Popcorn is healthy? See how to prepare and get the benefits

Popcorn is a very popular food that combines with games in the afternoon or with movies and series at night. In addition to being delicious, cheap and easy to make, popcorn can also bring benefits, if it is prepared correctly.

First, it is good to know that the more natural your preparation, the healthier it is .

In an attempt to spice up or season the appetizer, it is normal to find the famous popcorn mixed with several other foods: bacon, meat seasoning, paçoca, melted butter, chocolate, caramel, powdered milk, crushed crackers, shrimp and even wine.

All of these options end up making it less healthy, since they add other ingredients that can be very caloric, such as butter, bacon, paçoca or chocolate.

The way of preparing the popcorn also influences the amount of fats.

The industrialized ones, popped in a microwave oven and generally flavored, are the least healthy.

This is because the amount of sodium, industrialized spices and preservatives present in the bags is harmful to health.

A cup of popcorn popped in the pan and with a small amount of oil, has about 32 calories. The same measure of popped popcorn in the microwave can have between 100 and 200 calories, depending on the flavor chosen.

Tips for making healthy popcorn in the pan

Try popping the popcorn in the pan with the least amount of fat or oil possible, which can be replaced by options like olive oil or flaxseed oil.

With the pan closed, stir the corn before it pops. These movements help to mix and spread the fat to other grains, which ends up making the appetizer healthier, since there are no accumulations of fat.

If you can’t eat popcorn without a little spice, try some healthier options.

For example, instead of buying an industrialized one with a butter flavor, try mixing the natural one with a little melted unsalted butter.

If the popcorn option is sweet, you can melt a few grams of dark chocolate and mix.

Adding some foods like chopped basil , grated ginger and ground cinnamon can help to vary the taste in a healthy way.

Read more: What are saturated fat foods?

What are the benefits of popcorn?

Popcorn popped in the pan and without the addition of other foods or spices can bring many health benefits. Because it contains vitamins , fibers and minerals, this popular appetizer can give you a feeling of satiety. In addition, it contains antioxidants that slow the aging of cells and protect the body.

Other benefits are:

  • Prevents some cardiovascular diseases: some chemicals (such as polyphenols) present in popcorn help to control cholesterol levels in arteries and blood vessels, which reduces the chances of a heart attack and stroke;
  • Prevents constipation: the popcorn contains many fibers that help the intestine to function properly;
  • Prevents hair loss: it contains B vitamins, magnesium and iron, which help to strengthen the hair ;
  • It improves mood and has a calming effect: popcorn is able to release hormones (such as endorphins) that cause well-being and cause relaxation of the central nervous system.

Read more: Why should we eat fiber and what is the ideal daily amount

Popcorn is a popular and easy to prepare appetizer. To become healthy and beneficial, your consumption should be as natural as possible and preferably popped in the pan.

The Healthy Minute brings other information about health and food . Check out our posts.