Pop corn is a healthy snack

Carlos Andam By Carlos Andam, 10th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/aiplxgwe/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Plants

Popcorn is becoming a popular snack and it may be considered as a healthy and nutrient- packed snack for people of all ages.

Snack from ancient to modern times

Thousands of years ago before the advent of movies, people were already eating popcorn. Discovered by the Native Americans in ancient times, popcorn is a great snack rediscovered in modern times for its healthy benefits. This is probably one of the greatest rediscovery of an indigenous food technology. Today, popcorn is not only the snacks of the youngsters and lovers going to the movies but the oldies, too. It is becoming a popular item in malls, in theaters, in parks, along busy streets by the cart vendors and even in remote rural areas during fiestas and other community gatherings. But perhaps, the favorite place to eat popcorn is at the movie houses nowadays.

A group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Extension revealed that “there is no end to the uses of popcorn” and also said that “one recipe book lists 200 different recipes” from popcorn.

Popcorn - a nutritionally packed food

“Nutritionally, popcorn is one of the best all-around snack foods, providing 67% as much protein, 110% as much iron and as much calcium as an equal amount of beef. An average 1.5-ounce serving of popcorn supplies the same energy as two eggs; and a cup of unbuttered popcorn contains less calories than half a medium grapefruit. In addition, hull is excellent rouphage, comparing favorably with bran flakes or whole wheat toast.”

An online contributing writer, Kristin Swain, reported that popcorn which are popped using hot air machine rather than by roasting or microwaving contains over 40 different nutrients that are recommended by medical professionals to intake on a daily basis. As a grain, she said that it has more protein than any other whole grain.

A popcorn snack is a convenient and fun way to meet the daily intake of whole grains. As a whole grain, it includes all three parts of a grain, namely; the endosperm, the germ, and the bran. The bran which contains antioxidants, fiber and B vitamins is the multi-layered outer skin protecting the kernel from damage by water, weather, insect pests and diseases.

The endosperm in the middle of the grain provides energy to the plant and is the largest part of the kernel that contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, the nutrient-packed germ is the embryo of the seed or grain that will grow into a seedling when the right germination condition is provided. It contains B vitamins, some proteins, minerals and healthy fats. In contrast, the germ and bran have been stripped from milled or refined grains.

Swain further pointed out: “The outer layers of the popcorn, including the hull, are good sources of protein, iron, and phosphorus. Popcorn contains more iron content than spinach or eggs. It also has more phosphorus and fiber than baked chips or pretzels.”

Even the American Dental Association (ADA) listed popcorn as a recommended sugar-free snack. Its rank in the ADA’s list is next to common diet foods such as yogurt, nuts, and celery. It is a sugar-free and fat-free snack that is also low in calories. Popcorn that is unbuttered and unsalted contains between 25 and 55 calories per serving.

It is also listed with the American Diabetes Association as a possible starch substitute on their controlled diets because of its sugar-free and high fiber content.

Swain said, “Because popcorn is a good source of fiber, iron, and protein, and also assists the body in digestion while being low in calories, the American Diabetes Association allows bread to be exchanged for a serving of popcorn on its weight control diets.”

While these reports are interesting plus the fact that popcorn is becoming a popular snacks in the Philippines, however, there are no domestic production of popcorn grains in the country that the supply for this purpose comes largely from imports. “We have no local popcorn variety released yet although there are some native varieties” states a report from the Laguna.net. “We import practically all our popcorn”, the report said.

Tags

Healthy Food, Healthy Snacks, Nutrient-Packed Snack, Nutritious Snacks, Popcorn, Popcorn Snack, Snack Food, Snacks That Are Nutritious

Meet the author

author avatar Carlos Andam
Agriculturist, researcher, professor and a freelance science feature writer.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Angeles
22nd Apr 2015 (#)

It is best alternative for junk foods...more parents should know about this article.

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