Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its stem and seeds. The annual plant was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who turned it from a weed, where the seeds were used to produce oil. There are seven main cultivar groups of lettuce, each including many varieties: leaf, romaine, crisphead, butterhead, summer crisp, stem, and oilseed.
Here are the 7 health benefits of lettuce.
1. Lettuce holds anti-inflammatory properties.
Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help control inflammation. Research has shown that lettuce extracts have proteins, like lipoxygenase and carrageenan to control inflammation.
2. Lettuce has antimicrobial properties.
The latex of lettuce has antimicrobial properties that completely deform yeasts using terpenes and cardenolides, as well as enzymes like glucanases.
3. Lettuce can help induce sleep.
Research from the Texas A&M University has suggested that lettuce extract can have significant sedative effects. Decreased heart rate and ventricular contractions were also discovered. This chemical works by blocking the excitatory signal processes of muscular and neural tissues.
4. Lettuce can help control your anxiety.
Not only does lettuce have sedative effects. Animal research has shown that lettuce can have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.
5. Lettuce has anti-cancer properties.
Lettuce leaf extracts can control leukemia cells and breast cancer cells. Also, lettuce contains antioxidants, which have shown to seek and destroy free radicals that mutate healthy cells and turn them into cancer cells.
6. Lettuce can help your eyes and skin beautiful looking.
Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin A. This compound promotes better eye health and can prevent macular degeneration and cataract formation. One cup of lettuce contains 82 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.
7. Lettuce may help improve your brain cognition.
Several components of spinach like potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. Folate has been known to reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Potassium has been linked to increased blood flow to the brain and heightened cognition, concentration, and neural activity.