Pop Your Way to a Healthier You | Benefits of Popcorn Made the Right Way

As Mother Superior in Sister Act would say, “What’s next, popcorn?!” I love pulling out one liners from movies. It is one of my guilty pleasures just like popcorn. Except now it is just simply a pleasure minus any guilt.

I am not talking about the 1,200-1,500-calorie tub of popcorn you get at the movies drizzled in manmade liquid fat and salt. Or the plastic wrapped โ€œconvenientโ€ concoction we all pop into the microwave not realizing how much calories and fat we just set ourselves up to ingest. Movie popcorn and microwave popcorn are high in all the wrong things including the dreaded saturated fat!

No, I am talking about the fresh, light and fulfilling treat that you make yourself at home with ingredients of your choice. Let’s talk about the incredible benefits of this wonderful whole grain and then I will share with you my process of popping it!

Preparation is the deciding factor on whether popcorn is a healthy snack or junk food that wreaks havoc on your body.

There is published evidence supporting that popcorn possesses the below qualities

  • Healthier than fruits and veggies due to its extremely high amount of polyphenols (Polyphenols- “Potent antioxidants that protect our tissues against toxins” (1)
  • Helps reduce inflammation, plaque buildup and cardiovascular disease
  • Has highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals and polyphenols which means they are easily absorbed into the body
  • One of the best-known sources of fiber. This also supports its benefits in weight loss. You feel fuller on less and for longer due to the high fiber content. This can lead to less calorie intake and healthy controlled weight loss
  • Extremely high in iron
  • Can aid in preventing constipation
  • Can lower risk of cancers
  • Increases digestive health
  • High in Iron, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin and more
  • Contains Potassium and Calcium
  • Diabetic friendly food

In addition to fiber, popcorn also is a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been linked to better blood circulation and digestive health, as well as a potentially lower risk of certain cancers

American Heart Association news (2)

WHAT IS POPCORN ?


Popcorn is yet another variety of corn that has a hard, moisture-resistant hull that surrounds a dense pocket of starch that will pop when heated” – BestFoodFacts.org

Popcorn or, Zea mays everta, is the only variety of corn with the ability to pop. Corn also referred to as maize, has many different strains and varieties such as dent corn, sweet corn, flour corn etc. Within the popcorn variety there is a broad selection of different flavors and sizes which you will get to experience once you start making your own at home.

Now that you have a good grasp on the wonders popcorn can do for your body, let’s talk about how to properly make it. ๐Ÿ‘‡

โญ๏ธ Air popped popcorn is claimed to be the healthiest of them all. The machine I use is considered an “Electric hot oil popper”. I have found this popcorn to be the tastiest and you don’t have to use much oil AT ALL. (I have linked the one I use and love below and it is very affordable considering what one would normally spend on store-bought popcorn). You will also want to purchase a nice healthy oil and whatever seasonings you’d like to try (I have a few suggestions)! And of course, you need popcorn!

I purchased an Amish Country popcorn variety pack (also linked in post) so that I could get a good idea of my favorite kind of kernel. From there I am making a point to purchase the kernels, seasonings and oils as locally as possible.

๐ŸŒฟ The general nutrition of popcorn kernels per serving is as follows (3tbs) | Calories:140 | Fat:1.5g | Carbs 27g | Protein 5g | Fiber 2g |

Below is the basic vegan recipe I use for myself. I just increase the ingredients by 2x, 3x depending on how many people I am making it for.

PLEASE NOTE: A general serving is 3 tablespoons, not six, but I love my popcorn! Make sure to check out the short video below!

  • 6 tablespoons kernels
  • 1 tablespoon oil. Keep in mind, the oils are super nutritious, but they do contain healthy fat. If you are watching your fat intake consider using a small amount of oil based off the serving size on the nutrition label.
  • Salt and seasoning to taste. Remember this is where you can start to hinder the nutritional value. You do not want to load your popcorn with a ridiculous amount of salt or sugar. But do put enough on there so you enjoy it!

โœ”๏ธ POPCORN MACHINE- CLICK HERE

โœ”๏ธ AMISH COUNTRY POPCORN SAMPLER PACK- CLICK HERE

โœ”๏ธ SPICY QUESO VEGAN SEASONING- CLICK HERE

โœ”๏ธ EVERYTHING VEGAN SEASONING- CLICK HERE

โœจ Once you start popping you will realize the freedom you have to experiment. You can add herbs, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and whatever else tickles your fancy! I will never go back to store-bought popcorn again. Plus, by using a machine and purchasing kernels as local as possible you are making a more sustainable choice that is good for our earth and a step in the right direction. Go you!

The below video shows you the quick an easy process of using an electric hot oil popper. In this video I used one bag from the Amish sampler kit. One bag equals 9 TBS.

Transparency- SheLivesNaturally is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

SOURCES

  1. BrainMD.com
  2. Heart.org
  3. NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV

Until Next Time!

Sincerely,

Chelsea

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