The sound of popping corn and the smell of melting butter is often associated with movie theaters. Certain movie experiences are enhanced by the tub of flavorful popcorn that is served crisp. It is not just the corn kernel puffing and expanding that brings joy to its consumers. There are several health benefits of popcorn. Eating these popped corn kernels can do more than just make a dull movie bearable.
Historically, this popular snack dates to thousands of years when it was adoringly called Pearls by the Americans. Domesticated by the Mexicans, corn met with its people’s favourite version the popcorn. Since the 3600 BC, there has been no stopping this health snack.
Is popcorn healthy? Lets know some Hidden Health Facts:
Corn has been associated with a lot of health benefits. But how much does it offer after the ‘pop’. With an impressive list of nutritional value, popcorn might even top the healthy snack alternatives. Its naturally high dietary fiber, low calories, Vitamin E, beneficial oils, polyphenols, essential proteins, adds the nutritional value of popcorn.
A lot of people ask themselves the same question every time they eat a bowl full, is popcorn good for you. Let me give you a list of health benefits of popcorn.
- The high fiber content improves digestion and leads to a healthy bowel movement.
- Blood sugar levels are greatly regulated by the fiber content.
- It also has antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals in the body, prevents aging.
- High fiber content makes it an ideal supplement for snacking when you are on a diet, playing a role in weight loss.
- Polyphenolics, a class of antioxidants, is present at a high value in popcorn that gives it anti-cancerous properties.
The above points highlight as answer to the query, is popcorn a healthy snack. All these popcorn nutrition facts do not apply if you douse your popcorn tub with a good amount of salts, spices, butter and other flavours. They negate any health benefits of popcorn and make it just another junk snack that you gorge on.
Popping the Myths:
For people wondering if popcorn makes you gain weight, no. Rather the high dietary content in the kernels helps you lose weight. Yes, you heard me right.
These popped goodies have only 350 calories per 100 grams, the USDA gives it the nod. The myth about popcorn being a health risk are not true. Popcorn is a healthy snack pertaining to it providing more whole grain content in the diet when compared to non-popcorn eaters.
So, to answer “is popcorn healthy?”
Yes, it is. Just steer clear of the truck load of butter on your popcorn and you are good to go. It can even be consumed as a healthy snack after a strenuous workout session. Your relaxed muscles would savour on the extra fiber being supplemented after an exhausting time in gym.
While if you ask for the healthiest popcorn, then it’d be best to put on your chef’s hat and apron to pop some of those kernels right at home. No added flavours, the homemade way is always the healthy way.
Counting the Carbs:
The C word is a taboo for health-conscious people. But in reality, carbohydrates are important for one’s bodily functions and metabolism, it all lies in consuming the right amount and the right kind of carbs.
Stop stressing about the number of carbohydrate molecules that are entering your system as you munch on kernel after kernel of popped corn!
Popcorn does contain carbohydrates, but it is nothing to freak out about. Based on USDA reports, every 100 g of popcorn contains 74 g of carbohydrates. Popped corn, in fact is a diet friendly snack. A low carb diet can take a couple of handfuls of popcorn now and then. The high fiber and nutritional value of popcorn, the wholesome whole grain should not put a dent in your diet.
The probability of you risking your health by eating popcorn is as high as you getting hit by a military aircraft while going on an evening walk! Basically, close to zero when it comes to plain homemade popcorn avoiding the excess butter and flavouring. You might have to be a little concerned about your 2 or 3-year-old choking on the popcorn! Despite that, we can’t think of any reason for why you shouldn’t enjoy your evening with a bowl of healthy homemade goodness in the form of popcorn.
Now arises the question, is microwave popcorn bad for you?
The FDA in a report states that the ready to use microwave popcorns on heating produces perfluorooctanoic acid, which is a potential carcinogen. The artificial buttering agent, diacetyl, added to microwave popcorn is harmful when it is melted as it is known to cause respiratory distress.
The next time you are bored at home and feel like making yourself a pleasure snack as you binge watch your favourite show, pick a bag of corn kernels. Heat them in the microwave till you hear a pop. Air pop them or use a little bit of butter or oil, depending on which side of the health circle you are on. If you really can’t help eating it bland, season it with a dash of sea salt and enjoy your “wholesome” snack.
Now answering all your questions, we hope you know the answer for the next time someone asks you, is popcorn healthy.
Instead of worrying about the pot belly you might develop or wondering about which heart disease you might die of, pop em’ right and think about all the good fiber you are consuming with every fibre in your body!