Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold, raw, in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and in many other dishes.
Lettuce is available year-round in fairly consistent supplies.
Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce, Butterhead lettuce is usually light green in color with flexible leaves and a mild flavor.
Another name for Romaine lettuce is cos, and it is a fairly nutritious lettuce with a tender, sweet taste. It is relatively easy to grow, forming upright heads and wavy leaves.
Known as crisphead, Iceberg lettuce has tightly compacted heads, light green color and a crisp texture and delicate flavor.
These red leaf and green leaf lettuce varieties have loosely bunched curly leaves with crisp texture. Red leaf lettuce is characterized by green leaves with red-tinged edges.
Choose lettuce that has been stored in a misted cooler at the grocery. Avoid heads with wilted leaves. Iceberg lettuce heads should be compact and firm.
Lettuce should be stored in the refrigerator. If lettuce is wilted, it can be revived by dunking it in ice water.
Lettuce should be washed thoroughly and the core removed before using. Lettuce is the base ingredient for salads and is popular as a topping for sandwiches. Leaf lettuces offer more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. It can also be used as a topping for tacos and burritos.
Lettuce can be used in soups. Large lettuce leaves can be used as the outer covering for wraps. Popular fillings for wraps include tuna and chicken salad, chicken and Mexican or oriental fillings.
Lettuce is often used as a topping for baked dishes but is not generally baked itself.
Lettuce should not be frozen as it does not stand up well to the freezing process.
Nutritional Value of Lettuce
Given below is the amount of nutrients in 100 gm of lettuce
- Carbohydrates - 2.2 g
- Dietary Fiber - 1.1 g
- Fats - 0.2 g
- Protein - 1.4 g
- Water - 96 g
- Vitamin A - 166 μg
- Folate (Vitamin B9) - 73 μg
- Vitamin C - 4 mg
- Vitamin K - 24 μg
- Iron - 1.2 mg
- Energy - 10 kcal (60 kJ)
- The juice of lettuce, when mixed with rose oil and applied to the forehead, helps ease headache and even aids sleep.
- Lettuce, being high in dietary fiber, aids digestion and is good for those suffering from constipation.
- Lettuce has been associated with reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts.
- Since lettuce is pretty low in calories, it makes the perfect snack for those trying to lose weight.
- It is believed that consumption of lettuce might help one get over nervous insomnia.
- Lettuce has been found to be beneficial in prevention of spina bifida and anemia.
- Lettuce has been associated with better liver health.
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