It may surprise some, but lettuce is actually a member of the daisy family. Believed to have been first cultivated in ancient Egypt and used as a symbol of fertility, there are many different varieties of lettuce grown and enjoyed all over the world. Among the most popular types are butterhead, Chinese, romaine, iceberg, and cos lettuce.
No matter what type of lettuce you prefer, it’s almost a guaranteed powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients. 100 grams of fresh lettuce leaves can give you 247 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A. Lettuce is also a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and folates. They are an impressive source of phytonutrients and with 100 grams of lettuce containing only 15 calories, they are a worthwhile addition to anyone’s diet.
Lettuce is believed to help you sleep because it contains lactucarium, the milky fluid from the stem, which is actually an opiate with mild sedative and analgesic properties. So for a good night’s sleep, enjoy a thick, lettuce-filled sandwich or tossed salad a few hours before bedtime.
Alternatively, you can brew yourself a cup of lettuce tea to help with insomnia. Simply wash your lettuce leaves (romaine is the best choice) and simmer in water for 20 minutes. Strain into a cup, drink and enjoy each night before bed. The lettuce and the warm water will help you relax and get to sleep easier.