Lettuce and baby spinach are two vegetables touted by nutritionists and weight-loss experts as low-calorie additions to a well-balanced healthy diet.However, baby spinach and lettuce are two distinct types of plants and thus have differences in areas such as taste, texture and nutritional makeup.These inconsistencies may be due to differences in planting environment, such as type of soil and light exposure.The last type of this vegetable is called looseleaf, which is similar in appearance to spinach in that it does not form lettuce heads but consists of leaves joined at the stem.Lettuce and spinach both also follow the general rule that darker-colored plants contain more nutrients that can be used by the human body than the lighter-colored ones. .
The Top 14 Healthiest Greens for Your Salad
While slightly higher in calories than other greens, cooked kale provides about 14 percent of your daily requirement for calcium, which is essential for building and maintaining strong bones.“It's simple to prepare sauteed with some onions and garlic, amazing baked into ‘chips,’ and makes a great base for a salad.” For the salad, if you chop the kale into small pieces or allow it to sit in the dressing for a little bit before eating (or both), it becomes more tender, she explains. .
Spinach vs Lettuce
Spinach is nutritionally superior to lettuce, providing more protein, carbohydrates, fats, and almost all vitamins and minerals.While both of these leafy greens are a little sparse in nutrients, spinach is denser, consisting of 91% water.Both spinach and lettuce provide low levels of all essential amino acids.The small amounts of sugars found in lettuce consist of glucose and fructose.Other minerals that spinach contains more of are calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and manganese.The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food Spinach 7 : 1 Lettuce Contains more Calcium +175% Contains more Iron +215.1% Contains more Magnesium +507.7% Contains more Phosphorus +69% Contains more Potassium +187.6% Contains more Zinc +194.4% Contains more Copper +348.3% Contains less Sodium -64.6% Spinach Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 102% 57% 22% 50% 11% 15% 44% Lettuce Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 11% 33% 10% 13% 18% 4% 5% 10% Contains more Calcium +175% Contains more Iron +215.1% Contains more Magnesium +507.7% Contains more Phosphorus +69% Contains more Potassium +187.6% Contains more Zinc +194.4% Contains more Copper +348.3% Contains less Sodium -64.6%.As lettuce and spinach both contain low levels of available carbohydrates, consuming enough of these vegetables to calculate an exact glycemic index is exceedingly difficult.The pH value of spinach falls in the range of 5.50 to 7.18, depending on its state and cooking method.Fresh lettuce is similarly slightly acidic, with pH values ranging from 5.9 to 6.2.The PRAL value demonstrates how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism.Leafy greens are famed for their important role in weight loss diets, and spinach and lettuce are no exceptions.Eating low-energy-dense salad, such as lettuce, before the main course has been studied to reduce meal energy intake (4).Most studies have suggested that the intake of leafy greens, spinach and lettuce particularly, has strong cardiovascular health benefits, potentially reducing the risk of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and overall cardiovascular mortality (6).The high content of nitrates found in spinach may also contribute to beneficial hemodynamic effects, improving vascular health by decreasing central blood pressure and arterial stiffness (7).In addition, these leafy greens have certain properties that may contribute to the prevention of diabetes.Nitrates found in spinach have been researched to ameliorate insulin resistance by improving nitrate status and blood lipid levels, relieving inflammation, and enhancing protective endothelial function (9).Spinach leaves also demonstrate hypoglycemic qualities by decreasing blood glucose levels after a meal (10).Red lettuce, high in polyphenols and antioxidants, has been researched to have anti-diabetic qualities, potentially reducing hyperglycemia and improving insulin sensitivity (11).There is probable evidence that foods high in dietary fiber, such as spinach, decrease the risk of breast cancer (12).Studies have also shown that raw salad vegetables may protect against breast cancer (13).Research has shown that mental well-being responds in a dose-depends fashion to increases in both the quantity and the frequency of the vegetables consumed (14).Leafy green vegetables have very few downsides to be aware of, especially when washed well and consumed in moderation.Due to this, some have recommended being careful when consuming high levels of spinach while on these medications.However, available evidence does not support the advice to modify dietary habits when starting therapy with vitamin K antagonists (15). .
