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The Antioxidant Power Of Lettuce



Lettuce is a green leafy vegetable that contains essential nutrients and antioxidants. The main nutrients that we can enjoy from eating the veggie are vitamin A, B, C, E, and K, beta carotene, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, molybdenum, iodine, folate, phosphorus, protein, dietary fiber, and water.


Present in lettuce is numerous antioxidants that help protect the body from damages that can be caused by free radicals. It was found that too many free radicals in our body may increase our likelihood of certain diseases (1).


According to research, lettuce varieties, such as romaine and red oak leaf, contain more antioxidant nutrients than varieties with more tightly-packed heads, such as iceberg (2).



How Lettuce Helps In Keeping Us Healthy


Especially rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, consumption of lettuce in ample amounts may help bolster our eyesight and reduce our risk of macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to vision loss (3,4).


Dark greens like lettuce also contain both lutein and zeaxanthin - an antioxidant that boosts vision health. These help promote vision health (5). Experts have conducted several studies showing the importance of lutein and zeaxanthin in boosting eye health and preventing cataracts and other eye diseases (6).


Lettuce is also a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that makes it a good option for boosting immunity. Foods high in vitamin C may help lower our risk of heart diseases (7). It works by reducing arterial stiffness and helping in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. It may strengthen arteries and even prevent heart attacks. Having at least two servings of romaine lettuce in our daily diet can keep our heart healthy (8).


Furthermore, red leaf lettuce, in particular, contains anthocyanins, a group of flavonoid antioxidants that is responsible for its reddish-purple hues. They have demonstrated the ability to protect against a myriad of human diseases (9).


Foods rich in anthocyanins have been found to help fight inflammation. Studies have demonstrated that they exert a protective action against obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and Adipocyte Tissue Macrophage infiltration (ATM) (10). In a 2004 study, researchers noted that lettuce has been used in folk medicine to relieve inflammation and osteodynia (pain in the bones) (11).



How To Prepare Lettuce In Several Ways


Although lettuce is known for its use in salads, it can be eaten in a variety of ways. To enjoy the health benefits of lettuce, try it in:


  1. Sandwiches
  2. Egg rolls and spring rolls
  3. Wraps
  4. Rice dishes
  5. Tacos
  6. Smoothies


Sources:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
  2. https://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/lettuce-antioxidants-outer-leaves.php#ixzz6dSdwClBB
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11594942/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26447482/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705341/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5331551/
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-leaf-lettuce#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
  8. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/best-benefits-of-lettuce-for-skin-hair-and-health/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5867604/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15138019/

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