Crispy green leaves of lettuce predominantly make up salads. This made the word 'lettuce' synonymous with salads. Most kinds of lettuce give out a white, milky liquid once you break their leaves. This 'milk' is what gives the slightly bitter taste of lettuce. Additionally, lettuce's scientific name Lactuca sativa is derived from the Latin term for milk.
Each serving of romaine lettuce, approximately 2 cups or 94 grams contains 163.7% vitamin A, 120.4% vitamin K, 37.6% vitamin C, 31.9% folate, 7.8% fiber, 7.5% molybdenum, 7.5% manganese, 6.6% potassium, 5% iron, 14.6% vitamin B, 4.5% omega-3 fats, 3.5% vitamin B2, 3.2% magnesium, 3.1% tryptophan, 3.1% calcium, 2.8% phosphorus, and2.5% copper.
Although romaine lettuce is frequently overlooked in the world of nutrition, it is actually a highly nutritious food since it contains very low calories and high volume of water. As a matter of fact, because it is rich in nutrients, romaine lettuce as a great source of vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin A. Romaine lettuce is a great source of vitamin A notably because it has concentrated amounts of beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin A carotenoid.
Romaine lettuce is a heart-healthy vegetable because of its beta-carotene and vitamin C content. Beta-carotene and vitamin C work together in preventing cholesterol's oxidation. Once cholesterol is oxidized, it turns sticky and builds up in the artery walls to form plaques. Enlarged plaques block off the flow of blood or break and cause clotting that result in stroke or heart attack.
The fiber present in romaine lettuce also has cardiovascular-supportive benefits. Fiber combines with bile salts in the colon and is removed from the body. As a result, the body is forced to produce more bile. This activity is helpful since the body needs to break down cholesterol to produce more bile. This is just one means by which fiber helps reduce high cholesterol levels.
The folic acid content of romaine lettuce has an equally beneficial effect to cardiovascular health. Folic acid is a B vitamin that the body needs in converting homocysteine, a damaging chemical into other benign substances otherwise homocysteine can cause direct damages to blood vessels thereby raising the risk of developing stroke or heart attack.
Additionally, romaine lettuce is an excellent potassium source which has demonstrated in a number of studies to be helpful in reducing high blood pressure, another risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease. Since romaine lettuce contains fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folic acid, this green can significantly provide a cardiovascular-supportive diet.
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