Popcorns rich in Fiber and Antioxidants
Popcorn is a perfect whole grain snack, loaded with fiber and antioxidants. Therefore provides the healthy benefits derived from the nutrients in every component of the whole grain.
Popcorn provides about 4 grams of dietary fiber for every 4 cups of popped corn. An adequate fiber intake not just helps you to stay healthy but may also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce blood cholesterol and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar.
The antioxidant concentration of popcorn is much higher than anticipated. In fact, the study found the concentration of polyphenols in popcorn surpassed that of most fruit. This nutrient was found within the hull and so popcorn without the hull may not contain this healthy antioxidant.
Polyphenols possess numerous health benefits, including the prevention of degenerative diseases such osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases and diabetes.
Don’t Make it Junk
Smothering this naturally healthy snack in high salt, butter, sugar and flavorings turns natural goodness into a junk food. Microwave popcorn is usually packed with unhealthy oils, other additives and a lot more calories. Kettle corn and caramel corn provide hefty doses of sugars. Cheddar and other flavored types of popcorn not only include artificial flavorings, but unhealthy fats and other additives as well. It’s recommended to avoid eating this kind of overloaded junk popcorns.
While plain, natural popcorn is full of healths. Lightly season it with sea salt or a very small bit of butter, if you can’t eat it any other way.
Healthy Popcorn Snack Flavoring Ideas
For spicy popcorn, try a blend of crushed red pepper and cayenne. Paprika and chili powder make a less spicy popcorn, lemon pepper makes popcorn zesty and a blend of basil, oregano and parsley will give popcorn an herbal overtone. If you’d rather have sweeter popcorn, try ground cinnamon or grated nutmeg. Powdered ginger, ground black pepper, five-spice powder and allspice are other examples of healthful seasonings. It’s usually best to add the seasonings after popping the popcorn, but if you’re microwaving the kernels, you may add them before you pop.
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Recommended Serving Size
While air-popped popcorn without salt or oil is low in calories and fat, you still need to limit your serving size. A 3-cup serving is reasonable for a snack, but if you’re voracious, a double serving is okay too. You need to use 1 1/2 tablespoons of kernels to make 3 cups of popped popcorn. One 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn has 93 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3.5 grams of fiber and 2 milligrams of sodium. To compare, 3 cups of commercial microwave popcorn with oil has 192 calories, 14 grams of fat, 2.7 grams of fiber and 348 milligrams of sodium. If you add just 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your air-popped popcorn, its sodium content will skyrocket to 581 milligrams.