Giving healthy snacks to kids every time when they have cravings in between meals is the toughest job for every mother. By handing over a pack of chips, sugary cookies and cold drinks we miss the chance to feed them something healthy and nutritious. In this article we will discuss which is healthier of the two snacks: Popcorn or Makhana (lotus seeds) and will see who wins the race in being more nutritious.
Popcorn: What makes a movie perfect? The answer is popcorn. Whether it is in the theatre or at home, movies are incomplete without popcorn. They are considered as one of the healthy snacks for kids. It has ample dietary fiber and low calorie count. Popcorn is also a good source of polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps in better blood circulation and digestive health. Popcorn is considered to be a food that can aid in weight loss too. Although always remember that vending-machine popcorn is not just high in calories but also in sodium. Air-popped would be a good way to prepare popcorn.
Makhana (Lotus seeds): Makhana or lotus seeds are grown in Asian countries and considered as a power food. Makhana is an excellent source of many important nutrients. It is loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and carbohydrates. Makhana contains antioxidants like gallic acid, chlorogenic acid and epicatechin, which reduces inflammation, helps to neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. In simple words, this food helps to build immunity.
Makhana (Lotus Seeds) vs. Popcorn
Amongst many minerals and vitamins that contribute towards brain development and function, a few are Manganese, Vitamin B6 and B9. They are abundantly present in Makhana.
- Just a cup of Makhana is enough to meet 50% of Manganese requirements for the day.
- It is those rare snacks which are loaded with a good balance of B vitamins, 5 times that of popcorn.
- Makhana has 1/4th of the calories of popcorn. This gap is huge in the limited amount of calories a child can be fed. Every calorie a child consumes should be loaded with nutrients and not be an empty calorie.
- Not just Brain, Makhana also supports strong bone development of a growing child.
Hence we can say that if we have to choose between Popcorn or Makhana as a healthier snacks for kids, Makhana wins over many folds in nutrition. However, popcorn is not an unhealthy snack option, but Makhana is definitely more nutritious and healthier. So next time when you are watching a movie or otherwise, offer your kids roasted makhana. They will surely love this crunchy healthy snack.
Health benefits of Makhana:
Strengthen bones: Calcium is crucial for bone development and strengthening, especially for kids in growing years to have strong bones for lifetime. Makhana being high in calcium helps kids in bone development and adults in bone strengthening.(Foods that help build strong bones?)
Gluten free: This superfood is gluten free, which means if you are gluten intolerant or somebody who avoids gluten foods, can enjoy it without worrying about the reactions. (Foods that can help with allergies?)
Weight loss: Loaded with sufficient amounts of protein, this healthy snack for kids helps to stay full for longer and prevents overeating. Also low in calories, makhana is an ideal food for weight loss. Fiber in it moves slowly through your digestive tract to keep you feeling full for a long time. (Foods that can help with weight control?)
Helps in cognitive function: Makhana have high thiamine content, which helps with sustaining the cognitive function of the nerves and contributes to the process of neurotransmission. (Brain developments foods for kids?)
Better digestion: The high fiber contents of makhana aids in digestion and keeps the bowel movement regular. The antioxidant properties of makhana make them even better for digestion. It also helps in prevention of excessive and frequent urination. (How to fix gut health?)
Improve heart health: Makhana is the great source of magnesium, which significantly improves the quality of blood and oxygen in the body and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Makhana is high in potassium and low in sodium, which keeps the blood pressure level in check. (How to keep the liver safe from fatty liver disease?)
Good for skin: Makhana contains several amino acids, which help promote skin elasticity and skin health. The antioxidant properties in it help fight free radicals, thus they act as an anti-ageing agent. Makhana is high in a natural flavonoid called kaempferol that helps to keep away the signs of ageing such as hair loss, graying of hairs and formation of wrinkles. So it is not only good for kids but for adults too. (Remedies and foods to avoid rashes in skin?)
Recipe for Makhana (Lotus seeds) Ice Cream with hidden herbs and nuts:
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