Iceberg lettuce: Nutrition, benefits, and how to use it
Lettuce and other raw vegetables can be a quick and easy addition to sandwiches, wraps, or burgers, or they can form the base of a mixed salad.Benefits As part of a healthful diet, iceberg lettuce can increase fiber and water intake.Leafy green vegetables contain nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K, which are important for healthy bones.The authors of a 2017 review also noted a link between lettuce, along with other vegetables, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.To ensure a wide variety of nutrients and flavors, people can add: tomatoes, peppers, carrots, avocado, radish, or broccoli.a healthful dressing, such as olive, hemp, or avocado oil mixed with lemon juice or cider vinegar Iceberg lettuce is also popular as a filling in sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.Washing and hygiene Contaminated lettuce has caused outbreaks of food poisoning in the United States.A study in Brazil looked at contamination levels in lettuces in supermarkets, food services, and self-service restaurants.The study authors note that consuming ready-to-eat iceberg lettuce within the first few days of packaging may reduce a person’s risk of contamination. .
Spinach vs. Iceberg Lettuce Nutrition Facts
Spinach contains the important carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the only antioxidants found in the eye. .
How Healthy or Nutritious Is Iceberg Lettuce
There may not be much love for this classic salad staple in health circles, but it’s not as bad as you might think.Iceberg lettuce often gets a bad rap—while the classic leafy green is a staple in wedge salads, it gets a lot of flak from fiber-conscious kale fans.Some call it tasteless, watery, even completely devoid of nutrients.Given the choice, most health conscious individuals tend to pick other types of lettuce.Sign up for our new weekly newsletter, ThePrep, for inspiration and support for all your meal plan struggles.Let’s take a closer look at the nutrition of this common salad green, and see how it stacks up against other lettuces, as well as leafy greens like spinach and kale.First off, iceberg lettuce is composed of 96% water—similar to celery and cucumbers.This makes it great for getting in extra hydration during hot days.Iceberg lettuce has a crisp texture and cooling effect, both of which are good indicators of its higher water content, according to nutritionist Carolyn Williams, PhD, RDN.“However, because iceberg lettuce is mostly water, this doesn’t leave much room for even minimal nutrients,” says Williams.To give you a comparison point, kale is only 84% water and spinach is 95%.Both have a thicker, leafier texture than lettuces like iceberg, Romaine, and bibb.“Lettuce in general has a high water content and doesn’t consist of much—especially when compared to spinach or kale,” Williams says.So, how exactly does iceberg lettuce stack up against two of our favorite leafy greens—spinach and kale?Here’s a breakdown of key nutrients and vitamins in each one (per 100 gram or 3 ½ ounce serving).Iceberg lettuce is lower in calories per serving, but it doesn’t deliver nearly as powerful of a dose of nutrients as spinach or kale.To find out, we compared the nutrition of seven types of lettuces (per 100 gram or 3 ½ ounce serving):.While the difference isn’t quite as dramatic as spinach or kale, iceberg lettuce is still lower in nutrients than other types of lettuces.While calories, protein, and fiber are relatively similar, the biggest difference between iceberg lettuce and other lettuces lies in the amount of vitamins and minerals.Compared to iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce contains nearly twice as much Vitamin A and four times the amount of Vitamin K. So, if you’re making a recipe that calls for lettuce—and if it makes sense to substitute in a different variety, you may want to consider doing so.While iceberg lettuce lacks the nutrient density of spinach, kale, and even Romaine, it’s the lowest in calories.This may be beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight—since you can’t really put a cap on the amount you can consume.Additionally, the high water content of iceberg lettuce makes it a naturally hydrating food.While this shouldn’t take the place of your normal water intake, adding several leaves to your sandwich when it’s hot outside may not be the worst idea.It's actually a perfectly healthy food, and if you like the taste, you should include it in your meals.However, due to its high water content, iceberg lettuce is less nutritionally dense than dark leafy greens like spinach or kale.
The Healthiest Lettuces and Salad Greens, Ranked Kale and Spinach
But this time, we factored in how many nutrients (specifically potassium, fiber, protein, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6, calcium, iron, zinc , and vitamins A, C, and B6) the greens pack per calorie. .
The Greens Guide: Which Leafy Green Is Really the Healthiest?
