Spring Mix Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

A bag of Spring Mix greens is a great addition to a healthy diet.

mixed greens cut out on white
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Do you grab those premixed salad greens when you do your weekly shopping? A packaged spring mix can make healthy salad preparation a snap. But do you know how many calories are in your salad greens? Check the nutrition facts for lettuce and baby greens to make sure your salad is as healthy as you want it to be.

Spring Mix Nutrition Facts

A serving of "spring mix" leafy greens is considered to be two cups.

In that serving, you get:

  • calories: 15
  • sodium: 65 mg
  • carbohydrates: 3 mg
  • fiber: 1 mg
  • protein: 1 mg

A spring mix or baby greens mix can be a combination of many different types of lettuce. Your mix might include:

  • butter lettuce
  • arugula
  • baby spinach
  • baby romaine
  • green oak lettuce
  • lolla rosa
  • red swiss chard
  • tango lettuce
  • frisee
  • radicchio

A typical blend of greens provides very few calories and no fat. But these blends are usually a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They may also contribute some calcium and iron.  You'll also get a small amount of fiber when you consume a spring mix.

So why make your salad with a spring mix instead of plain iceberg lettuce or romaine? Taste and texture play a big role. Some people like the soft, light texture of baby greens. But others prefer the hearty, crunchy texture of iceberg. 

Mixed salad greens also provide slightly more nutrition than plain iceberg. In addition to the abundance of vitamin A, K, and C, mixed greens provide more calcium, more potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus than iceberg.

You'll also gain more folate from mixed greens.

Healthy Ways to Use Salad Greens

Salad greens provide very little energy (calories), but the vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy diet. The real benefit of salad greens, however, comes from the way that you use them to replace higher calorie lunch or dinner foods.

These are some of the ways you can use a healthy salad to reach or maintain a healthy weight.

  • When you order a sandwich for lunch, choose a small salad instead of fries or coleslaw. This simple swap can save hundreds of calories and countless grams of fat.
  • Make one night per week a salad night and create a hearty salad full of colorful veggies for dinner instead of meat and potatoes. This swap helps you to meet your recommended intake of vegetables and promotes healthy habits in the family.
  • Omit the cheese and mayo from your sandwich and add crunchy salad greens to add crunch and flavor.
  • Fill your tacos with salad greens to reduce the amount of high fat, high salt ingredients that you consume.
  • Use lettuce (baby lettuce or iceberg) instead of bread to make a lower fat, lower calorie burger or sandwich.  

Not sure how to make a healthy salad? The key is to add as many high-fiber nutritious ingredients as possible and reduce the number of starchy, fatty ingredients. 

Healthy Salad Ingredients to Add

  • colorful vegetables
  • crunchy sliced or cubed fruit
  • fiber-rich seeds  (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds)
  • healthy nuts (almonds)
  • lean meats (shredded chicken, sliced turkey, lean beef)
  • beans
  • grains (quinoa, farro)

    Less Healthy Salad Ingredients to Reduce

    • croutons
    • bacon or bacon-style bits
    • cheese
    • starchy salty toppings
    • fatty, high salt deli meats

    Once you have a bowl (or plate) full of healthy ingredients then dress your salad with a lower calorie, lower fat dressing. Some smart dieters simple drizzle lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil on top of their salad. But you can also make your own healthy salad dressing.

    Choosing and Storing Salad Greens

    There are many different ways to buy salad 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 the delicate texture you prefer.

    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 recommend that 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 ten days in your refrigerator