Romaine lettuce benefits have a lot. Romaine lettuce is a crispy salad green with high nutritional value. Its vitamin and mineral content offers a range of health benefits, and there are many simple ways to add romaine lettuce to the diet. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of romaine lettuce.
Romaine Lettuce Benefits
Romaine lettuce is suitable for people who wish to lose weight, due to its high nutrient density and low-calorie content. However, it can be a tasty and healthful addition to any meal and eating plan. The nutrients and minerals it contains can provide benefits to anyone who regularly eats it.
Rich in Antioxidants & Vitamin A & C
The powerful antioxidants vitamin A and C in this variety of lettuce helps in promoting the healthy functioning of the body’s many different mechanisms. They also help in fighting free radicals and thereby preventing chronic diseases. Vitamin A and C are also responsible to reduce oxidative stress in the body and prevent inflammation.
Prevents Bone Loss
This variety of lettuce has a rich supply of minerals, ranging from copper and iron to magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, all of which can help increase bone mineral density. It is also high in vitamin K, which can optimize bone growth and prevent bone loss. As you age, it is important not to become deficient in any of these critical minerals, or your risk for osteoporosis will increase significantly.
Improves Heart Health
There is a decent amount of iron found in the leaves of Romaine lettuce, which helps improve circulation throughout the body and prevents the risk of numerous heart conditions. Iron is a key ingredient in red blood cell production, which allows hemoglobin to carry more oxygen and nutrients to the parts of the body that need it most. This can increase energy levels and also speed the healing/repair process.
The beta-carotene, vitamin A and C, and other beneficial nutrients in this lettuce can directly impact the health of the eye. Beta-carotene breaks down into vitamin A, which combats the oxidative stress on the retina, thus preventing the development of macular degeneration and slowing the onset of cataracts. It can also prevent blindness or vision loss as you age.
Prevents Signs of Aging
The high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C found in romaine lettuce mean that this salad vegetable can help boost the health of your skin. Vitamin C is an integral part of collagen production, which is required to build all new cells and tissues throughout the body. Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals and reduce their impact on healthy cells. This can minimize the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes, while also improving the elasticity of the skin, helping your skin’s natural glow and preventing aging. Romaine lettuce also helps in preventing the onset of acne.
Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C is known for its impact on the immune system, as it can drive the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense, while also acting as an antioxidant and lowering level of oxidative stress. However, vitamin A and other immune-boosting minerals in Romaine lettuce also help to keep the body and stomach clear of infectious pathogens.
Various studies have looked into the cancer-fighting powers of Romaine lettuce, and it is believed that that folate, which is present in this green leafy vegetable, may decrease the risk of several forms of cancer. According to the National Institute of Health, people who take recommended amounts of folic acid before cancer develops might decrease the cancer risk.
While there are no formal antioxidants in Romaine lettuce, the other nutrients, such as carotenoids, fill similar roles in the body and may help in preventing breast, ovarian, bladder, oral, lung, prostate, and skin cancers. A team of Iranian researchers published a study on ‘Carotenoids and Cancer: Biological Functions’, in the Acta Scientific Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal, which states that carotenoids could reduce the risk of different disorders such as many forms of cancer. The preclinical studies demonstrated that the carotenoids have effective anti-tumor effects and help in the regulation of cell growth and cell cycle progression, along with antioxidant activity.
Beneficial during Pregnancy
Romaine lettuce, being rich in folate, helps prevent birth defects and ensures a safe and healthy pregnancy. It also prevents neural tube defects and promotes the healthy development of the fetus’s heart and face.
With a very low number of calories and a relatively high amount of fiber, Romaine lettuce is ideal for filling you up without compromising your caloric goals, if you’re trying to lose weight. The other nutrients in this lettuce, including many of the B vitamins, can stimulate the metabolism to increase fat burning and lower levels of fat deposition, which can also help if you’re trying to shed some extra pounds.
Dietary fiber does more than fill you up; it also helps to move food through your digestive tracts and promotes healthy digestion. By stimulating peristaltic motion, the fiber in Romaine lettuce will help to relieve signs and symptoms of constipation, bloating and cramping, while also lowering your risk for more serious gastrointestinal issues, such as hemorrhoids or gastric ulcers.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
With a low level of omega-3 fatty acids, research has shown that this variety of lettuce can improve cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, thus allowing less oxidized cholesterol from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This will notably reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Romaine lettuce boasts a huge amount of vitamin K, which is an important factor in blood clotting within the body. When we are wounded, this vitamin signals endothelial growth factors that can speed the closing of a wound and reduce the pain and inflammation, while also defending against any outside infections.
Promotes Muscle Growth
The unique range of amino acids found in Romaine lettuce means that this common leafy green can help with growth and development throughout the body. Amino acids are the true building blocks of the body and are needed for everything from cells and blood vessels to bones and organ systems. Romaine lettuce can deliver a good supply of these raw materials, including glutamic acid, aspartic acid, leucine, and lysine.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The moderate level of potassium found in Romaine lettuce makes it a good food for blood pressure and heart health. Potassium is a powerful electrolyte and vasodilator, meaning that it can relax tension in blood vessels and arteries, slowing down rates of damage to those tissues and reducing strain on the cardiovascular system as a whole.
70g Romaine Lettuce Nutrition
- 65.4 g of water
- 13.3 kilocalories
- 1 g of protein
- 2.7 g of carbohydrate
- 2.2 g of fiber
- 43.4 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 0.6 mg of iron
- 14 mg of magnesium
- 24.5 mg of phosphorus
- 229 mg of potassium
- 17.5 mg of sodium
- 90.3 micrograms (mcg) of folate
- 194 mcg of vitamin A
- 8.1 mg of vitamin C
- 2,320 mcg of beta-carotene
- 147 mcg of vitamin K
Romaine Lettuce Side Effects
Romaine lettuce can be a healthful part of a varied diet, but some people have expressed concern that salad greens may carry toxins. For example, contamination can occur if farmers grow their produce in contaminated soil or irrigate it with contaminated water.
Increase Your Risk of E. coli or Other Foodborne Illnesses
According to the CDC, 51 different food disease outbreaks between 2015-and 2018 were linked back to lettuce, with a recent case of E. coli being traced back to romaine lettuce in November 2020. Lettuce and other leafy greens can increase our risk of food-borne illness through the growth or production process. The CDC explains that food contamination can occur at any point of the “production chain,” which is the process that includes preparation, production, processing, and distribution.
An example of this would be lettuce that was sprayed with contaminated water or being exposed to surfaces that weren’t cleaned after carrying animal products. In order to lower your risk, the CDC recommends washing your hands thoroughly before you clean your lettuce, as well as running it under the faucet instead of soaking it in a bowl of water. They also suggest using a clean towel to pat the lettuce dry.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Romaine lettuce is a great source of potassium, with one cup having about 116 milligrams. From some perspective, a cup of kale has only about 71 milligrams of potassium. You’re not going to get as much potassium with romaine lettuce as you would with something like a banana, which has about 375 milligrams, but bananas also have about 18 grams of sugar compared to the one gram in romaine lettuce. Potassium has incredible benefits for your health. A report from The British Medical Journal revealed that consistent potassium intake can lower blood pressure in people who are living with hypertension, as well as lower their risk of stroke significantly.