You may not have heard – but there are many health benefits of popcorn. Not just because it’s delicious, but because it’s good for you too. New studies suggest that a serving of popcorn contains more antioxidants than a day’s worth of fruits and vegetables.
The Health Benefits Of Popcorn
Plain Popcorn is Good For You
But that’s not to say that all popcorn is terrific for you; we’re talking plain popcorn here. A cup of plain pop only contains around 31 calories (compared to a cup of regular potato chips, which holds about 139 calories, not exactly great). Popcorn also contains fiber and is the only 100% whole grain snack. And whole grains are healthy for you because they contain those antioxidants.
In popcorn’s case, the antioxidants are found in the hull (the seedy part that gets stuck in your teeth) and are called polyphenols. Like all antioxidants, polyphenols help protect against cancers, heart diseases, and other illnesses that are caused by free radicals (cells that attack other healthy ones).
High in Dietary Fiber
Whole grains are also high in dietary fiber, rich in complex carbohydrates, and are low in fat, making popcorn a way better snack than anyone initially thought. And just because you’re not crazy about plain pop doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its healthy benefits. Add on herbs like dill or curry, healthy oils such as olive or coconut, or sprinkle on some spices.
Dark Chocolate is Healthy Too
Do you know what else is rich in antioxidants and is great on popcorn? Dark chocolate. Yep, dark chocolate contains flavonoids that reduce cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, and help protect the vascular system. So don’t think that popcorn can’t still taste delicious; stay away from the large butter-drenched bags at the movie theater.
Replace Unhealthy Snacks
While no one suggests that you stop your five-a-day diet, replacing unhealthy snacks with healthy ones provides more benefits. Popcorn has been enjoyed for thousands of years and dates back to 3600 BCE. It’s natural, fun to eat, and thankfully, healthy.
Know someone you’d like to introduce healthy snacking to? Send them fruit or healthy gift baskets!