Greens, Greens, Greens

You are at the grocery store doing your weekly food shopping and you look at your list. Next up: salad greens. You go to the produce aisle and you see more greens than you know what to do with. Is the only difference taste? What about texture? Are some greens healthier than others? Are there right or wrong greens for my salad? These are the questions floating through your head and the questions we’ll tackle here. After all, salads are one of the most popular ways to eat vegetables and if you making yourself a salad, you might as well go all in with maximizing nutrition, right?

Following is more information about the health content of different greens and a delicious salad that goes with each.

Romaine

When comparing romaine lettuce only to iceberg, red leaf lettuce, and green leaf lettuce, romaine overwhelmingly ranks higher in terms of nutrient density. Out of those four in particular, romaine lettuce has the most folic acid, potassium, and beta-carotene. Because of the high beta-carotene content, you can count on this salad green to contribute to your eye health!

Salad: Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad is perfect for romaine lettuce. Because romaine is so deliciously crisp, it gives a little crunch. This means that when you make yourself the Chinese Chicken salad, you can use fewer fried wonton sticks. To complete the salad, throw in some scallions, chicken breast, drained Mandarin oranges, and Asian salad dressing.

 

Arugula

Arugula is another vitamin-packed vegetable. Specifically, arugula has high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, along with some calcium and folate. Where arugula really stands out is that in its higher amounts of vitamin C as compared to romaine. So when you are feeling like your immune system might need a little boost, its arugula to the rescue!

Salad: Grapefruit & Seed Salad

Arugula is perfect for when you are wanting some bite to your salad and when your immune system needs a lift. And as a bonus, grapefruit also has a high vitamin C level. To make Grapefruit & Seed Salad, peel a grapefruit and cut into bite sized pieces, add sunflower seeds, and pour on a balsamic dressing over your bed of arugula.

 

Kale

Now onto one of the healthiest greens of them all and a often discussed superfood: kale! Kale has some of the highest concentration of nutrients in many of the major vitamins common in salad greens. For example, in 100 grams of kale, you are eating about nine times the amount of recommended daily vitamin K and about double the vitamin A and vitamin C. Kale is also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. If you like kale and are trying to up your vitamin intake, then this green is the way to go!

Salad: Green Apple & Lime Salad

This is the easiest salad you will ever make and to kale fans, it is a favorite. All you have to do for this salad is cut up a green apple into bite sized pieces, add them to your cut kale, and add a little bit of lime juice and olive oil. Yes, it’s the most basic salad you have ever heard but that makes it perfect for your daily lunch on the go.

Each salad green has its own unique personality, both from a tatse and nutrition perspective. No matter what salad green you choose, you are doing good things for your body!

Resources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/

http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/foodnut/09373.pdf

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/different-kinds-of-lettuces-and-greens

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/arugula

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/romaine-lettuce

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm

https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400525/Data/SR/SR28/reports/sr28fg11.pdf