Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa / Compositae
Benefits for the health
All the varieties of lettuce have a high content of water and are low in calories. The lettuce, used in salads and as garnish in many other dishes, supplies an amount of additional food, helping in the digestion.

The lettuce, like other vegetables, provides the diet with carotenoids. The alpha and beta carotenes, that are pro-vitamin A compounds, are converted, at different efficiency levels, into vitamin A in the human body. Vitamin A is fundamental for sight, growth, the bones development, the maintenance of corporal tissues, the reproduction and development of the hormonal and co-enzymatic activities, apart from protecting against cancer.

Lutein, a non pro-vitamin A carotenoid, is to a great extent occurring in lettuces, as compared with the pro-vitamin A carotenoids. Lutein is concentrated in a specific part of the eye (macular); a high dose of this carotenoid may protect this organ from degenerative processes caused by ageing. The lettuce contains folate, as well. The darker the green is, the greater will be the nutritional value and healthy benefits. Lettuces of a darker green colour contain 20 times more pro-vitamin A carotenoids and 10 times more lutein and folate than those of a pale green colour.
Popular tradition
The lettuce has been given tranquillizer and sedative properties for many centuries. Moreover, it is used to treat constipation and exhaustion, and it is a diuretic vegetable and vermifugal.

The lettuce was used as therapeutic remedy by old doctors like Hippocrates or Dioscorides. From the Roman times, lettuces have been conferred tranquillizer and sedative properties. Nowadays, a lettuce infusion is recommended in many cases before going to bed.

The lettuce prevents constipation; it attracts the toxic substances and the fat, helping to loose weight. It helps to reduce the exhaustion sensation, increasing the muscular activity and fortifying the heart.

As medicine, some people use the liquid resulting from the boiling.
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