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What does lettuce juice do to your body?


Lettuce juice has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Made by juicing lettuce leaves, it provides a concentrated source of nutrients found in lettuce. Some proponents claim that drinking lettuce juice can provide a variety of health benefits. This article will examine what lettuce juice is, its potential benefits and side effects, and how it can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

What is Lettuce Juice?

Lettuce juice is made by extracting the liquid from lettuce leaves through juicing. The most common types of lettuce used to make lettuce juice are green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and iceberg lettuce. The liquid is typically bright green in color.

Leafy green vegetables like lettuce contain high amounts of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Juicing lettuce allows you to consume a concentrated dose of these nutrients.

A single 8 ounce glass of lettuce juice made from 2-3 heads of lettuce can provide:

  • Vitamin K: 170% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 180% of the RDI
  • Folate: 25% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 15% of the RDI
  • Chromium: 14% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI

Lettuce juice also contains antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

The exact nutrient profile can vary based on the type of lettuce used, whether other ingredients are added, and how diluted the juice is. But overall, lettuce juice packs a nutritional punch in a low-calorie beverage.

Potential Benefits of Lettuce Juice

Lettuce juice has gained popularity among health-conscious consumers for a variety of potential benefits, including:

1. High Nutrient Content

As mentioned previously, lettuce juice contains a concentrated amount of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, manganese, chromium and potassium.

Getting adequate intake of these nutrients has been linked to health benefits like improved bone health, healthy immune function, and lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers. Drinking lettuce juice can help you meet your daily nutrient needs with just one serving.

2. Hydration

Lettuce juice is mostly made up of water, making it a hydrating beverage choice. Staying well hydrated is crucial for functions like regulating body temperature, supporting digestion and absorption, and transporting nutrients.

Substituting lettuce juice for higher calorie drinks like juice or soda can help increase your daily fluid intake without added calories or sugar.

3. Weight Loss

Lettuce juice is very low in calories, providing only 20-30 calories per 8 ounces compared to 80-120 calories in vegetable and fruit juices. Replacing higher calorie beverages with lettuce juice can support a calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

The fiber content of lettuce juice may also help support weight loss by promoting fullness and regulating appetite. Some proponents claim the chlorophyll in lettuce juice may also have mild metabolism and weight regulating benefits, but more research is needed.

4. Lowering Cholesterol

Some research indicates that certain phytonutrients in lettuce including lutein and beta carotene may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.

By providing concentrated amounts of these nutrients, lettuce juice may help improve cholesterol profiles, especially when combined with a healthy diet. More studies are needed to confirm lettuce juice’s direct effects.

5. Reducing Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases and aging. Lettuce juice contains antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene, and quercetin that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Drinking lettuce juice may help reduce systemic inflammation and oxidative stress for protective health effects. However, research is currently limited to animal studies.

6. Improved Skin Health

Antioxidants in lettuce juice like vitamin A and vitamin C support skin health by combating oxidative damage that can lead to premature aging. The nutrients in lettuce juice may also improve skin moisture, suppleness and collagen production.

Drinking lettuce juice could help keep your skin looking healthier and more youthful as part of a well-rounded skincare routine.

7. Boosted Immunity

Lettuce juice contains a number of nutrients involved in immune cell function and production including vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and zinc. Drinking lettuce juice may provide immune-boosting effects to help prevent illness and infection.

8. Improved Digestion

Lettuce juice retains some of the fiber content from the whole vegetable. This fiber helps promote regular bowel movements and healthy digestion. The nutrients in lettuce juice can also help reduce inflammation in the gut.

Some claim that lettuce juice may provide probiotic benefits for gut health, but more research is needed on this specifically.

9. Better Sleep

Certain compounds in lettuce like lactucarium may have mild sedative and anxiety-reducing properties that could improve sleep quality. Lettuce juice also provides magnesium, an important mineral for muscle relaxation that aids sleep.

Drinking lettuce juice may help you fall asleep faster and wake up more rested when consumed before bedtime.

10. Provides Chlorophyll

Lettuce juice contains chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that gives it the bright green color. Some research shows chlorophyll may help protect cells from damage, slow aging, and bind to toxins.

More studies are needed, but the chlorophyll in lettuce juice could provide anti-cancer and detoxification benefits in the body.

Potential Side Effects

Lettuce juice is likely safe for most people when consumed in normal food amounts. However, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:

1. Diarrhea

Drinking high amounts of lettuce juice may cause loose stools or diarrhea in some people. This is due to the fiber content which can overstimulate the digestive tract. Start with a small amount and gradually work up to higher doses if you experience diarrhea.

