Spring Mix Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Spring Mix

Spring mix, annotated
Photo: Alexandra Shytsman 

Healthy eaters often grab a salad for a quick meal or side dish. A spring mix salad is easy to prepare and can be a smart alternative to potato chips or other starchy side dishes. But is a mixed greens salad healthier than a salad made from other types of lettuce? Compare spring mix calories by brand and see how spring mix nutrition stacks up against spinach, romaine, and other popular greens.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided for 3 cups (85g) of spring mix.

  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 95mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 2g

Spring Mix Calories

When you buy a spring mix at your local market, you're simply buying a blend of lettuces, usually baby lettuces. Almost all brands vary the lettuces that they use in the mixed greens product. Sometimes called mesclun, your spring greens salad mix may include:

  • Butter lettuce, also called oak lettuce, a lettuce that provides a smooth flavor and texture
  • Baby red or green romaine lettuce that also provides savory crunch
  • Arugula, a spicy green lettuce
  • Baby spinach, a sturdy green that is darker in color
  • Lolla rossa, an Italian green that adds bright red and green color
  • Tango lettuce (also called curled leaf lettuce) or frisee that adds volume to the mix 
  • Radicchio, a stiff red lettuce with a bold flavor
  • Tastsoi, spoon-shaped leaves that are sometimes called spinach mustard

These lettuces provide very few calories and zero fat. If you eat a full serving—three cups— you'll likely consume less than 25 calories. Of course, nutrition will vary based on the type of spring mix you purchase, but generally, the nutrition will be similar. 

Carbs in Spring Mix

Most of the calories in spring mix blends come from carbohydrate, but this is still a low carb food, providing just 4.4 grams per serving. Most of the carbohydrate in a spring mix is fiber.

The estimated glycemic load of a single serving of spring mix salad greens is about one.

Fats in Spring Mix

There is little to no fat in these salad greens—most should contain under 1 gram.

Protein in Spring Mix

A typical spring mix provides almost 2 grams of protein per serving.

Micronutrients in Spring Mix

Each bag or box of mixed greens provides a healthy dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate and potassium. These mixed greens may also contribute some calcium and iron. Blends with more spinach may provide slightly more protein.

Health Benefits

Salad greens provide very little energy (calories), but the vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy body.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting functions in the body. Vitamin A is important for good vision, healthy skin, immune function, and proper cell function. Vitamin C helps your body maintain strong bones and teeth, can help fight infection, and aids in the absorption of iron.

The real benefit of salad greens, however, comes from the way that you use them to replace higher calorie lunch or dinner foods. The fiber in salad greens and the fact that they are very low in calories can help you to keep your calories in control to maintain a healthy weight.

Common Questions

Does spring mix nutrition vary by brand?

Most brands use the same types of lettuce in their blends, so the nutritional value is nearly identical from brand to brand. For example, spring mix blends by Fresh Express, Taylor Farms, Earthbound Farm, Ready Pac, and Dole report nearly identical nutrition facts, although the blend by Ready Pac reports slightly less sodium.

How do spring mix calories and nutrition compare to spinach, kale, iceberg, or romaine? 

If you're looking for the healthiest greens for your salad, kale will give you the greatest nutritional boost. According to USDA data, here's how different greens stack up when comparing the same three-cup serving size:

  • Iceberg provides 24 calories, 0 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 3 gram of fiber, and zero grams of fat. However, it provides far fewer micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) than a spring mix blend. 
  • Romaine provides  24 calories, 3 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 3 gram of fiber, and zero grams of fat. The micronutrients provided by romaine are comparable to those provided by spring mix.
  • Spinach provides 21 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrate, 3 gram of fiber, and zero grams of fat. The micronutrients provided by spinach are nearly identical to those provided by spring mix.
  • Kale provides 99 calories, 18 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbohydrate, 9 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of fat. This superfood also provides more of several micronutrients including calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

What is the best way to store spring mix salad greens?