We’ve ranked nine of the most popular greens by their nutritional value, so you’ll know what sort of foliage you should be feeding on most frequently.Most people hadn’t even heard of the stuff 10 years ago, but now it’s hailed as the quintessential superfood.Kale belongs to the “Brassica” family of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.It may also provide protection against conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, prostate cancer and osteoporosis.Vitamin C has great benefits for eye health, as it reduces the risk of cataracts, promotes healthy ocular blood vessels and slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration.Vitamin C also helps the body synthesize collagen, a protein crucial for building healthy skin and tissue, and it may play a role in preventing vascular disease.One hundred grams of kale also contains significant amounts (at least 10% of the RDV) of calcium, copper, manganese, and vitamin B-6.In terms of overall essential vitamins and minerals, kale edges out spinach for the number one spot.Folate—also referred to as folic acid or vitamin B9—is crucial for proper brain function and plays a big role in mental and emotional health.It also helps produce the body’s genetic material, an especially important job during infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.Swiss Chard might not be as popular as the other greens on this list, but its nutritional profile could make it a future favorite of many health-conscious Americans.Swiss chard has hearty leaves similar to kale, but many people find it possess a milder, more palatable flavor.In terms of overall nutrition, kale, spinach and Swiss chard stand above conventional lettuce varieties.It’s also one of the most popular greens included in the rinsed, ready-to-eat salad packages you find in your local supermarket.One hundred grams of arugula also contains a significant amount (at least 10% of the RDV) of vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium and manganese.Butterhead lettuce’s mild sweet flavor and smooth texture make it a great choice for salads.Sauerkraut is incredibly high in probiotics, the “good bacteria” that live inside the gut.Iceberg lettuce has long been a staple of fast-food restaurants thanks in part to its mild, unoffensive flavor.“[Iceberg lettuce] is at the bottom of the salad food chain,” David Farmer, Chik-fil-A’s vice president of menu strategy and development, told Business Insider.A 2007 review published in the International Journal of Oncology concluded that apigenin has been shown to “possess remarkable anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties.”.The issue with iceberg lettuce comes when it’s the only type of green you eat on a consistent basis.According to a 2016 analysis by MarketWatch, Americans eat more iceberg lettuce than kale, romaine and spinach combined.The important thing to remember about greens—and food in general, really—is that variety equals balance.By including a variety of these veggies in your diet, you’ll ensure that you get a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants and reap the full benefits greens can offer. .
Different Kinds of Lettuces and Greens
Lettuce, a type of leafy green, is one of the most commonly eaten veggies in the United States.Leafy greens can be either dark or light in color and include types such as spinach, romaine, kale, escarole, and endive.Greens supply lutein, which contributes to good vision and may help protect your eyes from macular degeneration, and they provide vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.For a mild flavor and delicate green color try mâche, Boston or Bibb lettuce.For example, baby spinach leaves add a nice flavor and color when folded into an omelet. .
Spinach vs. Kale: Is One Healthier?
Nutritional Differences Both kale and spinach are highly nutritious, low-calorie vegetables that provide a wide array of important vitamins and minerals.Meanwhile, a small study in 27 people found that eating a soup made with about 9 ounces (250 grams) of spinach for just 7 days improved blood pressure.Both vegetables also contain cancer-fighting compounds, which have been shown to decrease the growth and spread of cancer cells in test-tube and animal studies ( 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ).What’s more, because kale and spinach are low in calories yet high in nutrients, adding these tasty greens to your diet can be an effective strategy to boost weight loss ( 12 , 13 ).Summary Spinach contains oxalate, which can prevent calcium absorption in your body and may contribute to kidney stone formation.Disruptions in thyroid function can impact your metabolism and cause symptoms like fatigue, sensitivity to cold, and weight changes ( 20 ).Other research has found that regularly eating cruciferous vegetables is not associated with a higher risk of thyroid cancer — except for in women with a very low intake of iodine ( 23 , 24 ).Therefore, if you have thyroid problems, cooking kale or spinach prior to eating it and ensuring you get enough iodine in your diet from foods like seafood and dairy can help prevent any side effects caused by goitrin.Not only do each of these ingredients bring a different set of nutrients to the table, but they can also add a bit of variety and new flavors to your diet.Summary Kale and spinach may differ slightly in terms of nutritional value and health benefits, but both can be included as part of a healthy diet. .