Botanical name: Lactuca sativa L.
Botanical family: Compositae
Lettuce, is the leaves of the lettuce plant ‘Lactuca sativa’, of the botanical family Compositae. Their color varies from green to purple red, and also their shape from straight to curly.
The following is the composition of lettuce:
• They contain very large amount of water, about 94.9%. This makes them one of the foods that are richest in water.
• They contain very low amount of carbohydrates, only about 0.67%. This is the main reason why it supplies a very little amount of energy.
• They also contain very little amount of fats, about 0.2%.
• Proteins are present in lettuce in significantly high amounts, at about 1.62%.
• Contains minerals such as iron and potassium which stands out among others. Other minerals present in significant quantities are phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc and copper.
• Vitamins such as provitamin A, B group vitamins and vitamin C, are present in lettuce in a quite rich amounts.
• lettuce, also contains a substance which is attributed to its sleep-inducing property.
• Lettuce, also contains vegetable fiber in about 1.7%. This fiber, contributes to its mild laxative effect .
HEALTH BENEFITS / MEDICINAL USES OF LETTUCE
The following are some of the medicinal indications of lettuce:
• Constipation – lettuce, are highly recommended in cases of constipation, as they facilitate the removal of faeces due to its fiber content and digestibility.
• Insomnia – For those who are unable to sleep at night this is a good news for you, as lettuce contains a sleep-inducing substance in it. It is recommended to be taken at night.
• Diabetes – The very low carbohydrate content of lettuce, makes it highly recommended for the diabetics.
• Digestive disorders – lettuce is also recommended in cases of digestive disorders, as when eaten before a meal, it helps tones the stomach, thus, facilitating digestion.
• Obesity – After eating a lettuce, a great feeling of satiety is experienced. It also provides a few amount of calories which makes it tolerable by the obese.
• Nervous system disorders – The regular consumption of lettuce produces a mild sedative effect. It also supplies necessary B group vitamins for nervous system wellness. It is indicated in cases of anxiety, stress, or nervousness