Depending on what goes into making it, popcorn can be one of the healthiest snacks out there. Made from whole grains, air-popped popcorn that’s not loaded with salt, sugar, or butter can be a good source of nutrients while being low in calories as well. So, does it mean that popcorn also has vitamins?
There are vitamins in popcorn, such as B-complex vitamins. A 100 g (0.22 lb.) single serving of popcorn can provide 25% daily value (DV) of vitamin B2, 18% DV of vitamin B6, 17% DV of vitamin B1, and 13% DV of vitamin B3. Popcorn also contains some pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and folate.
What Vitamins Can You Get From Popcorn?
You can get B vitamins and polyphenols from popcorn. These vitamins play a vital role in regulating your metabolism and other body functions. Studies have shown that B vitamins can contribute to neurological health and lower cancer risk. As for polyphenols, they’re strong oxidants.
B Vitamins In Popcorn Can Contribute To Neurological Health
Recent studies have also revealed that B vitamins are also essential for the proper neurological functioning of the body. According to a study, vitamin B6 may prevent various neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Research has shown that having an adequate amount of vitamin B in your diet can help you combat stress and significantly improve your mood. Some evidence also suggests that intake of B vitamins can reduce the symptoms of chronic stress syndrome.
Eating a couple of servings of popcorn a day might reduce your chances of developing a deficiency of these key vitamins.
B Vitamins Can Lower Cancer Risks
Some studies have also indicated that B vitamins can help in reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancers, including a variety of skin cancer called melanoma. The antioxidants present in popcorn can also act as ‘cytoprotective’ agents preventing the cells from the harmful effects of cancer-causing chemicals.
Apart from the B complex vitamins, popcorn also contains various other nutrients, including ‘polyphenols,’ some of the most potent antioxidants found in nature. According to a study, the antioxidant levels of popcorn are more than some fruits and veggies.
Can You Get Enough Vitamins From Eating Just Popcorn?
As you can see, the B vitamins have multiple health benefits. But can you get enough of them by just eating popcorn?
You can’t get enough vitamins from eating just popcorn. Although popcorn is a great source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, B1, and B2, other vitamins aren’t found in popcorn in an appreciable amount.
Even with vitamins B1, B2 and B6, you’ll need to eat a lot, and I mean a lot of popcorn, to get the recommended dosage.
So, don’t throw away your fruits and veggies just yet! Other vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, aren’t found in popcorn. You can always enjoy your favorite popcorn, but make sure you don’t skip your fruits and vegetables!
Remember, while popcorn does have a lot of nutrient value, it’s not complete food, and you shouldn’t expect to get all your vitamin requirements from popcorn alone.
Does Microwaving Popcorn Damage The Vitamins In It?
Cooking popcorn in a microwave is perhaps the easiest and most popular method in many households. While the additives in microwaveable popcorn can make it less nutritious, it has nothing to do with the microwaves themselves.
Microwaving popcorn doesn’t damage the vitamins in it. Most vitamins, including B vitamins, are quite stable and aren’t affected by microwaves. So, when you stick your favorite popcorn in the microwave, you don’t have to worry about the vitamins getting destroyed.
Although the number of vitamins in popcorn made in a microwave might be the same as the air-popped variety, the latter is a much healthier option. Most brands of microwavable popcorn have a lot of fat and salt that can cause more harm to your body than the benefit of the vitamins they might have.
How Can You Increase The Nutritive Value Of Popcorn?
The nutritional value of popcorn heavily depends on how they’re made. All the benefits of vitamins present in popcorn can be nullified if there’s a ton of sugar and salt.
You can increase the nutritive value of popcorn by ensuring it’s an air-popped popcorn that’s lightly seasoned with salt and butter or olive oil. A serving of oil popped popcorn can contain up to 7 g (0.25 oz) of fat; not a good option if you aim for a healthy snack.
When buying corn kernels for preparing your popcorn at your home, opt for whole-grain kernels that don’t contain any additives. Avoid microwavable popcorn as it includes many added artificial flavors and preservatives.
Is It Okay If You Eat Popcorn Every Day?
It’s okay to eat popcorn every day as long as you take it in a moderate amount. Avoid microwavable popcorn as this type of popcorn isn’t healthy. Choose popcorn made from whole grain kernels. Cooking popcorn on the stove with light seasoning is highly recommended.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, microwavable popcorn contains a lot of artificial coloring and flavoring agents that can be harmful if you eat them daily. Besides, some microwave popcorn bags also contain chemicals called polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) linked to several types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Furthermore, microwavable popcorn can contains a flavoring agent called diacetyl, which recreates the butter flavor. It has been shown that diacetyl can cause respiratory issues in some people.
If you’re planning to eat popcorn daily, make sure that you’re consuming an air-popped variety with light seasoning to get the most out of this healthy snack or make sure you eat microwave popcorn without the above chemicals.
Popcorn is an awesome snack that’s both nutritious and healthy. It contains many B vitamins that offer a lot of benefits as well. However, the health benefits of popcorn vary with the cooking method and the ingredients present.
Just make sure you eat popcorn made from whole grain kernels, preferably made using an air popper.