In this brief article, we will answer the questions, are heads of lettuce safe to eat, what is lettuce, what is their nutrient composition, and what are the benefits of consuming them. We will also explore the means of growing lettuces and how to prepare them.
Are heads of lettuce safe to eat?
Heads of lettuce are safe to eat. They are green and leafy. They are highly preferred as compared to other vegetables.
They are used in making salads because of their green color and the amount of water they have. Lettuces that are compact are referred to as head lettuces such as bibb and butterhead lettuce.
What is lettuce?
Lettuce are leafy green vegetables from the genus Lactuca sativa. This name emerged from the Greeks and Romans. They are rich in water, fats, and oils. It requires moderate temperatures to grow and is grown annually.
Lettuces are of different shapes and textures. There are those with dense heads and the others with frilly leaves. They are taproots. Taproot lettuces are mostly found in Asia, the United States, and parts of Western Europe.
They are flowering plants that produce flowers once they are mature to be harvested. The flowers grow to a height of one meter.
The flowers are yellow. Over the years they have been improved and have developed traits such as herbicide tolerance, resistance to pathogens and insects, and reduced blotting patterns.
What are the benefits of consuming lettuces?
Heads of lettuce are chopped/sliced and used in culinary duties such as making salads for example the caesar salad. They are also used as vegetables that are served with other dishes such as rice and cakes.
They contain amounts of natural oil. This oil is harvested and can be used in cooking. Lettuces are rich in water and can be used to supplement dry servings. It contains good amounts of dietary fiber which helps improve bowel movements when ingested.
What is the nutrient composition of lettuce?
Lettuce are rich in vitamins A, K and C. Vitamin A&C act as antioxidants. They help in promoting cell regeneration and also help the body in getting rid of free radicals.
Vitamin K helps the body during blood clotting. This is essential especially after a cut to avoid contamination of the wound and clots formed to prevent bleeding out.
They also contain other minerals such as phosphorus which aids the body in absorption of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Calcium promotes bone development and density; magnesium is an important cofactor in enzyme activity regulation and potassium serves as an electrolyte. Potassium also aids in balancing osmotic pressure and nerve relays.
Other nutrients are available such carbohydrates which account for 1.5g per head, dietary fiber at 1g, proteins at 0.6g and fats at 0.3g. This composition gives lettuce a total net of 8 calories per head.
How are lettuce grown?
Lettuce thrives in well drained fertile soils. They are also shallow rooted and require frequent irrigation. Below are some steps in growing lettuce. For good quality seeds check here.
Lettuces grow at a temperature between 45 to 64 °F ( 7-18 °C) depending on the different varieties.
They are planted in spring. They can be directly planted or transplanted from a bed. They are sown in depths of a ¼ inch in the soil.
When growing lettuces take into consideration the following factors.
- The seed rate per hectare is 800-1000 grams.
- A hectare should contain 50.000-60.000 plants
- Spacing between rows is 27-60 cm by 18-30 cm
- Planting depth is ¼ inch (0,6 cm)
- Seedlings are thinned after germination..
How to prepare lettuce?
They can be consumed as raw vegetables in salads. They can be cooked by frying them or deep steaming them for full recipes check here.
In this brief article, we have answered the questions, are heads of lettuce safe to eat, what is lettuce, what is their nutrient composition, and what are the benefits of consuming them. We have also explored the means of growing lettuces and how to prepare them.