- Family: Composite family
- Origin: Europe and Asia
Lettuce is a garden plant with broad crisp leaves, in many countries it is eaten as cold and raw in salad, burgers and tacos. It grows to be three feet (90cm) tall and has small, pale yellow flowers and light green to reddish-brown leaves.
These leafy veggies are grown in a wide variety of soils including marshy and sandy. Ample sunlight, cool weather and plenty of moisture are essential for a well developed lettuce. High temperature can lead to inferior quality.
This leafy vegetable when broken exude a small amount of milky liquid. This milky liquid gives lettuce its slightly bitter flavor. Bitter tasting varieties and the one with pigmented leaves contains more antioxidants.
Some varieties are especially bred to remove the bitter taste from their leaves. These lettuces have high water content, but very little nutrients.
Lettuce Health Benefits:
- Contain alkaloids which is responsible for it therapeutic effect.
- Good source of chlorophyll and vitamin K.
- Very good for dieters because it is very low in calories.
- Good source of Iron which is the most active element in the body therefore it must be replenished frequently to meet any sudden demand of the body such as the rapid formation of red blood in heavy loss of blood.
- Lettuce magnesium content has exceptional vitalizing powers especially in the muscular tissues, the brain and the nerves.
- The juice of lettuce combined with carrot and spinach juice is very helpful for maintaining the normal color of the hair.
- Beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep inducing substance.
- Lettuce may also help treat the following problems; acid indigestion, anemia, arthritis, catarrh, circulatory problems, colitis, constipation, cough, diabetes, gastritis, gout, insomnia, irritable bowel, obesity, sexual addiction, stress, tuberculosis, ulcers and urinary tract diseases.
Lettuce Nutrient Content: Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A: 540 I.U.
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .04 mg.
- Riboflavin: .08 mg.
- Niacin: .2 mg.
- Vitamin C: 8 mg.
- There is also a substantial amount of Vitamin E
- Calcium: 22 mg.
- Iron: .5 mg.
- Phosphorus: 25 mg.
- Potassium: 125 mg.
- Fat: .2 gm.
- Carbohydrates: 2.9 gm.
- Protein: 1.2 gm.
- Calories: 15
- Iceberg or crisphead is a type with extremely compact heads that is like a cabbage.
- Butterhead has a looser heads with softer leaves and a buttery texture.
- Cos or Romaine has an elongated heads of leaves. This variety contains the most nutrients.
- Asparagus is grown for its thick stalks, which are prepared similarly to asparagus.
- Chinese have long sword-shaped, non-head forming leaves. It has a bitter and strong taste.