Is Popcorn Healthy? Why This Snack Is Great For Diets & Healthy Living
Meredith Miller | Published: July 30, 2018
We’ve all experienced the mid-day or early evening munchies. Mid-day snack munchies typically occur after lunch and before dinner. You find yourself hungry and not quite sure what to eat. The same is for the early evening munchies. You’ve already eaten dinner but you have hours until bedtime. You want to eat something and you know that the go-to chips or candies are not the healthiest of options.
If you have the hankering for something that is crunchy and filling that also has some health benefits then you should consider air-popped popcorn. A popcorn snack is a healthy snack that you won’t regret.
Health Benefits of Popcorn
There are many health benefits of popcorn for a snack. When we talk about eating a popcorn snack it needs to be clear that this does not include the movie theater popcorn that is loaded in salt and butter or the kettle popcorn or cheese popcorn that is loaded in toppings and calories. Air-popped healthy popcorn is the healthy popcorn that you should be enjoying. Popcorn is full of polyphenols. Polythenols are anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are naturally found in plants.
If you are having a snack and following serving suggestions you’ll be happy to find that one exact serving of air-popped popcorn contains 300 mg of polyphenols. That is roughly 13% of your suggested daily intake of polyphenols. Healthy popcorn also can help combat constipation because it is a whole grain. The fibers in whole grains keep the digestive tract functioning properly. The fiber in popcorn will not elevate the carbohydrates in the body so this means it is diabetic friendly.
Why Popcorn Is Healthy
Popcorn is a healthy snack because of all the added health benefits to consuming it. Healthy popcorn will help fill you up while supplying your body with much-needed nutrition. You can add to the nutritional benefits of your popcorn snack by adding healthy popcorn toppings. Healthy popcorn toppings can be as diverse and original as your own personal taste buds.
Do you have a taste for something a little sweet? You might not be able to have a slice of apple pie but you can have some popcorn that is seasoned with apple pie seasoning. You could also add a touch of cinnamon. Cinnamon is known for increasing blood circulation and is also diabetic friendly. If you have a taste for something spicy you could sprinkle some chili powder or Indian spices like curry on your popcorn and shake it up. A fun Mediterranean twist on your popcorn would be easily achieved by pouring a little olive oil on top of your air-popped popcorn and adding some oregano and parmesan cheese if your diet allows. These healthy popcorn toppings will add some variety to your popcorn snack.
Good Source of Fiber
Popcorn is a fabulous source of fiber and can help combat constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract. Adults should get about twenty to 35 grams of fiber in their diet daily. A serving of popcorn will only account for about three grams of that dietary fiber but it is definitely a great snack to incorporate into your daily menu. Popcorn combined with healthy fruits and vegetables can be a healthy part of your diet.
Low In Carbs
Healthy popcorn is low in carbs. If you start adding buttery toppings or cheese toppings then you will add to the carbohydrate value of this snack. There are only about 30 grams of carbs in one serving of popcorn. One serving of popcorn is roughly four cups of air-popped popcorn. Most carbohydrates come from fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. The body uses these carbs to create energy within the body. Bad carbohydrates come from refined sugars and are harder for the body to process. Popcorn is a snack that is easily processed by the body.
Unhealthy popcorn should be avoided if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet. These popcorns are often found prepackaged in the snack and chip aisle. They are loaded with preservatives and are often topped with butter, salt and cheeses. These popcorns lose most of their nutritional value and are high in fat and calories. If you want a healthy popcorn snack to be sure to obtain an air popper and pop your popcorn at home. If you cannot obtain an air popper there are other ways to pop popcorn. One method is by utilizing a brown lunch bag and a microwave. Another method for freshly popped popcorn is by using a large pot on the stove.
Stay Away From Too Much Salt And Butter
Be sure to select healthy toppings if you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Your body will thank you if you stay away from too much salt and butter. Browse the spice aisle at your grocery store and try to come up with some fun tasting flavor alternatives for your air-popped popcorn snack. Popcorn is a healthy snack as long as you make smart choices when it comes to toppings and seasoning.