14 Healthy Salad Greens Ranked From Best to Worst


Portion 1 cup raw

Calories 93

Carbs 1 gram (g)

Fiber 0.8 g

Protein 1 g

Why It’s Healthy

Kale is a trendy green for a reason — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), just 1 cup of cooked kale meets 19 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin A, which helps maintain good vision, a healthy immune system and reproductive system, and proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also contains 23 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body and helps maintain a healthy immune system; and kale also has more than 4 times your daily requirement of vitamin K, crucial to form proteins necessary for normal blood clotting, build stronger bones, and protect against osteoporosis, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). While slightly higher in calories than other greens, cooked kale provides about 14 percent of your daily requirement of calcium, which is essential for building and maintaining strong bones.

Meal Prep Inspo

“Kale is delicious raw or cooked,” says Kennedy. “It’s simple to prepare sautéed 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. Kale also pairs well with roasted squash, nuts, seeds, and beans. “However you serve kale, just be sure to remove the tough ribbing first,” Kennedy says.


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