Is Popcorn a Vegetable or a Fruit?
March 24, 2023
Whether at the movie theater watching the latest blockbuster or at home just unwinding, most of us have enjoyed a serving or two of freshly popped, lightly-salted popcorn while doing so. And why shouldn’t we have? After all, popcorn has fewer unhealthy ingredients than other snacks; it’s also lower in calories and, arguably, way more delicious. But there is so much more to these popped corn kernels that have long been a go-to snack while watching movies in the theater, watching television at home, or simply unwinding.
What Some People Might Not Know About Popcorn
To fully appreciate the deliciousness of freshly popped popcorn, we need to have a deeper and better understanding of corn. Also known as maize, corn is a cereal grain that grows as kernels underneath the husks on a cob of corn. It is important to note, however, that not all popcorn pops. Out of the six types of corn that form as kernels on a cob, Zea mays everta is the only one that pops when heated. When this unique corn pops, it takes on a butterfly or mushroom shape, both of which have a light and crisp texture.
Popping the Perfect Batch of Mouth-watering Popcorn: Why Using the Right Oil Matters
Before you think about how much salt or butter to slather on your popcorn, you should decide what oil to use first. According to Topsy’s, a premier gourmet popcorn company in Kansas City, Missouri, it is best to pop your popcorn in coconut oil. And there are several reasons why they recommend doing so. Firstly, coconut oil is significantly healthier than vegetable or canola oil. Studies show that coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which provide numerous health benefits, from better cardiovascular health to improved memory. Second, coconut oil enhances the overall flavor of popcorn. According to the good folks at Topsys Popcorn, it adds a mildly sweet and nutty flavor to popcorn.
Science Proves Popcorn Is a Vegetable
Although most people think of it as nothing more than a light, relatively guilt-free snack, popcorn is a vegetable. And according to a University of Scranton study, the more you eat it, the healthier you will be. Researchers involved in the study revealed popcorn is rich in polyphenols, the same kind of antioxidants found in spinach, carrots, asparagus, and other vegetables. For those unaware, polyphenols, like other antioxidants, help rid the body of free radicals caused by naturally occurring metabolic processes and those caused by external sources, such as air pollution. For reference, free radicals in the body can cause oxidative stress, which can increase the risk of developing one or more of the following:
- Age-related changes in appearance
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Certain cancers
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
While popcorn is not a replacement for traditional vegetables, it can be a welcomed break from spinach, carrots, asparagus, and the like. Plus, it is a lot more appetizing. To learn more about what makes popcorn a delicious and healthy snack, consider visiting Topsy’s Popcorn, online or in-store, today.