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Lettuce (Salad Patta): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

You noticed lettuce in your favourite food items like sandwiches, burgers, and salads which gives additional crunchiness. Lettuce has many health benefits and can be included in our regular diet. The scientific name of lettuce is Lactuca sativa and consumed worldwide. China is the largest producer of lettuce, and the most consumed countries are the USA and Western Europe. The lettuce comes in different sizes and shapes and is available throughout the year. Lettuce is a rich source of fibre, iron, vitamin C and folate while it has less sodium, calories and fat.1 The low-calorie and rich source of vitamins and fibre make lettuce special. The following sections contain more information regarding the potential uses and nutritional facts of lettuce.  

lettuce benefits

Did you know?

Nutritional Value of Herb: 

Nutritional component  Value  
Macronutrient  
Carbohydrates  3.24g  
Proteins  1.24g  
Fibre  1.8g  
Lipids  0.26g  
Water  94.7g  
Energy  20kcal  
Vitamins  
Vitamin C  4.6mg  
Vitamin B1 0.079mg  
Vitamin B2 0.072mg  
Vitamin B3 0.323mg  
Vitamin B5 0.145mg  
Vitamin B6 0.078mg  
Minerals  
Iron  0.95mg  
Calcium  35mg  
Magnesium  13.7mg  
Potassium 253mg  
Phosphorus 30mg  
Zinc  0.25mg  
Manganese  0.127mg  
Copper  0.048mg  
Selenium  0.4μg  

Table 1: Nutritional value of lettuce per 100g of serving3 

Lettuce for kidney-associated symptoms! Researchers believe that lettuce might be helpful in reducing kidney-associated symptoms such as pruritis (skin irritation). Lettuce has an anti-inflammatory nature.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Cluster Beans: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

Properties of Lettuce: 

The properties of lettuce are given below.  

  • It may show antioxidant property  
  • It may show anti-inflammatory property  
  • It may show antidiabetic property  
  • It may show anticancer property  
  • It may show antiviral property 
  • It may help weight management  

Lettuce may help you slow down the ageing process! Lettuce may offer a natural anti-ageing treatment, according to researchers. Antioxidants are thought to be abundant in lettuce.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Banana Flower: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Potential Uses of Lettuce for Overall Health: 

1. Potential uses of lettuce for diabetes: 

Enzymes like α-amylase and α-glucosidase are responsible for breaking down starch into glucose. This elevates blood glucose levels and regular intake of lettuce may inhibit these enzymes. The presence of these compounds in the lettuce may reduce blood glucose levels. Thus, lettuce might be helpful for diabetic patients.4 However, more research is required regarding the effect of lettuce. Moreover, diabetes is a major health issue and requires proper diagnosis. Kindly consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.  

2. Potential uses of lettuce for heart diseases 

Heart diseases are one of the significant risks to public health. Many studies report that consuming green leafy vegetables may help in reducing heart diseases. Lettuce is low in fats, calories and a rich source of fibre and vitamins. Being low in fat and rich in fibre might contribute to low cholesterol levels. Moreover, Vitamin E and Vitamin C present in lettuce might be responsible for the antioxidant potential of lettuce.1 These two effects (cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant potential) might reduce the risk factors related to heart diseases. Therefore, lettuce might be helpful against heart disease. 4 However, if you are suffering from any heart disease, adhere to the doctor’s advice and treatment. Do not self-medicate. 

3. Potential uses of lettuce for cancer 

Research showed that daily intake of lettuce might be associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. A high amount of phenolic compounds are present in lettuce which might be responsible for its anticancer potential. It was seen that lettuce might potentially inhibit the growth and multiplication of cancer cells in the body. In addition, it might also help in initiating the elimination of defective cancer cells from the body through a process called apoptosis (programmed cell death).4 More studies on humans are awaited to support the use of lettuce against human cancer cells. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor before using herbal remedies for cancer.  

4. Potential uses of lettuce for immunity  

Lettuce contains more amount of vitamins and phytochemicals.4 Vitamin C and phytochemicals present in lettuce might help activate and boost immunity.1 However, more studies are required to support the use of lettuce in any immunological conditions. Therefore, if you notice any problems related to the immune system, reach out to your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis.  

5. Potential uses of lettuce for liver disease 

Consuming lettuce may help protect the liver from damage by restoring the levels of liver enzymes and improving liver performance. The antioxidant property of lettuce might be responsible for its liver protective effects. The phenolic compounds present in lettuce have shown good antioxidant potential. The antioxidant may reduce the damage induced by free radicals and may protect the liver.4 If you experience liver problems, talk to a healthcare provider before using lettuce as a remedy.  Do not self-medicate.  