2. Nitrate Content

Lettuce contains low amounts of nitrates, compounds that can convert to nitrites and form nitrosamines in the body. Nitrosamines are potentially carcinogenic. More research is needed on the nitrate content of lettuce juice and health impacts. Those at risk may want to exercise caution consuming high amounts.

3. Pesticide Residue

Conventionally grown lettuce may contain traces of pesticides. Washing lettuce thoroughly before juicing can help remove some external residues. Choosing organic lettuce when possible is recommended to minimize exposure.

4. Foodborne Illness

Like other raw vegetables, contamination with bacteria, parasites or viruses is possible if good food safety practices are not followed when preparing lettuce juice. Only use fresh, washed lettuce, and thoroughly clean utensils, containers and juicers.

5. Allergic Reactions

Lettuce allergies are rare but possible. Discontinue use if you experience swelling, hives, itching or difficulty breathing after drinking lettuce juice.

6. Medication Interactions

Lettuce juice contains vitamin K which can interact with blood thinning medications. Consult your doctor before adding high amounts of lettuce juice to your diet if you take blood thinners.

7. Nutrient Deficiencies

People following very low-calorie or restrictive diets should use caution when swapping meals for lettuce juice, as it cannot provide adequate nutrition on its own. Focus on eating whole foods for balance.

How to Make Lettuce Juice

It’s easy to make fresh lettuce juice at home with just a few simple steps:


– 2-3 heads lettuce, washed thoroughly (green leaf, romaine, etc.)
– 1/2 lemon, peeled
– 2 apples, chopped
– 1 inch ginger, peeled
– 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
– Ice cubes
– Water (optional to dilute)


1. Wash lettuce thoroughly under cold water to remove dirt and debris. Dry leaves completely.

2. Remove cores from lettuce heads and discard any browned leaves. Leave smaller leaves whole and roughly chop larger leaves.

3. Add lettuce, lemon, apples, ginger and cucumber into a juicer. Juice ingredients, stirring and pushing produce down as needed.

4. Add a few ice cubes and juice again to increase yield.

5. Pour juice into a glass. For a milder flavor, dilute with a splash of water if desired. Drink immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

You can experiment by adding other vegetables like celery or spinach to change up the flavor. Any combination of mild, leafy greens and fruits works well in lettuce juice.

Tips for Adding Lettuce Juice to Your Diet

Here are some tips on how to incorporate lettuce juice into a healthy lifestyle:

– Start with a small amount (4-6 oz) and gradually increase up to 8-12 oz per day as tolerated. This allows your body to adapt.

– Drink lettuce juice on an empty stomach before meals for maximum nutrient absorption.

– Use lettuce juice as a snack between meals to help control appetite and sugar cravings.

– Replace unhealthy beverages like soda, juice or sports drinks with lettuce juice for a low-calorie option.

– Add lettuce juice to smoothies for extra nutrition.

– Pair lettuce juice with healthy balanced meals, not as a meal replacement.

– Drink lettuce juice chilled. Add ice, fresh ginger or mint for extra flavor.

– Purchase a lettuce juice cleanse for 1-3 days max as an occasional nutrition boost, not for long-term weight loss.

– Buy or grow organic lettuce when possible to reduce pesticide exposure from lettuce juice.

– Store lettuce juice in the refrigerator and consume within 24 hours for food safety.

The Bottom Line

Lettuce juice contains a concentrated dose of important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that may offer potential health benefits. However, research is still emerging to confirm many of the proposed benefits for humans. Potential side effects are also possible if large amounts are consumed.

In moderation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, lettuce juice can be a low-calorie, nutritious beverage choice. But it should not be used as a meal replacement or sole source of nutrition.

As with any new food or supplement, consult your healthcare provider before adding lettuce juice to your routine, especially if you take medications or have underlying health conditions. Overall, incorporating fresh lettuce juice in rotation with other vegetable juices can add variety and extra nutrients to your diet when used properly.

Nutrition Comparison of Lettuce vs. Lettuce Juice

Nutrient Romaine Lettuce
(1 head)
Romaine Lettuce Juice
(1 cup)
Calories 8 20
Protein 0.8 g 1 g
Fat 0.1 g 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 1.5 g 4 g
Fiber 0.9 g 1 g
Vitamin K 15% DV 170% DV
Vitamin A 5% DV 180% DV
Folate 4% DV 25% DV
Manganese 2% DV 15% DV

*Percent Daily Values based on a 2000 calorie diet.