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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316777

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Nutritional value, bioactive compounds, and health benefits of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)

Author
item Kim, Moo Jung - West Virginia University
item Moon, Youyoun - West Virginia University
item Tou, Janet - West Virginia University
item Mou, Beiquan
item Waterland, Nicole - West Virginia University

Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2016
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Citation: Kim, M., Moon, Y., Tou, J.C., Mou, B., Waterland, N. 2016. Nutritional value, bioactive compounds, and health benefits of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 49:19-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2016.03.004.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lettuce is one of the most popularly consumed vegetables worldwide but its nutritional value has been underestimated. Lettuce is low in calories and fat but high in fiber. Moreover, lettuce is high in potassium but low in sodium. Lettuce is also a good source of health-beneficial bioactive compounds. However, nutrient composition and bioactive compounds vary within lettuce types and cultivars. Crisphead lettuce popularly consumed in the US is comparatively low in bioactive compounds. More nutritious lettuces are romaine with folate content comparable to other rich leafy vegetable sources and red lettuce with higher phenolic compounds than green lettuce. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, and anti-diabetic activities attributed to the bioactive compounds in lettuce. In addition to type and cultivar selection, nutritional value of lettuce can be enhanced by controlling growing conditions and manipulating cultural practices.