Is Popcorn healthy?
Popcorn can give you fiber and antioxidants. Popcorn is considered a cinema snack staple and also can be a good snack choice. Is Popcorn healthy? The Quick answer to this question is yes it can be. It can provide you with minerals and vitamins. Other ingredients like oil used to pop it or seasonings used may add nutrients to food. Read this article to learn more.
Unsalted air-popped popcorn (1 cup) gives according to FoodData Central:
- Calories: 30 calories
- Carbs: 6.23 g
- Fiber: 1.21 g
- Fats: < 1 g
- Protein: < 1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: < 1 mg
- Potassium: 24mg
- Magnesium: 10mg
Corn is a whole grain even when it is in popped form. Whole grains are healthy and a source of important vitamins minerals and fiber. Corn contains Potassium, Magnesium, and Vitamins A, E, and B.
Whole grains can make you feel more satisfied as they contain all parts of the grain kernel and are rich in many nutrients. On the other hand, refined ones are stripped of their nutrients. People who consume popcorn tend to have consumed more fiber and polyphenols (a compound that has antioxidant properties).
According to research, Whole grains may help to decrease inflammation and lowers the risk of many diseases like
- High blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease
- Some cancers
Having whole grains may lead to lower body fat and lower BMI.
Is popcorn really healthy?
The basic form of popcorn is healthy. When it comes to serving size you can have 3 to 3 and a half cups. Extra sodium in popcorn can lead to fluid retention that may cause bloating. Ingredients used to make popcorn also add more nutritional value to your snack.
Look For the type of Oil:
Look for the type of oil listed on the ingredients list, when buying a packaged brand of popcorn. Different oils can be used. Go for a healthier option like ones including healthy fats i.e. MUFAs (monounsaturated fats). Monounsaturated fats are considered healthier fats and are linked to weight management and lower heart-related problems. Examples of these monounsaturated may include:
- Olive oil
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
- Sesame oil
- Peanut oil
You can make popcorn at home and this comes with certain benefits. And can choose a healthier oil option or air-pop your popcorn. Also, You can go without any oil.
Popcorn can be flavored too with different seasonings. In packaged ones, only salt or pepper can be used as a seasoning. Butter and cheese can also be used as well. Popcorn options like kettle popcorn are seasoned with sugar or different sweeteners.
You can use the following seasonings to make your popcorn healthy:
- Dried fruit (Preservative free)
- Turmeric and black pepper
- Cocoa powder and Cinnamon
- Nutritional yeast
Adding these ingredients will increase the nutritional value of your popcorn. You can control the amount of salt in your popcorn as well when you are making them at home.
Popcorn is a healthy snack choice as it is a whole grain in itself. However, you can further increase its nutritional value by adding certain healthy ingredients like nuts, cinnamon, etc. So, Be careful when buying packaged ones and look for their ingredients list.
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