In our earlier post we discussed a healthier alternative to pop corn – lotus seeds or tal makhana.
While popcorn does provide several nutritional benefits, you can take some steps to make it even healthier!
Here is a table representing nutritional comparison between the two.
|calories from fat||36||3.5|
Here are some nutritional facts about pop corn and some tips to make it healthier:
- Popcorn is relatively high in fiber – a cup of air-popped popcorn contains just over a gram of fiber.
- It also contains 1 gram of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrate.
- It contains no cholesterol, it is virtually fat-free (only 0.1 g per cup) and contains only 100 to 150 calories in a serving of 5 popped cups
- Popcorn is 100 percent unprocessed grain, it is a whole-grain food.
- One serving can provide about 70 percent of the recommended daily intake of whole grain.
- Popcorn also contains a number of vitamins: folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B6, A, E and K.
- A serving of popcorn contains about 8 percent of the daily value of iron, with lesser amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- The popcorn hull is the source of much of the food’s nutritional value.
- Hulls contain beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that are important in maintaining eye health. They also contain polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties believed to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- These health benefits are derived from air-popped popcorn.
- They are diminished by adding too much salt or too much butter or margarine. These should be used sparingly.
- For variety, try olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
- Instead of salt, try a mixture of dried herbs such as basil and oregano with a dash of salt. Put this on the air-popped popcorn just after popping as this is when the moisture from the steam released during the popping process helps the seasonings stick to the popcorn.
- Or try lightly spraying the popcorn with a non-butter flavored cooking spray before sprinkling on your seasonings.
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