Popcorn is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. But did you know that this whole grain snack has its own health benefits and can be included in a list of snacks below 100 Calories. Let us find out why popcorn is so good for you.
1. Popcorn is a healthy snack because it contains a large amount of the healthy antioxidant substances called "polyphenols".Get to know more about antioxidant rich foods.
2. It helps in detoxifying cell-damaging free radicals in the body.
3. Polyphenols are found in a more concentrated form in popcorn as compared to fruits and vegetables because polyphenols in fruits and vegetables get diluted in the water content. However, popcorn cannot replace fruits and vegetables in your diet because it lacks in vitamin and minerals, which is important for your overall health.
4. According to a study done by American Chemical Society (ACS) the amount of polyphenols found in popcorn was up to 300 mg a serving as compared to 160 mg for all fruits per serving.
5. Also, popcorn is low in calories as 1 cup of air-popped popcorn provides approximately 30 Calories and therefore; can be enjoyed every day without worrying about the additional calories.
6. The hull of the popcorn which is a hard covering over the kernel is one of the foods high in fiber content but many people avoid eating it because it has a tendency to get caught in the teeth. But it is the part which is highest in fiber and polyphenol content.Read more information on importance of high fiber foods.
Best way to prepare it
The main concern with popcorn is it’s preparation. The best way to consume popcorn is when it’s air popped with a little added seasoning. Added butter or fat will add calories and saturated fats to your healthy snack. There are many commercially available packed corn kernels found in local markets which just needed to be heated in a microwave. But they are generally high in calories with saturated fat content and are also high in sodium content. There has been some evidence that the Teflon-like coating of some bags used for microwave popcorn can get broken down with heat into unwanted substances, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The chemical, which appears to be potentially carcinogenic in lab animals, is partially released onto the popcorn when the bag is heated up and can then be absorbed, once again in partial amounts, into the blood stream.
Hence,enjoy your popcorn plain and air popped to derive maximum benefit from it, with hardly any additional calories.