Red lettuce is a kind of leafy vegetable, which has an eye-catching beautiful reddish color. Its wonderful red to dark reddish-purple color helps to recognize easily from other types of lettuce. It has some similarities to romaine lettuce. Red Lettuce can add not only the taste to your meal but also a beautiful color to a meal which will increase your hunger and appetite. With this wonderful vegetable, you can add color to sandwiches, salads without any harmful artificial coloring. The shelf-life of red lettuce is shorter than other lettuce varieties.
According to the scientific name, it is Lactuca sativa. This leafy vegetable belongs to the Asteraceae family, which is also called as Daisy family. Red lettuce leaves have crisp nature and have mild sweet or semi-bitter flavor.
The Egyptians were identified as the first cultivators who cultivated lettuce about 4500 years ago for the production of oil from seeds. This leafy vegetable is native to the Mediterranean and Mideast. According to their great history, plants were cultivated in Persian kings’ royal gardens about 2500 years ago.
We thought that it will be important for you to know about this leafy vegetable. So, here we bring you the nutritional values and health benefits of red lettuce.
Nutrition wonders of Red Lettuce
Red lettuce gives you high nutrients and low calories. It is high in many valuable nutrients and has a low amount of calories. It can be called as a pool of nutrients, which is filled with a variety of essential minerals and essential vitamins, also in low calories.
According to the USDA, one serving (85 grams) of these leaves has nutrients given below (1).
- Calories: 11
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin K: 149% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 127% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Folate: 8% of the DV
- Iron: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Thiamine: 4% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 4% of the DV
Health Benefits of Red Lettuce
1. The hydrating power of red lettuce
Our body needs an adequate amount of water to keep the body hydrated. The overall health of the body depends on how we maintain adequate hydration in the body. It is high in water, 96% water (1). So it can keep our body hydrated. By eating more red lettuce, you can keep the body healthy more easily.
2. Red lettuce could be an excellent solution for weight management
As above mentioned it has high water content, which will help to control hunger and feeling full. According to USFD regulations, red lettuce is identified as a low-calorie/ calorie-free, fat-free food and has more water. Therefore, it is excellent for the weight management of your body. So you can add a reasonable portion of these leaves into your meal to manage your body weight and stay healthy.
3. Red lettuce is full of antioxidants
Simply, red lettuce can be introduced as a pool of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules/substances which can delay or prevent cell damages by inhibition of oxidation that produces harmful free radicals. Free radicals are harmful unstable molecules that are linked to many illnesses such as heart diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. More the number of free radicals in the body, more the chance to get certain diseases (2, 3)
It is a rich source of the antioxidant beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A by your body.
Anthocyanin (a group of flavonoid antioxidants) is another antioxidant found in red lettuce, which gives the reddish-purple color. It helps to fight inflammation (4).
Not only that, but this leafy vegetable is also a wonderful source of vitamin C, a type of powerful antioxidant that has the power to reduce the risk of certain cancers, diabetes, heart diseases, and many other diseases in your body (5) (6).
4. Red lettuce for healthy eyes
Beta carotene in red lettuce which converts to vitamin A helps to keep your eyes more healthy. Adding enough amounts of beta carotene to your meals will strengthen your eyesight, lower the chance to get diseases that can lose vision (7).
5. Red lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K
If you are looking for an excellent source of vitamin K, this leafy vegetable could be an excellent answer.
Roles of vitamin K
- Blood clotting -Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting (8).
- Bone health -It is important for your bone health, growth, and development of bones. This vitamin can prevent osteoporosis and fractures (9).
- Reduce the risk of cancers – Vitamin K has the power to lower the risk of several types of cancers such as stomach, oral, nasal, colon, and prostate cancers. And it helps to improve the liver functions of patients who have cancers in their liver.
So, you can easily add a reasonable portion of red lettuce to your plate to enjoy these health benefits of vitamin K.
6. Can give you healthy bones as a source of Manganese
Manganese is identified as an essential element for proper as well as the normal development of the bone structure of the human. It also increases the spinal bone’s mineral density. Red lettuce has 9% of Manganese of the DV per one serving.
7. Red lettuce gives you a healthy heart
Normally, fruits and vegetables have the power to reduce the risk of heart diseases to a certain extent (10).
One serving of lettuce (85 grams) gives you 5% of Potassium of the DV and 3% of Magnesium of the DV (1 ).
Red lettuce has Potassium and magnesium which help you to maintain your heartbeat healthy and allow relaxation of the heart muscles’ cells (11). Many heart disorders can be caused by deficiencies of both above-mentioned minerals (12)(13). So you can try different recipes of red lettuce to keep your heart healthy.
8. Maintain your blood pressure
Nowadays, high blood pressure became a common disease all around the world. We can’t take it easy because high blood pressure leads to heart diseases by working the heart harder than earlier (14).
Potassium in your meal has the ability to lower your blood pressure (15). That’s why eating red lettuce is beneficial for your health.
9. Red lettuce leaves rich in vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for your body to maintain important things in your body such as eye health, healthy immune system, cell growth, and many others.
Vitamin A has the ability to boost the development and functions of vital organs of your body. Kidneys, hearts, lungs are some of them.
Red leaf lettuce can provide 127% of vitamin A of the DV from one serving (85 grams) (1). So, this veggie will add enough Vitamin A to your body.
10. Helps to maintain your mental health
Vitamin B9 (Folate) which comes with your plate as red lettuce has 8% of the DV (1). When handling mental health conditions like depression and anxiety vitamin B9 plays an important role.
These are the main mental health issues, which are many people in nowadays suffering from.
Do you ever think that your salad or sandwich with red lettuce can improve your mental health to a good level?
11. Can be used as a help to treat Anemia
Anemia is a condition with lower healthy red blood cells. Vitamin B6 is essential to produce hemoglobin in the blood. Red blood cells bring oxygen to cells with the help of hemoglobin. If you can consume more vitamin B6 in your diet, you can easily lower the anemia conditions.
Simply, if you can add red lettuce to your diet in reasonable portions, you can easily prevent anemia conditions
Adding Red Lettuce to your diet
It is a kind of leafy veggie with taste. Normally it comes at affordable prices to your market. These leaves add more crispness, more flavor, and wonderful color which definitely increases your appetite.
With a clear picture of the health benefits and nutritional values of red lettuce, now we are trying to explain the ways how you can add them to your daily meals. There are a number of ways to add them to your diet.
Here are some ways have a look,
- Add red lettuce to your meal as delicious salads
- Add them to your sandwich
- Add them as food wraps to your meal
- Add them to your veggie soup
- Drink them as a fresh smoothie
- Make spring rolls with them
- Make a sauce to drizzle over the meat, scrambled eggs,
And many other ways.
Side effects of eating red lettuce
- Red lettuce that you buy may also be pesticide sprayed. It can cause harm to your health in long term.
- Allergic reactions – Sometimes, eating red lettuce can cause allergic reactions in your body.