Although it has evolved over the years into a modern luxury, popcorn is actually an ancient dish. These days, when you scan the shelves of a supermarket, you will be confronted with an impressive selection: butter, toffee, salt, and sweetened flavors are all mass produced and readily available.
With popcorn now a mass produced commodity there are some unpleasant health effects unwary shoppers may have missed. Popcorn is very healthy snack, and to exploit this all you need are the facts. This five step guide will help you pop those kernels the right way.
Popcorn may be healthier than fruit and vegetables
Is popcorn healthy? The answer, not including commercially distributed popcorn, is almost certainly a “YES!” In its purest sense popcorn is very close to nature; if it’s dry popped in hot air there are no oils, fats or sugars added to it – what you eat is simply the inside of the kernel after a little physical manipulation. And the facts speak for themselves: a single portion of popcorn contains more antioxidants than all the fruit and vegetables most people eat in a day.
Popcorn also has a large amount of vitamins, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K, as well as being a source of iron, potassium, zinc, and polyphenols which contain the antioxidants to fight off cancers and cardiovascular health problems.
One cup (25 g) of air-popped corn has a mere 31 calories, with 0.3 g of fats (0.03 g saturated, 0.16 g polyunsaturated, 0.1 g monounsaturated). Popped in oil, however, the values above can roughly be tripled.
Stick with wholegrain kernels and steer clear of microwaveable varieties
Some modern brands are resorting to the traditional method of popcorn making, minus additives, leaving you to enjoy a healthy snack. It’s worth chasing down some of these brands. These firms tend to use whole grain kernels in order to offer the maximum health benefits; whole grains use the full health properties, consisting of the bran, germ, and endosperm. These are packed full of healthy oils, vitamin E, B vitamins, and the bran’s also a great source of fiber.
Whilst your microwaved Butter Popcorn may taste exactly like butter, the truth is it simply isn’t – the pleasant buttery taste is supplied by diacetyl. Due to this some top brands of microwave popcorn, announced they would stop using diacetyl. However, to be on the safe side you should find genuine popcorn makers who rely on traditional, healthy practices.
Cook popcorn at home for a nutritious, cheap snack
It’s such a wonderful, fun process there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy cooking popcorn in your home. This will help eliminate any added nasties from the end result, and you can monitor how much sugar or salt you add.
All you need to do is head to a nearby health store and pick up a bag of organic kernels – you can experiment with flavours and oils, but a stove, pan, and a cover to set off the popcorn is all that is required.
It’s a good dieting food
Hunger pangs are a nuisance if you’re trying to lose weight, or just attempting to lead a healthy lifestyle. Popcorn, in its light, filing form, is one way to banish those annoying pangs and receive a health boost whilst you’re at it. There is a new fangled Popcorn Diet you can consider, although we recommend you steer clear of a diet focusing of one ingredient.
Humans need a wide variety of foods to remain healthy, and popcorn can act as a contributor to this overall health. However, do remember moderation is important and overindulgence should be curbed. With this in mind popcorn can, and should, be enjoyed in sensible portions as part of a varied and balanced diet.
Popcorn is likely to make you more popular
As a positive social tool popcorn making should not be underestimated. Whilst it’s a simple process to make popcorn it is likely that most people simply don’t know how to do it. However, becoming a popcorn making specialist would wow your friends and family at social events.
Personalising recipes and impressing your nearest and dearest with your kernel popping skills could have all manner of benefits. It’s a good conversation point, makes you appear very skilled, and as feel-good-factors go the positive feedback would certainly be an excellent self-confidence boost! All in the name of popcorn.