But, not all greens are created equal and some contain significantly more nutrition than others. What you choose at the salad bar can make all the difference between fully satisfying your daily recommended dose of nutrients and simply contributing to it.
We ranked eight popular salad greens in order from least to most nutritious, according to the CDC’s powerhouse fruits and vegetables list.
The CDC determined the nutritional density of these greens by looking at how well they fulfilled the average person’s daily requirement for 17 important nutrients: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.
They assigned each food a specific nutrient density score, on a scale of zero to 100, that calculates to what extent 100 grams of each green includes the daily recommended amount of these 17 nutrients, assuming a 2,000 calorie diet.
Here’s what they found:
- 8Icebergfastudio4 via Getty Images
- 7Arugulafcafotodigital via Getty Images
- 6Kalejrwasserman via Getty Images
- 5Romainestephanie phillips via Getty Images
- 4Leaf Lettucenikamata via Getty Images
- 3Chicorychengyuzheng via Getty Images
- 2SpinachLecic via Getty Images
- 1Watercressrodrigobark via Getty Images
Knowledge is power. Now go make some salads!