This blog was written by Luis Acosta, a 4-H Teen Ambassador in Miami-Dade County.
Lettuce is everything your body has asked for! It contains nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for several body systems. Eating your leafy greens can greatly improve your health.
Is it your biggest craving?
Lettuce is very nutritious and can help your body with its needs, improve your body functions, and keep your body systems in check. These leafy greens are shown to be beneficial for your cardiovascular system, digestive system, cognitive functions, and other body functions like vision, skin, and bones.
- Corliss, J. (2021, August 1). Keep heart disease at bay with a salad a day?. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/keep-heart-disease-at-bay-with-a-salad-a-day
- 5 foods to improve your digestion. JHM. (2021a, September 13). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-foods-to-improve-your-digestion
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Leafy greens linked with slower age-related cognitive decline. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/leafy-greens-linked-slower-age-related-cognitive-decline
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, May 15). Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
Keep heart disease at bay with a salad a day.
-Julie Corliss, Executive Editor of the Harvard Heart Letter
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC “About 695,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2021.” As you can see heart disease is a big issue in America. However, there are certain factors that can decrease one’s risk of getting heart disease. One of these factors is your nutrition and what you eat. Lettuce is very nutritious and has been shown to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system. A blog from Harvard Health expressed that “researchers found that people who ate the most leafy greens, such as lettuce, had a 12% to 26% lower risk of cardiovascular disease”.
The digestive system is what breaks down food and absorbs nutrients from the substances that have been eaten. Lettuce is a good source of fiber and is great for digestive health. A blog from John Hopkins Medicine states, “Leafy greens are excellent sources of fiber, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A.” Research shows that leafy greens also contain a specific type of sugar that helps fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Examples of cognitive functions are reasoning, memory storage, retrieval, learning, and emotion. As we get older, so does our brain. These cognitive functions may slow down or lose accuracy. However, a brain-healthy diet can help keep these functions in top shape! “Consumption of green leafy vegetables is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in older adults, possibly due to the neuroprotective actions of specific nutrients”.
Other Body Functions
Lettuce is part of a brain-healthy diet! It has several vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin, bones, and eyes. Lettuce has a significant amount of folate which is needed for healthy cells and can aid in the development of babies during pregnancy. Specifically, Romaine Lettuce contains high amounts of vitamin C, which helps keep the gums, teeth, and skin healthy.
As you can see lettuce is amazing for your body! Incorporating more leafy greens in your diet will be beneficial for your body in several different ways. Lettuce can aid your cardiovascular system, digestive system, and cognitive processing; while also providing beneficial vitamins that can boost health of the skin, hair, cells, eyes, and bones.
Luis Acosta, 4-H Teen Ambassador