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Leafy Green Breakdown

When it is hot outside, I crave crisp, cooling salads. All those veggies and greens are refreshing and delicious, and since since they're in season you can find an amazing variety this time of year.

This got me thinking about leafy greens and whether there is a huge difference nutritionally between them. I know dark green spinach is much healthier than light-colored iceberg lettuce, but how much better?

Well I have broken it all down for you. Want to see the comparison? Then

1 cup Calories Fiber (g) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin C (mg) Potassium (mg) Folate (mcg)
Your RDI (just to compare) around 2,000 25-30 2,333 75 4200 400
Romaine 8 1 2729 11 116 64
Spinach 7 .7 2813 8 167 58
Iceberg 8 .7 276 2 78 16
Arugula 5 .3 475 3 3 74
Red leaf lettuce 4 .3 2098 1 52 10
Green leaf lettuce 5 .5 2666 7 70 14
Bibb (Boston) 7 .6 1822 2 131 40

Well it seems that Romaine and Spinach are on top and Bibb lettuce is the next runner-up.

I included your RDI in the table so you can see how much fiber and vitamins we need each day. I was surprised to see that Romaine and Spinach contain so much Vitamin A - over 3 times your daily requirements! I guess it does make a difference which leafy greens you choose. I'll keep this in mind the next time I choose salad greens.


Join The Conversation
pebby01 pebby01 8 years
this is great. i was under the impression that lettuce didn't have many nutrients. glad i'm wrong!
Kever Kever 9 years
Good to know. I love to grow several varieties during the spring and summer, but never knew the nutritional details. I just like the different tastes and textures.
pinktabulous pinktabulous 9 years
nice to know that Romaine contains lots of vitamin A. I've been looking for greens which is high on vit.A. Good thing I've been eating this for almost a year now. thanks for the info!
LadyBug13 LadyBug13 10 years
Oddly I've been eating a lot of salad, especially this week. My salads have been consisting of nothing but lettuce, grilled chicken pieces, and a small amount of dressing. Delish!
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
I love all lettuce except iceberg...although it can be good when you dip it in mustard...hmmmm!
danamarie0224 danamarie0224 10 years
Interesting. I thought spinach was top. Guess I'll be trying Romaine next time!
Fitness Fitness 10 years
I was sad to see that lettuce in general doesn't have MORE fiber.
telos7 telos7 10 years
I usually buy romaine hearts. Anyone know whether this is equivalent to whole romaine, or -- since it's lighter in color -- somehow less nutritious?
lms lms 10 years
My new favorite lettuce is Butter lettuce. It is really tasty.
CamillaCat CamillaCat 10 years
thanks, this was good info!
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 10 years
Great posting! I, too, mix the romaine, spinach and field greens for a variety. I do love the spicy arugula!
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I love to mix my greens. I like all of them, but I love a mix of textures. I need some crunch in there with that spinach.
EcannDallas EcannDallas 10 years
i love bibb lettuce but i never knew its nutritional value.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 10 years
My fridge is never without Spinach and Romaine lettuce!!! Thanks for the info!!!
demonkitty18 demonkitty18 10 years
good to know- nothing beats a cool, crispy, fresh salad in the summer
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
Wow, I thought Spinach had more Folate than Romaine! You learn something new everyday.
ktacce ktacce 10 years
I'm not an iceberg fan... its so void of anything good for you but weirdly has the most amount of calories!
suzanne suzanne 10 years
DUH!!! I just saw the "1 cup" on the chart...
mizz_jennii mizz_jennii 10 years
good info! i love salads in the summer time :)
suzanne suzanne 10 years
Tthis is good to know! I just see the huge assortment of leafy greens out there and go for variety, but I prefer the top three. Thanks, Fit :HUG:... do you know the serving size of the breakdown chart? good to know in relation to the RDI.
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