Do you know that eating popcorn is one of the healthiest snack habits? It may help fight against deadly diseases, fills you with fiber, and has more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.
When we talk about eating popcorn, we’re not talking about the fatty, butter-drenched stuff you get at the movies. We are actually referring to the air-popped popcorn which is a healthy snack option, and why you can add it to your list of healthy snacks for adults.
1. Good Amount of Antioxidants
Popcorn has a large amount of antioxidants present in them. One such antioxidant is polyphenols. Antioxidants kill the free radicals in our body which can lead to severe diseases including cancer. So the polyphenolic compound present in the popcorn will help you to fight against the same. Popcorn consumption, together with a balanced diet, can boost your intake of antioxidants to keep you healthy. Free radical presence in the body is attributed to several other issue also like ageing and formation of wrinkles, Alzheimer's, hair loss and other problems.
2. Popcorn has more iron than spinach vegetable
From United States Department of Agriculture, 28 grams of popcorn contains 0.9 mg of iron, while 30 grams of raw spinach vegetable has 0.8 mg. These numbers seem small, but it is far much better than stuffing your stomach with junky snacks that add no good nutrient to your body. So get your fill of iron however you can on that popcorn today. Studies have shown women need lots of iron than men, because of loss of blood they experience during menstruation. So, ladies is time to grab that fat free air-popped corn for dinner.
3. Gives Whole Grain Advantage
Popcorn is made of 100% natural whole grain. Being whole grain, it contains fiber which helps in improving digestion. The high fiber content keeps our body's bowel movements regular and keeps problems like constipation away. A diet rich in Fiber is also known to take off excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels in your body. This can reduce your overall cholesterol level which protects us from having heart attacks or other dangerous diseases. Nutritionist Shilpa Arora says, "fibre in popcorn slows carbohydrate metabolism into sugar. Thus lowering insulin response.
4. Popcorn is diabetic friendly
Popcorn are great healthy snack for diabetics, one should be careful not to choose the butter laden and transat flavours available in the markets. This could be misleading and lead to serious health issues. Make sure good quality corns are selected. You could steam or pop them in a cast iron pan. this is great for health and diabetics."
5. Reach Weight Loss Goals
Popcorn can help you lose weight as it is low in calorie and definitely a better option than potato chips. It is naturally fat free and sugar free so you won't feel guilty after having it. Moreover, popcorn can really fill you up so you don't even need much and over eating can be avoided.
6. Popcorn is Gluten Free
Popcorn is gluten free and you can even use it instead of bread crumbs in any recipe to make it healthier. It is healthy even when enjoyed as a snack by itself. Make it healthier by staying away from unwanted toppings and additives.
7. Popcorn may help relieve constipation
Since popcorn is all whole grain, its insoluble fiber helps keep your digestive tract in check and prevents constipation. A 3-cup serving contains 3.5 grams of fiber, and a high-fiber diet can help promote intestinal regularity, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Who knew this small snack could make such a huge impact on digestive health?
8. Popcorn may help fight cancer
One of the many powers of polyphenols, like those found in popcorn, is their ability to block enzymes that cancers need to grow and, in doing so, regulate the spread of cancerous cells, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research. The traditional way to reap these health benefits is by eating fruits and vegetables, but the high concentration of polyphenols makes eating popcorn a healthy alternative. Since they can also prevent inflammation and plaque buildup, foods rich in polyphenols may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Replace some of these foods cardiologists never eat with air-popped popcorn.
NOTE: The air-popped corn, which is the healthiest, has only 30 calories per cup. Meanwhile, studies have shown that the medium and large popcorn sizes served at movie theaters each had between 1,020 - 1,200 calories and 57 - 60 grams of saturated fat. At home, you can use a hot air popper.
I have a devised very easy way of air-popping it at home, which you can try out on your own too. popcorn is rich in a variety of nutrients that we should take note of.
Finally, there are endless options for popcorn toppings; Please avoid butter and salt as much as possible. You can add cinnamon or apple pie spice for a sweet treat, or go spicy with hot sauce, wasabi, or curry. You can also give your snack an Italian flair with grated Parmesan and a dash of olive oil.
Basically, anything in your spice rack can add more flavor without very many calories when you’re eating popcorn.
Keep these benefits of popcorn in mind next time you munch on these little white kernels.
But please remember that these do not apply to microwaveable popcorn or the popcorn that is filled excessively with salt and butter.
Stick to plain popcorn which is healthy for you, you can add some herbs and spices for enhanced flavours.