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A popcorn is able to pop because its kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense interior which is extremely starchy. Pressure builds up inside the kernel, and a small explosion or 'pop' is the final outcome. A few strains of corn are now specifically cultivated as popping corns. Movies wouldn't have been fun without a bucket of popcorn in one hand and cola in the other. Most of us prefer to have it while watching a movie or television. But, have you ever wondered whether these popped corns are healthy or not, how many calories do they contain, or what are its nutrition facts? The following table elucidates the number of calories. The calories mentioned below are per 1 cup of popcorn.

Popcorn (1 cup) Calories
Caramel popcorn with peanuts 230
Caramel popcorn 122.5
Cheese popcorn 58
Oil popped popcorn 55
Buttered popcorn 40
Air popped popcorn 31
Microwave popcorn 25

Now that you are acquainted with the calories in popping corn from the table above, you must have decided whether to avoid butter popcorn, the all-time favorite caramel popcorn, or none of them! Now let us have a look at its nutritional value. This table shows the nutritional value per 100 grams of popcorn.

Nutrient Value (mg: milligrams)
Iron 2.5 mg
Phosphorus 2.8 mg
Calcium 11 mg
Thiamine (B1) 0.39 mg
Riboflavin 0.12 mg
Niacin 2.2 mg
Protein 12.7 mg

The kernel is extremely rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin E, protein, iron, and phosphorus. It also contains thiamine and riboflavin. Popcorn has more phosphorous when compared to potato chips. Its protein content is also greater than that of other cereal grains. It has a greater iron content when compared to peanuts, spinach, or eggs.

Vitamins
Popping corn is a good source of vitamin. Vitamins help in the growth and repair of body tissues, are the building blocks of our body, and help in increasing the energy levels. They are also beneficial for a healthy skin, vision, nails, hair, etc. One-fifth of the daily dose of thiamine can be met with three ounces of popcorn. Now, wasn't that an amazing fact?

Proteins
It is evident from the table above that popping corn is also a good source of protein. Proteins are essential for building the body structure. They are not stored in the body and have to be supplied on a daily basis. Proteins are very much required by our body to fight against infections and diseases.

Minerals
Popping corn is enriched with minerals, like iron, phosphorus, and calcium. Minerals are the essential components of our soft tissues, bones, teeth, muscles, blood, and nerve cells. In other words, minerals are vital for the overall mental and physical wellness of the body.

Calories
As children are very active, they need a lot of calories in their diet for energy and to support growth and development. Popping corn is a great source of calories, because 100 grams of it contains around 404 calories, which is more than what can be given by the same amount of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, etc. Not only children, but adults too need to make up for their energy loss. So, this can be the secret of your energy as well!

Associated Health Risks
The American Academy of Pediatrics has included popcorn on the list of foods not recommended for serving to children under four, because of the risk of choking. People suffering from liver problems should also refrain from having it because of its high protein content.

So, by now you must understood that popping corn is a healthy snack and of course every movie addict's staple food! But, remember that every type of food is healthy only when eaten in a limited quantity.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.