6. Potential uses of lettuce for brain damage 

Adding lettuce to a regular diet may protect the brain from damage. The antioxidant and anti-degenerative (preventing degeneration of neurons) properties of lettuce might be due to phenolic compounds present in the lettuce. Consuming lettuce may prevent brain damage caused due to ischemia (low blood oxygen levels). The bioactive components present in lettuce might help against ischemia and reperfusion (restored blood flow) damage caused to the brain by interfering with the expression of neurotrophin-3 and nerve growth factor.4 These properties of lettuce have been observed in lab studies and more studies are needed to claim the use of lettuce for brain-related conditions. In case of any brain conditions, talk to a healthcare provider.  

Though many studies show the benefits of lettuce in various conditions, these studies are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for further research to establish the true extent of the benefits of lettuce on human health.  

Did you know that lettuce might aid in weak and brittle bones? According to researchers, lettuce might lead to healthy and strong bones since it contains a lot of vitamin K, which retains bone mass.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Spring Onion: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

How to Use Lettuce: 

Lettuce can be consumed raw, because of which most of its nutrients are conserved. It is popularly used in salads.1  

You must consult a qualified healthcare provider before taking lettuce or any herbal ingredients. Do not replace or discontinue an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Lettuce (Salad Patta): 

Side effects associated with the usage of lettuce are given below.   

  • Overdosing with lettuce can lead to side effects like, 
  • Mydriasis (dilation of the pupil)  
  • Photophobia (inability to look at bright light) 
  • Dizziness  
  • Heart and breathing difficulty 
  • Excessive sweating  
  • Hallucinations  
  • Sedative (induce sleep)4  
  • Lettuce has high nitrite content, which causes toxic effects leading to stomach cancer and methemoglobinemia (blood disorder).4  
  • Lettuce also contains phytochemicals like tropane alkaloids. Consuming tropane alkaloids in excess can cause high pulse rates, paralysis and even death.4  

Before using lettuce for its health benefits, make sure to consult a doctor about the side effects associated with its use. This will help avoid side effects.  

Precautions to Take with Lettuce: 

These are some precautions you must take while using lettuce.  

  • Precaution for pregnant women 

There is a lack of sufficient information on lettuce safety during pregnancy. Therefore, you must talk to your healthcare provider before using lettuce during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  

  • Precaution for elderly 

Elders are advised to avoid consuming lettuce in excess because of its toxicity.  

  • Precaution for children  

Children should consume lettuce under the supervision of elders. Also, it is essential to wash lettuce thoroughly before consuming it.  

Before consuming lettuce for its benefits on health, talk to a healthcare provider about the possible side effects associated with its use.  

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

There is a lack of sufficient information on the interactions of lettuce with other drugs. Therefore, you are advised to exercise precautions. If you are receiving medical treatment for a particular health condition, talk to your doctor regarding the possible interaction of the treatment with other herbs and drugs. This will help you make well-informed choices.  

Also Read: Red Chilli: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the benefits of lettuce leaves? 

Lettuce is packed with nutritional and phytochemical components. Therefore, lettuce may show potential uses against diabetes and cancer. In addition, consuming lettuce might positively affect the liver, brain and immunity.4 However, if you are suffering from any disease condition, you are advised to consult a doctor before using lettuce for your symptoms.  

Can I use lettuce for weight loss? 

Lettuce (Salad Patta) leaves are low in calories and contain high fibre and vitamins.3 Therefore, you can add lettuce to your diet to manage weight. However, talking to a nutritionist before making significant changes in your diet is essential. By getting professional help, you make better choices for your health.  

What are the side effects of lettuce? 

Consuming lettuce in excess can cause many side effects. These are mydriasis (dilation of the pupil), photophobia (inability to look at bright light), dizziness, heart and breathing difficulty, excessive sweating, hallucinations, and induced sleep.4  

What are lettuce benefits for diabetes?  

Consuming lettuce may help lower blood glucose levels. It might interfere with the activity of enzymes that might cause an increase in blood glucose levels. Thus, this might help and may reduce diabetes.4 These effects have been observed in lab trials. However, large-scale human tests are needed to support the use of lettuce against diabetes. Therefore, avoid using lettuce for diabetes before consulting your healthcare provider. Do not self-medicate.  

Can lettuce be eaten raw? 

Yes, lettuce can be eaten raw and is popularly used for making salads.1 

References 

1. Kim MJ, Moon Y, Tou JC, Mou B, Waterland NL. Nutritional value, bioactive compounds and health benefits of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2016 Jun 1;49:19–34. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157516300230 

2. Yang X, Gil MI, Yang Q, Tomás-Barberán FA. Bioactive compounds in lettuce: Highlighting the benefits to human health and impacts of preharvest and postharvest practices. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety [Internet]. 2022 Jan 1 [cited 2022 Aug 17];21(1):4–45. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12877 

3. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 17]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746769/nutrients 

4. Shi M, Gu J, Wu H, Rauf A, Emran T bin, Khan Z, et al. Phytochemicals, Nutrition, Metabolism, Bioavailability, and Health Benefits in Lettuce-A Comprehensive Review. Antioxidants (Basel) [Internet]. 2022 Jun 13 [cited 2022 Aug 19];11(6):1158. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35740055/ 

  Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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