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Makhana vs Popcorn: Which is Healthier?

Makhana vs Popcorn: Which is Healthier?

When it comes to snacking, many people find themselves torn between two popular options: makhana and popcorn. Both snacks have gained popularity in recent years due to their tasty flavors and perceived health benefits. However, when it comes to making a healthier choice, which one should you reach for? In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the world of makhana vs popcorn, comparing their nutritional values, health benefits, and potential drawbacks to help you make an informed decision. By the end of this article, you'll have a clear understanding of which snack is better suited to your dietary needs and preferences.

Nutrient Makhana (per 100g) Popcorn (per 100g)
Calories 347 387
Protein 9.7g 12.9g
Fat 0.1g 4.5g
Carbohydrates 76.9g 77.8g
Fiber 14.5g 14.5g
Calcium 60mg 7mg
Iron 1.4mg 2.7mg
Magnesium 32mg 144mg
Phosphorus 135mg 325mg

Nutritional Value of Makhana

Macronutrients

Makhana, also known as fox nuts, is a type of aquatic plant seed that has been gaining popularity as a healthy snack option. One of the main reasons for its growing fame is its impressive nutritional profile. Makhana is low in calories, with 100 grams containing only 347 calories, making it an excellent choice for those watching their calorie intake. Additionally, makhana is rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of overeating.


Protein is another important macronutrient found in makhana. While it may not be as high in protein as some other snacks, such as nuts or seeds, makhana still provides a decent amount, with 9.7 grams per 100 grams. This plant-based protein can help support muscle growth and repair, as well as contribute to overall health and well-being.


One of the most impressive aspects of makhana's nutritional profile is its extremely low fat content. With only 0.1 grams of fat per 100 grams, makhana is an ideal snack for those looking to reduce their fat intake or maintain a healthy weight.


Micronutrients

In addition to its favorable macronutrient profile, makhana is also a good source of several essential micronutrients. Calcium, a vital mineral for maintaining strong bones and teeth, is found in relatively high amounts in makhana, with 100 grams providing 60mg of calcium. This is particularly beneficial for those who may not consume enough calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, in their diet.


Iron is another important mineral found in makhana, with 100 grams containing 1.4mg of iron. Iron plays a crucial role in the formation of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Adequate iron intake is essential for preventing anemia and maintaining overall health.


Makhana also contains magnesium and phosphorus, two minerals that work together to support bone health, energy production, and proper muscle and nerve function. While the amounts of these minerals in makhana may not be as high as in some other foods, they still contribute to the overall nutritional value of this snack.


Nutritional Value of Popcorn

Macronutrients

Popcorn, a beloved snack enjoyed by people of all ages, is often considered a healthier alternative to other snack foods like chips or candy. Like makhana, popcorn is relatively low in calories, with 100 grams containing 387 calories. However, it's important to note that this calorie count can vary depending on how the popcorn is prepared (e.g., air-popped vs. oil-popped) and what toppings are added.


Popcorn is also high in carbohydrates and dietary fiber, making it a filling and satisfying snack option. The fiber content in popcorn can help promote digestive health, regulate bowel movements, and even contribute to feelings of fullness, which may aid in weight management.


When it comes to protein, popcorn has a slight edge over makhana, with 12.9 grams per 100 grams. This plant-based protein can help support muscle growth and repair, as well as contribute to overall health and well-being.


One potential drawback of popcorn is its higher fat content compared to makhana. With 4.5 grams of fat per 100 grams, popcorn contains significantly more fat than makhana. However, it's important to note that the type of fat found in popcorn is primarily unsaturated fat, which is considered healthier than saturated fat.


Micronutrients

Popcorn is a good source of several essential micronutrients, although the amounts may vary compared to makhana. While popcorn contains less calcium than makhana, with only 7mg per 100 grams, it does provide more iron, with 2.7mg per 100 grams. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood and preventing anemia.


Popcorn is also a rich source of magnesium, with 144mg per 100 grams, which is significantly higher than the amount found in makhana. Magnesium plays a vital role in energy production, muscle and nerve function, and bone health. Additionally, popcorn contains a substantial amount of phosphorus, with 325mg per 100 grams, further contributing to bone health and other bodily functions.


Health Benefits of Makhana

Aids in weight management

Due to its low calorie and high fiber content, makhana can be an excellent snack choice for those looking to manage their weight. The fiber in makhana helps promote feelings of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating and contributing to overall calorie control.

Promotes heart health

Makhana contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. These compounds work to lower inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which are key factors in the development of cardiovascular issues.


Supports bone health

The calcium and phosphorus found in makhana play a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Regularly including makhana in your diet can help support bone health and reduce the risk of conditions like osteoporosis.


Helps regulate blood sugar levels

Makhana has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels after consumption. This makes it a suitable snack option for those with diabetes or those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.


Health Benefits of Popcorn

Supports digestive health

Popcorn is high in dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The fiber in popcorn helps promote regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.


Provides antioxidants

Popcorn contains polyphenols and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful free radicals. These antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.


Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Like makhana, popcorn has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable snack option for those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels or manage diabetes.


Promotes feelings of fullness

The high fiber content in popcorn can help promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction, which may reduce the likelihood of overeating and contribute to weight management.


FAQs

Is makhana gluten-free?

Yes, makhana is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable snack option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.


Can popcorn be a part of a weight loss diet?

Yes, when consumed in moderation and without excessive added butter, oil, or other high-calorie toppings, popcorn can be a part of a weight loss diet.


Is makhana suitable for people with diabetes?

Yes, makhana has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, making it a suitable snack option for people with diabetes.


Is it healthier to air-pop or microwave popcorn?

Air-popped popcorn is generally considered healthier than microwave popcorn, as it contains fewer additives, artificial flavors, and unhealthy fats.


Conclusion

In the comparison of makhana vs popcorn, both snacks have their own unique nutritional profiles and health benefits. Makhana is lower in calories and fat, while popcorn contains slightly more protein. Makhana is a better source of calcium, while popcorn provides more iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Both snacks are high in fiber and can help support digestive health, promote feelings of fullness, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.


Ultimately, the choice between makhana and popcorn depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences. If you are looking for a low-calorie, low-fat snack that provides a good amount of calcium, makhana may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you are seeking a snack that is slightly higher in protein and provides more iron and magnesium, popcorn may be the way to go.


Regardless of which snack you choose, it is important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. When preparing popcorn, opt for air-popping and avoid adding excessive amounts of butter, oil, or other high-calorie toppings. By making informed choices and incorporating a variety of healthy snacks into your diet, you can support your overall health and well-being while still enjoying tasty treats like makhana and popcorn.

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