This article originally appeared on Greatist.com, How to Choose the Healthiest Salad Greens. HEALTH Hold off on the creamy dressings, croutons, bacon bits, and layers of shredded cheese. Is Your Doctor Gaslighting You? | RELATED: Which Athlete Eats More: an NFL Player or a Endurance Runner? With this tasty mix, you don’t have to choose sides. 2. Sometimes called mesclun, your spring greens salad mix may include: 1. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Whenever we chow down on a salad, we tend to think we're eating healthy; but the health benefits of a salad, like any other meal, depend entirely on the nutritional breakdown of its ingredients. While they're not stocked at most salad bars, check the produce aisle for tougher roughage like Swiss chard and kale, which beat out even spinach in the antioxidant game. It's very low in calories—a chopped cup clocks in at a paltry 8 calories (compared to 28 for arugula and 33 for kale)–but you don't get much in those calories, since iceberg is mostly water and nutritionally neutral. The closer a food is to the right edge of the map, the more essential nutrients per calorie it contains. Kale packs the strongest strongest nutritional punch of any green, providing calcium and vitamins A and C. It's also a good source of potassium, iron and manganese. Think of a time you sat down in front of a menu, perused your options and thought to yourself, "Actually, a salad sounds perfect." Romaine contains vitamins K, C and A, which keep your immune system performing at its peak. We have a winner! "I'm petrified," the actress said when she shared the news that her breast cancer came back. | You'd be better off building your salad with another option on this list. Here's why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be so frightening. While iceberg lettuce is still the favorite salad green in the U.S., the rise of ready-to-eat packaged salad greens has contributed to increased romaine and spinach consumption. Ready to go darker (and healthier) still? | Here's What to Do, 9 Signs It's More Serious Than the Common Cold, How Your Period Changes During Your 20s, 30s, and 40s, 12 Anxiety Symptoms That Might Point to a Disorder, Shannen Doherty Reveals Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis—Here's What It Means, The Best (and Worst) Diets of 2020, According to Experts, 10 Moves for a Cardio Workout at Home—No Equipment Required, These 13 Women Prove Every Body Is a Bikini Body, 20 Things You Should Throw Away for Better Health, 31 healthy and portable high protein snacks, The complete guide to interval training infographic, 29 smart and easy tips to reduce food waste. And for the non-committal types, mixed greens (typically a mix of romaine, oak leaf lettuce, arugula, frisée, and radicchio) offer, well, a mixed bag of nutritional benefits, depending on the batch. Romaine is packed with high levels of antioxidants that give the lettuce cancer-fighting powers. | Why kale is king. When compared side by side, spinach has more nutritional and health benefits than romaine lettuce. Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. Try pairing shredded Brussels sprouts with a lemon-based dressing, toasted walnuts and dried fruit. The nutritional profiles of baby spring mixes can differ somewhat between brands due to variations in the greens included in each particular mix. A new outbreak of E. coli has hit dozens of people in 11 states. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. There's no one formula for what constitutes a packaged spring mix, but it's usually a mix of baby romaine, oak leaf lettuces, and some other random leaves. Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries? “Lettuce in general has a high water content and doesn’t consist of much—especially when compared to spinach or kale,” Williams says. The darker leaves are able to absorb more light and, in turn, synthesize more vitamins. Instead, opt for a lighter vinaigrette and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds for added crunch and protein. It's also rich in iron, which is important for hard-working athletes, since it helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to muscles. Variety is good! The fluffy leaves also contain high levels of folic acid, a form of vitamin B, which can aid in fighting depression and work to boost male fertility. FRUIT I personally prefer 100 % baby organic spinach. Although it's a little bland by itself, spinach goes great with a fruit-infused vinaigrette, a hearty grain like quinoa, or beans, which also provide protein. While it has a higher level of sodium than other greens (77 mg per cup), it runs close to spinach with the level of nutrients it offers. | Taylor Farms Romaine & Spring Mix combines all the nutritional benefits and flavor of romaine with the great taste of everyone’s favorite, spring mix. Here are the ones you need to pay attention to, and how to know if you may have an anxiety disorder. Spinach also delivers a strong dose of folate, which supports the production of red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the muscles during games and workouts. | Tender oak-leaf lettuce can be red and slightly bitter or green and sweet, but frilled edges distinguish both colors of oak leaf. OXYGEN Arugula has a distinctly peppery flavor, so keep the additions simple. Or, for a mild but textured bed, red leaf lettuce clocks in at just 4 calories per cup, with nearly half of the daily recommended dose of vitamins A and K. Arugula (technically a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, kale, and cabbage) also packs a healthy dose of nutrients and phytochemicals, which may inhibit the development of certain cancers. Both are more nutrient dense than than iceberg lettuce, which is mostly water. 4. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin K. Spinach also provides antioxidants such as vitamin C, … BEANS Check out the infographic below for the nutritional low-down. RED BLOOD CELLS. Make sure your salad contains these nutrients as well as strong flavor and diverse texture—you don't want to eat a wimpy salad! | RELATED: These Surprising Veggies Fight Inflammation. Romaine. RECIPES This fibrous option is becoming more popular as a salad base. But it’s bringing more to the table than its culinary benefits – romaine lettuce is also a solid source of vitamin A, vitamin K and folate. Wegmans Spring Mix: Baby Lettuces (Lollo Rossa, Tango, Red and Green Oak, Red and Green Romaine, Red Leaf, Parella), Baby Greens (Tatsol, Mizuna, Red and Green Chard, Red and Green Mustard, Frisee), Baby Spinach, Radicchio. To make the vinegar/water solution, mix ½ cup distilled white vinegar with two cups water. Enter 9 leafy vegetables that are healthier (yes, healthier) than kale. Early Specialization vs. Many people choose romaine lettuce for salads because of its mild taste, fresh crunch, and versatility in recipes. Why is Green Leaf Lettuce better than Romaine Lettuce? Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. QUINOA Portion 1 cup raw. Not only are they more tender, they also have a bounty of nutrients, because the plant is still feeding them lots of energy for growth. It's an outstanding source of iron and manganese, good for bone and skin health, and it also assists in fighting free radicals. | | Romaine lettuce is super rich in beta-carotene, with approximately 4,094 international unit (IU) of vitamin A in one cup, says the USDA. Dress for success. It has a crunchier texture than the other greens on this list, and it's high in vitamins C and K. Vitamin K keeps your bones strong and your arteries pliable. Seeing green: The need-to-knowSorry sandwich lovers, but a few shreds of lettuce on a bun won't add up to the USDA's daily recommended intake (2-3 cups for most adults). OLIVE OIL But not all leafy greens will build a super-nutritious salad. PROTEIN Both have a thicker, leafier texture than lettuces like iceberg, Romaine, and bibb. Offers may be subject to change without notice. There are many health benefits that are associated with phytonutrients and eating lettuce with red leaves is a good way to get some of this type of nutrient. 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