Spring Mix Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Spring mix, annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

It's easy to identify spring mix as a health food, but you may be wondering what specific benefits you stand to gain from adopting a daily salad habit. There are lots of reasons to include more spring mix in your menu, with potential health-promoting effects from head to toe. Here are some details on this ubiquitous supermarket staple.

Spring Mix Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 3 ounces (85g) of spring mix.

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

Carbs

Most of the calories in spring mix blends come from carbohydrates. However, with just 3 grams of carbs per serving (2 grams of which come from fiber), spring mix is still considered a low-carbohydrate food.

Spring mix is made up of non-starchy vegetables with a very low glycemic index.

Fats

Spring mix in itself contains minimal fat, but these greens are often dressed with toppings that offer fat.

Protein

Spring mix has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrates. A 3-ounce serving of spring mix provides 2 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Spring mix is a good source of several nutrients. In 3 ounces, you get 80% of the daily value for vitamin A, 20% of manganese, 45% of vitamin K, 15% of folate, and 11% of potassium needs.

Health Benefits

Salad greens have very little calories, but lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to support a healthy body.

Promotes Bone Strength

Although calcium and vitamin D are usually the first micronutrients to come to mind for bone health, vitamin K also plays a vital role. Leafy greens are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin K.

Several studies have demonstrated the association between vitamin K status and bone strength. Getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K (along with regular strength training) appears to provide the best protection against osteoporosis.

Supports Healthy Pregnancy

Spring mix also provides several essential nutrients required for a healthy pregnancy. Studies indicate that higher intakes of leafy greens produce lower risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.

Folate has a well-established role in preventing birth defects early in pregnancy. The range of additional micronutrients in spring mix supports fetal development and healthy gestational weight gain.

Reduces Alzheimer's Risk

A dietary pattern that includes leafy greens is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. It's believed that higher intake of folate from leafy greens and other plant foods is protective against cognitive decline.

By taking the place of less healthy food choices (including high-fat dairy and red meat), spring mix increases overall antioxidant intake and provides anti-inflammatory compounds that support cognitive function.

Prevents Vision Loss

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss. The carotenoids found in spring mix, including lutein, are known to concentrate in the retina and protect against damaging oxidation. Consuming spring mix along with a source of healthy fat (such as olives, salad dressing, or nuts) improves the bioavailability of these fat-soluble compounds for maximum absorption.

Supports Heart Health

The consumption of leafy greens has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), coronary heart disease, and stroke. Spring mix is a good source of fiber, which helps keep cholesterol levels down. The potassium in spring mix prevents blood pressure from becoming elevated.

Additional nutrients in spring mix, like vitamins A and C, have antioxidant effects that protect against cardiovascular damage over time. Including leafy greens, along with a range of colorful fruits and vegetables, goes a long way for heart health.

Allergies

Because spring mix contains different varieties of lettuce, it can be difficult to identify when you have an allergy. However, lettuce allergies have been reported. Lettuce is part of a large family of plants known as Asteraceae. 

There may be cross-reactivity between lettuce and peaches, cherries, carrots, sycamore pollen, and other members of the Asteraceae family. If you suspect an allergy to certain types of lettuce or spring mix, see an allergist for testing.

Adverse Effects

If you are prescribed the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin), you should be mindful of your intake of spring mix and other vegetables that are high in vitamin K as vitamin K interacts with blood thinners.

While it's not recommended to avoid leafy greens, maintaining a consistent intake can help your doctor determine the correct dosage of the medication for you based on your current eating habits.

Varieties

Spring mix is a blend of different types of lettuce. Sometimes called mesclun, spring mix may include:

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

When It's Best

Spring mix is available at any time of the year. It's best when it's fresh, so look for containers or bags that aren't too close to expiration. If you can find organic spring mix, you'll save yourself some of the pesticides used in conventional growing. Nonetheless, there are lots of health benefits to gain from eating more spring mix, whether it's organic or not.

Storage and Food Safety

Buy spring mix towards the end of your shopping trip and store it in the refrigerator as soon as you get home. Remove any damaged leaves from the batch. If the leaves in your spring mix start to get slimy, that means it's going bad and should be discarded. Use spring mix within a few days for optimal freshness.

Spring mixes sold in packaging that states it has been prewashed and is ready-to-eat do not need to be washed a second time before eating. However, leafy greens sold in open containers should always be washed before consuming.

Use a salad spinner after washing or dab it with a paper towel to absorb some of the water.

How to Prepare

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 as long as you don't let it sit out for too long.
  • 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 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.
Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Spring mix. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.

  2. Low Glycemic Meal Planning. New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

  3. Vitamin K: Fact Sheets for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated 2020.

  4. Zerfu TA, Pinto E, Baye K. Consumption of dairy, fruits and dark green leafy vegetables is associated with lower risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO): A prospective cohort study in rural Ethiopia. Nutr Diabetes. 2018;8(1):52. doi:10.1038/s41387-018-0060-y

  5. Gu Y, Nieves JW, Stern Y, Luchsinger JA, Scarmeas N. Food combination and Alzheimer disease risk: A protective diet. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(6):699-706. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.84

  6. Eisenhauer B, Natoli S, Liew G, Flood VM. Lutein and zeaxanthin-food sources, bioavailability and dietary variety in age-related macular degeneration protection. Nutrients. 2017;9(2). doi:10.3390/nu9020120

  7. Blekkenhorst LC, Sim M, Bondonno CP, et al. Cardiovascular health benefits of specific vegetable types: A narrative review. Nutrients. 2018;10(5). doi:10.3390/nu10050595

  8. Muñoz-García E, Luengo-Sánchez O, Moreno-Pérez N, Cuesta-Herranz J, Pastor-Vargas C, Cardona V. Lettuce allergy is a lipid transfer syndrome-related food allergy with a high risk of severe reactions. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2017;27(2):98-103. doi:10.18176/jiaci.0110