Yes, our all-time favorite movie partner Popcorn, doesn’t just improve our movie experience but also has many surprising health benefits in store for you. And to be true, even I was not aware of it until my friend, also a nutritionist, added popcorn to my diet plan. And today, being your friend I will be sharing some of its benefits, the best way to eat and enjoy popcorn’s health benefits.
While researching on this topic, I came across some interesting facts about Popcorn. Historically, there is evidence that popcorn has been enjoyed by cultures for more than 6,000 years. Corn or maize has been an important part of many cultural diets in ancient times. And, popcorn is still consumed and enjoyed in nearly every country.
So, I don’t think I need to tell you in detail what popcorn is. We all are very well aware of it. So, without keeping you waiting for long, let’s pop into the nutrition content and health benefits…
Nutritional Content of Popcorn:
Popcorn is a whole grain, which is highly rich in fiber content and polyphenolic compounds. Along with this, popcorn also contains antioxidants, magnesium, vitamins, and minerals. Low in fats and sugar, as well as no cholesterol, makes it the best snack.
Health Benefits of your Movie Buddy!
- Fibre from the bran, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin E in popcorn aids in normal bowel movements and also prevents constipation problems.
- Soluble fibre helps in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. It gets bind to the cholesterol in the small intestine, thus preventing the absorption in the bloodstream. Low cholesterol level, lower the chances of any cardiovascular diseases.
- Polyphenols in popcorn act as an antioxidant. This helps in reducing oxidative stress and reduces the appearance of ageing in an individual.
- Fibre helps in regulating the release and management of blood sugar and insulin levels. Thus, lowering the chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes. If you have diabetes, consuming adequate sources of fibre helps to reduce these fluctuations in blood sugar.
- Popcorn being a low-calorie snack with less saturated fats keeps you fuller for a longer time as it slows the digestion rate and prolongs satiety, keeping your waistline thin.
Now what I am going to say next might be a little disappointing for some of you. Popcorn in movie theatres or pre-packaged popcorn does not provide you with so many benefits. According to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, popcorn made in movie theatres can have up to 60 grams of saturated fat as they are cooked in coconut oil. Popcorn can either be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the way it’s being cooked.
How to Best Avail the Nutrient Content?
When eaten plain or properly seasoned with herbs, it is both delicious and beneficial. However, it becomes unhealthy when you pour an extra amount of butter or salt. The type of oil or butter you use also plays an important part in popcorn being healthy. Moreover, heat alone is enough to create popcorn. So, avoid adding olive oil or other vegetable oils, since it can impact the polyphenolic content.
Popping kernels in a pot over heat or in an air-popper is a healthier alternative. You can even add different seasonings such as cinnamon or Italian herbs to get different flavors. So, let us see how you can air pop your popcorn.
How to Air-Pop your Popcorn at home?
Air-popping means heating the hard popcorn seeds, or kernels, in hot air until they burst and become popcorn.
You will need:
- A pan with a tight lid
- 3.5 tablespoons, or 58 g, of popcorn kernels
- 0.25 to 0.5 teaspoon of salt
You can add oil or butter for flavoring, but the popcorn does not need any oil to pop. If you like to add oil or butter, you can go for unsalted butter or olive oil.
Steps to air-pop the popcorn kernels:
- Preheat your pan or pressure cooker on a medium-high heat
- Splatter a few drops of water into the hot pan or pressure cooker
- Add the popcorn kernels and cover it with the lid
- Shake the pot gently for 2 seconds
- Listen to the satisfying kernels popping sound. This will last 2-3 minutes
- Remove from the heat, sprinkle with salt.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Now, are you ready to add Popcorn to your daily diet? Popcorn will make an amazing Snack Buddy to you all.
Try avoiding adding any high sugar or high-fat toppings to ensure you are consuming a nutritious snack. However, having cheese popcorn or caramel popcorn once in a while will not harm you. Just keep in mind, eat anything and everything but in proper controlled portions.
So, I think my popcorn is now ready and I am going to enjoy my Popcorn bowl. Stay Connected with 5pm Ardor for such interesting blogs!
Now all you have to do is pop in a good movie and enjoy yourself!
This article is contributed by 5PM Ardor!
Author bio: 5PM Ardor: The place where you enjoy a short read on skincare, food, and books while relishing your favorite cup of tea or coffee…
Ardor means a feeling of warmth and enthusiasm. While ‘5 pm’ signifies the time when usually we have a coffee/tea break. 5 pm is also the time when some of us complete our work and leave for our respective homes. The reason behind this name is that along with the warmth of coffee and tea, people should also feel that warmth (affection) while reading blogs on 5pmardor. They should feel enthusiastic and inspired after reading freshly designed articles.