The average American consumes about 30 pounds of lettuce every year, making it second only to potatoes in U.S. vegetable popularity, according to Hidden Valley. Despite this, most Americans still fail to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, as recommended by the American Cancer Society. Prewashed, flavorful and ready-to-use straight from the package, lettuce-based baby spring mixes offer a simple way to add vegetables to almost any meal.
A 2-cup portion of generic baby spring mix contains 15 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of protein and zero grams of fat, according to LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate. This portion size of baby spring mix also has 70 milligrams of sodium and zero milligrams of cholesterol. The nutritional profiles of baby spring mixes can differ somewhat between brands due to variations in the greens included in each particular mix.
A 2-cup serving of Earthbound Farm mixed baby greens provides 120 percent of the daily value, or DV, of vitamin A and 50 percent of the DV of vitamin C, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. A similar serving of Dole spring mix offers 107 percent of the DV of vitamin A and 11 percent of the DV of vitamin C. The same portion of Fresh Express spring mix has 53 percent of the DV of vitamin A and 17 percent of the DV of vitamin C.
Earthbound Farm mixed baby greens have 20 percent of the DV of iron and 6 percent of the DV of calcium per 2-cup serving. The same amount of Dole spring mix offers 5 percent of the DV of iron and 5 percent of the DV of calcium. A 2-cup serving of Fresh Express spring mix provides 6 percent of the DV of calcium and 4 percent of the DV of iron.
Drizzle baby spring mix with a full-fat salad dressing containing heart-healthy canola oil or extra virgin olive oil for optimal nutrient absorption. Oil-based salad dressings enable your body to absorb larger proportions of healthy nutrients like vitamin A, while fat-free and reduced-fat dressings significantly decrease nutrient absorption, as reported in the August 2004 issue of the "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Limit your dressing serving size to 2 tablespoons if you're watching fat and calories.
- Hidden Valley: Lettuce
- American Cancer Society: Fruits and Vegetables: Do You Get Enough?
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Baby Spring Mix
- Earthbound Farm Organic: Mixed Baby Greens Nutrition Facts
- Dole: Spring Mix
- Fresh Express: Spring Mix
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Carotenoid Bioavailability Is Higher From Salads Ingested With Full-Fat Than With Fat-Reduced Salad Dressings as Measured With Electrochemical Detection; Melody J. Brown, et al.; August 2004
- John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health News Center; Americans Don’t Consume Enough Fruits and Vegetables; Eileen Leahy; March 2007
- Colorado State University Extension; Health Benefits and Safe Handling of Salad Greens; M. Bunning, et al.; June 2007
- MayoClinic.com; Recipe: Seared Scallops With New Potatoes and Field Greens; December 2006