Within the world of vegetables, vegetables and plants, there are great varieties that provide many nutritional benefits, but perhaps they are not as well known and therefore consumed.  

In this sense are the lamb’s lettuce, which are plants that are used as condiments for certain dishes or added to some salads . They are consumed raw and their distribution is usually mainly in the European continent.

In the following article we will talk more about canons, what are their benefits and properties for health, in order to encourage their consumption.

What are canons?

Lamb ‘s lettuce or Valerianella locusta, also known as field lettuce or cat grass, are wild vegetables with culinary applications. They are green leafy and cultivated mainly in countries like France, Germany and Italy, with high nutritional qualities and a long list of benefits. 

Note: Lamb’s lettuce do best in moist soil and cool temperatures. They do not tolerate drought and are characterized by a mild and slightly acid flavor.

They are small leaves in clusters that grow from ten to thirty centimeters in height , which have been consumed since ancient times but currently their addition to recipes and salads has increased their popularity, cultivation and consumption.

What benefits do canons have?

Due to the nature of its nutritional composition, lamb’s lettuce is quite beneficial for the health of its consumers. These effects will be mentioned and described below, to allow their knowledge and use:

1. They reinforce the body’s defenses

Lamb’s lettuce is a source of potassium, a mineral that benefits the immune system, thus allowing protection for the body against diseases and viruses. There are even claims where they mention that the greener the leaves are, the greater their medicinal properties.

To highlight: This plant has a contribution of vitamin C and B-carotenes, with amounts that even cover 88% of the recommended daily intake , which positively influences our body’s defenses. (1)

2. They reduce the action of free radicals

The high content of antioxidants present in lamb’s lettuce benefits the body against free radicals, thus achieving the protection of body cells against oxidation and thus slowing down aging.

Lamb’s lettuce contains vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant action, thus allowing a protective effect on our cells and health. 

You should know: Lamb’s lettuce provides 1.5 grams of this vitamin for every 150 grams of this plant. (two)

3. They fight anemia

Anemia is a disorder in the body that usually occurs when there is an iron deficiency, so the contribution of lettuce prevents the possibility of the appearance of anemia and helps combat the symptoms, allowing a speedy recovery.

Note: The lamb’s lettuce provide 3 grams of iron per 150-gram portion, which translates to 30% of the recommended daily intake.

4. Eliminate fluid retention and constipation

Fluid retention and constipation create swelling in the abdominal area. Both disorders can be caused by an unbalanced diet and little water consumption. 

In this sense, the fiber content, antioxidants and potassium of lamb’s lettuce allow detoxification of the body and improves digestive transit , which reduces the risk of suffering from constipation or some intestinal imbalance. (3)

5. They strengthen the bones

The high content of vitamin K present in lamb’s lettuce benefits not only blood clotting, as we all know, it also intervenes in bone health. 

To highlight: Vitamin C, for its part, benefits the production of collagen and the absorption of iron and calcium, in addition to intervening in the metabolism of proteins, keeping the body and its bone system healthy and in optimal conditions.

6. They promote pregnancy

Its large amount of nutrients and low caloric intake allows lamb’s lettuce to be a recommended food for pregnant women. However, it is important to note that they are carriers of folic acid and iron, which also greatly benefits the gestation process. (4)

7. They reduce stress, nerves and anxiety

Lamb’s lettuce have relaxing properties due to their nature, as they belong to the herbaceous genus Valerianaceae , valerian family. They are usually used for infusions that reduce nerves, calm stress and reduce the symptoms of anxiety . (5)

8. They improve the health of the eyes, hair and nails

The contribution to the formation of collagen mentioned previously in the article, and its high content of vitamins A and E, are responsible for the quality that lamb’s lettuce confers on eye, hair and nail health. 

You should know: The benefits will only see results if the canons are consumed frequently . That is, if they are really considered and become part of the individual’s diet.

9. They contribute to weight loss

Its low caloric content and high fiber content are two of the main characteristics that make lamb’s lettuce an ally for the goal of weight loss. 

To highlight: It is important to mention that in addition to that, they have a great capacity for a satiating sensation, which is why they help reduce fatigue, anxiety and therefore limit excessive and unnecessary food consumption.

Properties of the canons

The benefits of lamb’s lettuce are obtained from its nutritional composition, which is characterized by having a high content of micronutrients and antioxidants. It will be mentioned and described below: 

1. Vitamins

Its main contribution in vitamins is vitamin A, providing more than 90% of the recommended daily intake. Also the lamb’s lettuce have high contents of vitamin C, E, K and B6. 

Note: They provide riboflavins, thiamine, and as we mentioned throughout the article, a significant amount of antioxidants .

2. Minerals

Among the minerals obtained from the consumption of lettuce we can highlight iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They all help the development and correct functioning of our body, in addition to promoting the health of the main systems of the body.

3. Other compounds

The lamb’s lettuce also provide protein, small amounts of fat , carbohydrates, fiber and water, the latter representing the largest percentage of its composition. 

How do you eat canons?

The canons are eaten raw . They are added to salads or placed as decoration in some dishes. They can be boiled to make relaxing infusions and even added to dressings and sauces to take advantage of their flavor.

Note: They can be reserved for a maximum of 3 days at refrigerated temperatures, in addition to preserving their nutritional contributions with better quality the fresher and greener they are .

Key Findings

  • Lamb’s lettuce are plants that are used as salad ingredients to confer a different and characteristic flavor, in addition to taking advantage of its benefits.
  • They have extensive nutritional qualities, especially in micronutrient content, providing high values ​​of vitamin A and antioxidants.
  • The consumption of lamb’s lettuce strengthens the immune system, improves and cares for eye health and is recommended to be consumed during pregnancy due to its contribution of folic acid.
  • Its fiber content and satiating sensation benefit consumers who want to lose weight.

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