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Health Benefits of Homemade Popcorn

Updated on August 4, 2012

Most of us think of popcorn as a type of junk food. A matter of fact, popcorn is a very healthy snack. It contains high amounts of the antioxidant polyphenols and is a "super food'. The only thing that makes it a 'junk food" by adding butter and salt. This destroys the antioxidant properties and the other health benefits of popcorn.This can be especially said about the popcorn in movie theaters, which is loaded with lots of salt and extra butter, an invitation for heart attack waiting to be happened, Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (a consumer group that has analyzed the calories in movie-theatre popcorn) says a carton small unbuttered popcorn at the movies typically has more than 650 calories; a large popcorn has 1,200.

What are the Polyphenols? Polyphenols are antioxidants which remove free radicals and protects against cell damage and several chronic diseases. So, where are polyphenols found in the popcorn? There is a crunchy portion of the popcorn, which is called the hull and in which polyphenols are found. The white portion of the popcorn is not as good as the hull.

Furthermore, popcorn is completely whole grain because it does not contain water. So, you get a large portion of the polyphenols, unlike some fruits and vegetables that have polyphenols but they also contain water. Although according to researchers, this is not a substitute for fruits and vegetables. .

Health Benefits of Popcorn

  • Popcorn contains 100% whole grain.
  • One cup of popped popcorn contains only 30 calorie and you get one gram of fiber
  • Eating pop corn regularly helps to improve gastrointestinal health.
  • Contains B vitamins, thiamin, niacin, B6 and folate.
  • Contain minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper and iron.
  • One cup of popcorn contains six grams of carbohydrate.
  • Contains no saturated or trans fat.
  • Contains healthier mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.


Homemade Popcorn

1. Pop your popcorn in microwave using brown paper bag at popcorn settings. This pops really good.

2. Three tablespoon canola, peanut or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil). Add 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels in 3-quart saucepan on medium-high heat. Cover it. Popcorn pops in 10 minutes.

3. Use popcorn maker, if you have one. Comes out quick, fast and crunchy.

If your popcorn won`t pop then kernels may have dried out. Soak them in water for about 5 minutes,drain and try again or freeze them for a day or so.In fact, freezer is the perfect place to store popcorn. Do not even thaw the kernels before putting them in the popper. The additional moisture will actually improve their performance.

Unbuttered popcorn has fewer calories than most snack foods. Try sprinkling it with crushed herbs or spices. You can also keep calories down if you use a hot air popper; it pops without oil.

How to make Caramel Popcorn

Prep Time: 30 Min Cook Time: 1 Hr Ready In: 1 Hr 30 Min

Yield : 5 quarts


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Nutritional Information

Amount per Serving Calories: 253 | Total Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 24mg


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    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Sorry, for the late response. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting,Thelma Alberts!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! I love popcorn. I usually make it at home without sugar or salt. I love it the way it is. Thanks for sharing the health benefits of popcorn. Happy weekend! Shared!

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Yes, sadly it does. Well, thanks for dropping by and commenting,Stacie L. Take care.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 5 years ago

      I love popcorn but the kernels get caught in my teeth and gums for weeks. LOL


    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      KoffeeKlatch Gals, thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love popcorn. Your caramel popcorn sounds great. I will definately be trying it.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Rajan jolly,thanks for dropping by and feedback.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Sherry Hewins, that`s okay to have little cheese and salt for the flavor.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I like to shake in some brewers yeast, it gives the popcorn a cheesy flavor, I do add a little salt though.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is a terrific hub on the health benefits of popcorn. I never knew popcorn was so healthy, of course minus the butter and salt.

      Thanks for sharing the caramel popcorn recipe. They look delicious.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      You guys are doing good, MarleneB . Keep it. up.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      My husband and I have popcorn every night. We pop up a batch and snack on that instead of chips and other things we could be enjoying. We tried carrot sticks and celery, but they were no match for popcorn. I'm glad to see it listed as a "super food".

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Yes, it is really a health snack when you use no salt or butter.Thanks for visiting and commenting, Dinkan53.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      I knew it is a good snack but didn’t know about all its health benefits. Great informative hub. Voted up and interesting.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Oh yes. He is doing good as popcorn is very healthy snack. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, teaches12345.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      My hubby loves a big bowl of popcorn when he watches movies at home on occasion. It is good to know that he getting some healthy benefits from it instead of just a quick snack food.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      YeIhh. Mine too. I love plain microwave popcorn. Thanks for visiting and commenting,Conservative Lady. Take care.

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Popcorn is one of my staple snack foods. I get the 100 calorie bags of microwave popcorn to help me out when life is busy and I need something quick. Otherwise it is the air popper all the way = it makes the popcorn so perfect and pops every last kernal. Fun hub thanks