Salads come in many styles with varied nutritional content. Lettuce happens to be one of the major ingredients in most salads and burgers, and when you consider how nutritious lettuce is, you’ll understand why. While traditionally salads have been considered a before-dinner treat, you can still enjoy a nutritious bowl of salad after your meals to prevent snacking on unhealthy cookies and eating too many calories.
What Type of Lettuce is Healthiest?
Lettuce delivers impressive health benefits. However, not all types of lettuce share the same amount of nutrients. Romaine lettuce happens to be the most nutritional compared to iceberg lettuce. According to nutritionists, always go for green, red or dark colored lettuce over whites.
In a nutshell, Romaine lettuce supplies twice the protein and calcium, three times the vitamin K, four times the iron, eight times the vitamin C, and an amazing 18 times the vitamin A contained in Iceberg lettuce. Romaine lettuce also contains fewer sugars and less sodium content. Therefore, the next time you want to make a salad or smoothie, go for the Romaine lettuce.
Health Benefits of Lettuce Promotes a Healthy Heart
The rich supply of vitamin C in Romaine lettuce helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing plaque in your heart, hence making it good for your heart.
Lettuce contains a sufficient amount of fiber that supports a healthy digestive tract. Similarly, fiber makes you feel full quickly and for longer, which means you reduce your food intake and eliminate the midnight cravings.
Helps with Insomnia
If you’re struggling with insomnia, lettuce should be your best friend. Lettuce is packed with niacin, which stimulates the release of serotonin, the happy hormone. Lettuce also contains an important phytonutrient known as lactucarium, which is said to have sedative effects, helps in relaxation and acts as a pain reliever.
Low Calories and Fiber
Lettuce is low in calories and fiber, which means that you can eat it without having to worry about your waistline. Lettuce is also rich in cellulose which provides the feeling of fullness. On top of that, cellulose promotes waste removal which in turn prevents constipation and bloating.
The acid/alkaline balance is essential to our overall health. Lettuce contains minerals that help to eliminate toxins and maintain the required pH balance. As a result, you’re able to sleep peacefully and have youthful skin.
Is It Bad to Eat Lettuce at Night?
Experts recommend that you eat low-fiber, low-protein, and low-sugar foods before bed since the high-fiber and high-protein food are slower to digest and may make you uncomfortable at night. For instance, if you eat a diet that contains eggs, bacon, and milk, you might not be able to sleep soundly. Plus, you may experience bloating when you wake up. For this reason, you need to eat light but healthy salads before you snooze. Considering the numerous health benefits that lettuce lays on the table, it makes for a healthy addition to your salads. Generally, most salads are low in calories compared to desserts and your favorite snacks. Since salad is mainly composed of raw veggies, it is low in fat. This means that you don’t have to worry about indigestion. Calcium and magnesium are especially associated with calming effects that promote a good night sleep.
Salad Mistakes to Avoid Go Organic
When buying lettuce and other vegetables for your salad, opt for organic farm produce. They are less contaminated. On the same note, avoid buying commercial salad dressings due to the high sugar content and the highly processed oils used, most of which are vegetable oils.
Choose Your Protein Wisely and Skip the Fat
Likewise, you’d want to minimize the amount of protein you throw into your bowl of salad. Our bodies require protein to build muscles and strengthen bones among other functions. However, the American population has a tendency of eating too much protein, most of which are low-quality. Choose quality protein sources such as red meat, seafood, chicken breast, turkey breast, and eggs. On the other hand, high-fat dressing ingredients will do your body more harm than good. You might have prepared a healthy bowl of salad only to spoil it with high-fat foods like cheese or bacon. Eating a heavy diet before bed will not go well with your digestive system and is likely to disrupt your sleep. ”
Undoubtedly, lettuce, specifically the Romaine variety can help boost your health due to its high nutritional value. To make a healthy salad, always choose organic, and the darker the better. Lettuce has been used for thousands of years and still continues to grow in popularity. You can eat it raw in salads or food wrapping and also as a smoothie. What makes lettuce an important vegetable to include in your salads is the sedative properties that help you sleep better, and wake up healthier.
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