains a good amount of iron, important for the transport of oxygen in the body.

LETTUCE PROPERTIES

Lettuce has among its nutritional properties:

– 95% wate

– Vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, E and Complex B

– Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron).

– 20% protein

– Fibers

– Low calorie value – 100 g of lettuce = 9 calories.

Among its medicinal properties are:

– Helps treat and prevent anemia.

– Helps repair damaged muscle tissue and also prevents inflammation.

– Due to its low glycemic index (below 15), it is a good ally in the prevention of diabetes 2, stroke and heart problems.

IS LETTUCE A VEGETABLE OR A VEGETABLE?

We often have difficulty in differentiating one from the other, as they are all used in preparing salads. Let’s clear this question up once and for all. According to experts, the difference between vegetables and legumes is in the botanical part of the plants. The parts classified as vegetables consist of leaves (celery, lettuce, cabbage, etc) and flowers (eg broccoli, cauliflower etc), while vegetables are formed by fruits, stems and roots. So you’ve already noticed that our popular lettuce is a vegetable.

LETTUCE: TYPES

If you think that lettuce is all the same, know that there are many varieties of this vegetable, each with its own texture, color and even taste. See how to tell them apart.

Lettuce Americana – With a rounded shape similar to a cabbage, it reacts better to heat, without losing its crunchiness and flavor, which is why it is often used in sandwiches and salads with hot ingredients. Widely consumed in fast food restaurants , it currently holds 30% of the consumer market.

Roman lettuce – Also very popular, it has dark green, long and curly leaves.

Crespa Lettuce – It is the most consumed type, occupying 50% of the market. It is similar in shape to plain lettuce with loose leaves, but with small ripples on top.

Frisada Lettuce – Also known as frisée lettuce , it is a rarer type in the trade. Indicated for salads with strong flavor accompaniments.

Escarole Lettuce – It has a spicy and slightly bitter taste, similar to chicory. Ideal for all types of salad, it goes well with vinaigrette dressing.

The lface Lisa – presents loose leaves and soft texture, slightly wavy. With a mild flavor, it is, together with the crispy and American, among the most consumed varieties of lettuce in the world.

LETTUCE MAKES YOU SLEEPY?

It sounds like a joke, but lettuce is proven to be an ally for those who need a good night’s sleep. That’s because it contains niacin, which helps in the synthesis of serotonin. With a calming and sedative effect, lettuce salad helps to relax, combating insomnia and everyday tensions.

CHOOSING LETTUCE

Before buying, make sure the lettuce leaves are very firm, shiny and free of dark areas or insect bites.

When you get home, put the lettuce in the refrigerator, in a plastic frog or in a closed container and remove the leaves as needed.

It is recommended to consume within a maximum of three or four days.

HOW TO WASH LETTUCE

Because it is eaten raw, lettuce requires great care in cleaning, whether to eliminate bacteria or the pesticides used in the cultivation. A good indication is to use Hypochlorite.

See how to do it:

  • Remove and discard yellowed, “burnt” or withered leaves.
  • Wash the leaves under running water, separating them to eliminate sand, insects or larvae.
  • Then fill a bowl with water and add hypochlorite.
  • Soak for the recommended time on the package.
  • After this time, drain the leaves and arrange them on a clean paper towel or dish towel to remove excess water.

LETTUCE SALAD

Easy to prepare and accessible to everyone, lettuce occupies a very special place on the Brazilian table. But what makes it so attractive is that it can be combined with a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, meats, fruits or grains, to make delicious salads. We have chosen a very simple and delicious recipe for you to try.

LETTUCE SALAD WITH ORANGE

Ingredients :

  • 01 bunch of romaine lettuce;
  • 04 (four) spoons (soup) of red wine vinegar;
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil;
  • 01 tablespoon of honey;
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives;
  • 03 oranges cut into thin slices;
  • Salt to taste;
  • Black pepper to taste.

Preparation :

  1. In a deep bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, honey, with a pinch of salt and pepper and the onion.
  2. Cover, shake well and place in refrigerator.
  3. Wash lettuce leaves and place in salad bowl.
  4. Peel and cut the oranges into thin slices.
  5. Drizzle with the sauce and it’s ready to serve.

HOW TO GROW POTTED LETTUCE

Growing lettuce at home is a great idea for those looking to have a healthy and pesticide-free food on the table.

Follow the step by step.

– Use a container about a hand inch deep with holes underneath (so as not to retain water).

– Before placing the soil, put some pebbles at the bottom so that they don’t leak.

– Soften the soil well, stirring with a shovel or spoon.

– Insert the seedling or seed.

– Within 60 to 90 days, your lettuce plant will be available for harvesting.

To find out if it is ready to harvest, just check if the leaves are bulky and large.

Remember if

– Lettuce needs to receive at least 5 hours of sun a day, in a well-ventilated environment. So don’t grow it in dark and stuffy places and water constantly.

HOW TO GROW LETTUCE IN A PET BOTTLE

Another good way to grow lettuce, especially for those with little space – apartments, for example, is to use the PET bottle. The land for planting must be prepared in advance (50% common soil and 50% black soil).

Step by step:

  1. Using scissors, make large holes in the bottom of the PET bottle.
  2. Cut a window on the side of the bottle.
  3. Prepare the substrate that will stay at the bottom of the container (eg expanded clay or stone)
  4. Cover the bottom of the bottle with Styrofoam pieces;
  5. In a garden blanket, cut a circle and place over the Styrofoam covering it completely.
  6. Fill the bottle halfway with the earth.
  7. Place the lettuce carefully, complete with a little more soil.
  8. Prepare the hook with a wire, tie it to the neck of the bottle and hang it up.

LETTUCE PRICE

As it is an easy vegetable to grow, lettuce is easily found in any market, supermarket, street markets and produce. The price is also very affordable (about 1.20 to 2.5 reais per pack), which makes the food one of the best supplements for Brazilian daily meals.

LETTUCE: BENEFITS AND HARMS

The fact that vegetables are important and beneficial in food, this does not mean that they should be consumed in excess. Not even the lettuce.

– Due to its high content of manganese, exaggerating the consumption of lettuce in diets can affect the functioning of the thyroid and, therefore, weight loss.

– Like cauliflower and broccoli, lettuce is a slightly acidic food, which if consumed in excess can cause stomach acidity.

Related articles:

Benefits and Properties of Cabbage

Benefits and Properties of Onion

Benefits and Properties of Broccoli

Benefits and Properties of Asparagus

Benefits and Properties of Cauliflower

Benefits and Properties of Avocado

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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