The green color in vegetables and plants is becouse of the green pigment (chlorophyll), which is essential to the process photosynthesis, carbohydrate production and produce oxygen by plants. In addition to chlorophyll, the plant produces carotenoids lutein and other antioxidants to protect itself from the harmful effects of free radicals, produced when sunlight strikes chlorophyll. The darker the green plant, so it contains more chlorophyll, and need more antioxidant protection. So green plants, especially the dark ones, are a rich source of antioxidants.
Lettuce – a common source of antioxidants lutein.
Lettuce, especially dark leaves, is one of the most common sources of dietary antioxidants lutein. Lutein contributes to eye health and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Also, lettuce is a significant source some vitamins.
Lettuce – a rich source of folate
Lettuce is known as one of the most common sources folate (folic acid). Folate, vitamin B complex, helps prevent birth defects in the nervous system of the fetus, helps reduce blood homocysteine levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and helps reduce cancer risk. 2 cups sliced lettuce contain 40% recommended daily dose of Folate. Lettuce is also a significant source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that effectively helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and possibly cataracts and complications of diabetes, beta – carotene helps to reduce the risk of cancer and also serves as origin of vitamin A, essential for vision, maintain immune function , normal growth, maintenance of healthy skin. Vitamin K – essential for blood clotting and contributes to bone strength.
Lettuce in Folk Medicine
Because of lettuce’s green color, according to Chinese medicine, it cools and soothes. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and favors insomnia. It is also suitable for the treatment of anemia and constipation. Easily digested, lettuce, that is rich in fiber, it is sitable for those who have a weak digestive system and cannot eat all the vegetables. Lettuce recommended by folk medicine to increase breast milk.