There are many different ways to buy spring greens at the market. There are usually bags of mixed greens that are most economical. But the bags can get crushed among other groceries in transport and you may end up with bruised greens that don't have a delicate texture.

Boxed greens are another option. Usually, these clamshell containers are slightly more expensive, but your greens will be more likely to maintain their texture.

Lastly, some markets allow you to serve yourself loose salad greens from a large bin that is refilled frequently. The upside to this method is that the greens may be fresher than the pre-packaged variety. But you should ask the grocer to be sure. The other benefit of using the help-yourself method is that you can buy exactly the amount that you need, so there is no waste or extra expense.

Once you get your salad greens home, store them in the refrigerator. Most experts recommend that you wash your greens immediately. Some suggest you store them in a large bowl covered in plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel inside. The paper towel helps to absorb and reduce moisture from the leaves so they stay fresh and crunchy.

Other experts recommend that you wash your greens using a salad spinner and then keep them loose in a clean crisper drawer in the refrigerator that has been lined with a paper towel. This method works best if you have large amounts of salad greens to store. If you have fewer greens, you can keep them in the salad spinner with a paper towel.

Greens are likely to stay fresh for up to 10 days in your refrigerator.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

Creating a spring mix salad can be a little bit tricky because this blend of baby greens isn't as sturdy as other comparable salad greens. For example, if you throw a creamy dressing on iceberg lettuce, your salad will stay crisp. But if you top spring greens with creamy dressing, the lightweight greens get weighed down. 

Use these tips to make a delicious spring mix salad:

  • Use a lightweight dressing and use it sparingly. Drizzle a vinaigrette or use just a hint of olive oil and lemon to dress your greens.
  • Add dressing just moments before the salad is served. Baby mixed greens wilt quickly so you don't want them to stand for too long.
  • Don't worry about keeping the greens cold. When you use crisp lettuces like iceberg or romaine, keeping the lettuce cold is key. But many spring mix salad eaters prefer their greens room temperature to bring out the flavor of other ingredients.
  • Spring mix salad greens go bad faster than other greens. Buy only what you will use in 7 to 10 days and be sure to store them properly.
  • Skip heavy ingredients so your salad doesn't get weighed down. Spring greens go well with lightweight and lower-calorie toppings. Goat cheese, grapes, and cranberries are popular toppings on salads made with spring greens.
  • Keep ingredients to a minimum when making your spring greens salad. By limiting the salad toppings, you allow yourself the enjoyment of tasting the individual flavors of each type of lettuce.

Ready to create your own salad with spring greens? You can use a spring mix salad recipe or just create your own delicious creation. Use healthy ingredients to boost the nutritional value of your meal.

  • Strawberry Spring Mix Salad: Toss baby greens in a light balsamic vinaigrette and top with fresh sliced strawberries, walnuts, and an ounce of goat cheese.
  • Fall Spring Mix Salad: Toss greens, walnuts, and cranberries in a sweet balsamic dressing. Top with goat cheese.
  • Savory Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad: Add mixed greens, kalamata olives, feta, pepperoncini, and cucumber in a bowl. Add olive oil and lemon. Toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spring Mix Salad with Grains. Take your favorite homemade or premixed grain salad and toss in a handful of baby greens. Toss gently and plate for a full meal.
  • Summertime Spring Mix Salad. Add candied or roasted pecans to your mixed greens and toss in a bowl with feta or goat cheese. Top with fresh raspberries. 

Allergies and Interventions

Because a spring mix may contain different varieties of lettuce, it is hard to identify if you might have an allergic reaction. However, lettuce allergies are reported. Lettuce is part of a large family of plants known as Asteraceae. There may be cross-reactivity between lettuce and peach, cherry, carrot, sycamore pollen and other members of the Asteraceae family.

If you suspect an oral allergy to lettuce, speak to your healthcare provider to get personalized advice.

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Article Sources

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