Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a leafy green gift of spring, which benefits us regularly enough to make sure that the lettuce is a natural and pure product. Lettuce grows very well in temperate latitudes. They are from the Asteraceae family, cultivated mainly for its delicate leaves, like eating in well prepared salads.
Lettuce should not be confused with garden salad, although there is little difference between the two. Most varieties of garden salad are slightly rounded, while lettuce has generally longer and thicker leaves on some varieties. There are many different types of lettuce - Boston, Chinese, iceberg, summer lettuce, Lollo rosso, oak leaf, Belgian, curly chicory and many others.
Each s a type of green leafy vegetable that could be good for our health, if grown on environmentally friendly soil with low pesticides. Lettuce leaves are crisp, with a slightly bitter taste due to the milky sap found in them.
The history of lettuce starts somewhere in Egypt, and is even depicted on the walls of the tombs of the pharaohs. Later in time, the Romans cultivated this leafy green gift from nature. At the time, Emperor Domitian creates a tradition that it is consumed as an appetizer with different sauces. BA big fan of lettuce proved to be Louis XIV, who tried to make the lettuce a traditional food item, grown in the gardens of Versailles, and later in Europe.
There are some interesting facts about lettuce. One of them is that it helps men withstand the pressure of love making longer. It is also considered that its consumption can act as a tranquilizer, because it contains a substance called Lactucarium. Evidence for this comes from the Romans and Egyptians who ate green leaves for dinner and so provoked sleep faster.
Composition of lettuce
Spring lettuce, washed and cleaned is joy to our body. It contains a large amount of beneficial vitamins and trace elements. Lettuce is an excellent source of chlorophyll and vitamin K. Rich in minerals, lutein and beta-carotene. By eating fresh lettuce, we deliver impressive doses of vitamin C, calcium, pretty fiber, folic acid and iron into our systems.
Lettuce includes nutrients such as vitamin A and B6, lycopene, potassium. It has been shown that a dark green leafed contains more carotene and vitamin C than the inner, lighter leaves. The composition of lettuce has lecithin, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphate salts and the slightly bitter taste of lettuce is due to lactucin glycoside, which is located in the milky sap of the stem and leaves.
All varieties of lettuce are low calorie.
100 g of lettuce has 15 to 18 kcal, 1.36 g protein, 2.87 g carbohydrate, 0.15 g fat, 0.7 g fiber, 94.2 ml of water;
Vitamins in mg%: C - 18 B, 1 - 0.06, B2 - 0.09, RR - 0.37, F - 0.17, Carotene - 1.60
Selecting and storing lettuce
First of all, the lettuce must be fresh, preferably in spring. Leaves should be tender, not rubbery and depressed and have a smooth texture, without rots. Greenhouse lettuce is available all year, but they should be treated more carefully.
A prerequisite is to wash the leaves and possibly soak them for several hours in water with a little vinegar or 2 pinches of baking powder. Then rinse again and dry them. This procedure is a preventive measure against undesirable substances and nitrates, which processed lettuce has. Thoroughly clean and to wash all lettuce, even be it at home, from your own garden.
Once washed, lettuce can be stored for a long time. To keep it fresh longer, wash it with cold water, drain well and store in an envelope in the lower compartment of the refrigerator, preferably without air in the bag.
Culinary use of lettuce
An ancient Arab proverb says that: To prepare lettuce are needed: one pedantic person to wash it off, a miser to sprinkle it with vinegar. an extravagant to pour olive oil, A prudent person to salt it and a crazy man to mix it.
Aside from that, lettuce is my preferred choice for salads, especially during the spring months. Combined with red or spring onions, radishes, cucumbers, boiled egg, lettuce is a classic choice for the period April-May
Different combinations of lettuce in fresh salads include the addition of tuna, dried tomatoes, nuts, seeds. Combined with linseed lettuce is an excellent food for weight loss. Unique Iceberg salad can not be prepared without the eponymous type lettuce. To keep healthy, take a fresh salad, season with a little vinegar and then cold-pressed olive oil. Salt lightly and eat with a smile.
Before you prepare a delicious green salad, it is always better to dry the leaves thoroughly, because water will prevent the oil or olive oil from being spread evenly and vegetable seasoned. Shred lettuce into pieces with your hands and do not cut with a metal knife, because you kill the vitamins in it. Always flavor your lettuce immediately before consumption with olive oil and vinegar. Important rule: first add vinegar, then oil, because the oil covers the surface and vinegar won’t manage to penetrate the vegetable.
If you decide to follow the right diet, dieticians advise that lettuce is served at the beginning of the meal before the main course. Eat first green salad, to stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and facilitate digestion after taking in food.
Benefits of lettuce
Green salad is high in magnesium. This element plays an important role in tissue repair for your nerves, brain and muscles. Large amounts of folic acid in the fresh green leaves prevent birth defects in children in the wombs of their mothers. Lettuce is a good helper for anemia and improves liver MAC. With its abundance of vitamins A and C, lettuce proves a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Beta-carotene in it is even a fighter against various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
On top of that, lettuce contains a lot of water and fiber, which create a feeling of fullness for longer, thus protecting us from eating indiscriminately. In diets for weight loss, you are recommended to consume varieties with solid sheets because they are processed more slowly by the body and contain more fiber. Lettuce is also rich in water, allowing the body to better moisturize and help better fiber digestion and add a feeling of fullness.
Lettuce is recommended as food for men who suffer from premature ejaculation. Along with dill and egg, lettuce is considered a natural aphrodisiac that enhances sexual desire. It has been shown that these green leafy vegetables increase libido in both sexes. Lettuce can be applied as a remedy for water retention in the body and for a lazy bowel. Fresh lettuce juice applies to physical exhaustion, nervous fatigue, fluid retention and swelling with great success.
After everything said here, logically it follows that lettuce is a great fighter against constipation, which again is due to the fiber in it facilitaing the work of the intestines. Green salad may be beneficial in treating indigestion, arthritis, circulatory problems and colitis.
Dangers of lettuce
Damage from the consumption of lettuce can occur if it is not grown to the principles of environmentally sound nutrition and is "full" with nitrates etc. In some cases, food poisoning is possible. Since lettuce quickly and easily fills, overeating on delicious spring salads can cause bloating, discomfort and fatigue.