Popcorn comes from corn, which is a vegetable because it is cultivated for consumption. Since all vegetables are nutritious, popcorn is good for you. So what makes popcorn frowned upon by health experts and health-conscious people? The loads of sodium and fat that the ones you can buy at the cinema pack. The flavoring and fumes given off by microwaveable popcorn also intensify the bad reputation that popcorn does not really deserve.
There are actually numerous health benefits that popcorn brings. Well, at least the kind that’s air-popped. So the next time you are about to plop down on the couch on your movie night at home alone or with family and friends, stick to popcorn that is popped using hot air popcorn popper. And also, save yourself from consuming too much sodium, which is bad for the heart and kidneys, by sprinkling it with just a little amount of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.
Follow the above smart tips (plus keep your consumption in moderation) and you are sure to get the following health benefits that air-popped popcorn is known to pop into the scene, as attested by nutrition authorities:
Popcorn comes from corn, which is a whole grain. This is exactly the reason why snacking on air-popped popcorn can help promote a healthier digestion. Whole grain means that the bran and germ parts remain, both of which packs much of the nutrients that make whole grains good for you.
Regulates Bowel Movement
Since air-popped popcorn is a whole grain, it is an excellent source of fiber. A diet that’s rich in fiber helps stave off constipation because it promotes the movement of undigested food particles and waste materials through your colon. What’s more, fiber helps lower your risk of hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Another very important role portrayed by fiber is the reduction of cholesterol. By eating air-popped popcorn and others that are loaded with fiber, some of the cholesterol in the food you consume may be swept out of the body before they get oxidized and end up in your arteries.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Fiber also helps regulate the amount of sugar that is released into the blood stream, thereby saving you from unwanted blood sugar spikes. You don’t want your blood sugar levels to be elevated because it may lead to insulin resistance in the long run, and put you at high risk of having type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Weight Loss
The fact that air-popped popcorn is rich in fiber makes it very good at encouraging healthy weight reduction. Fiber makes your tummy feel full right away, keeping you from overeating. Just make sure that you don’t slather your air-popped popcorn with butter or any other fattening stuff!
Reduces Cancer Risk
Since air-popped popcorn comes from a vegetable, it doesn’t come as a surprise why it is packed with antioxidants. There is a growing body of studies on the ability of polyphenolic compounds — powerful antioxidants found especially in the hull of corn — to prevent the formation of cancer.
Slows Down the Aging Process
Having a handful of air-popped popcorn is also said to help delay the process of aging, thanks to its loads of potent antioxidants. But it’s not just skin aging that antioxidants in air-popped popcorn may slow down, but also aging that takes place within, such as the kind that affects the joints and brain cells.
Make the most out of air-popped popcorn by not adding unhealthy ingredients in it. If you want to make your air-popped popcorn more palatable, just sprinkle it with a little sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Some popcorn aficionados also love to add a little chili powder for some punch. You may also lightly mist it with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on it for some protein and calcium. Enjoy!