Amazing Health Benefits Of Adding Popcorn To Your Diet
By: Kratika Thu, 29 Oct 2020 1:01 PM
Be it about watching movie or staying up whole night for patying with friends, popcorn are our forever friends. Most of us can't resist without a big tub of popcorn. That said, popcorn isn’t a food item that we would add to the "healthy" category. However, that is because a majority of us use generous amounts of salt, butter, or other toppings on popcorn that vastly reduce its health benefits. On its own, popcorn can make for a nutritious and healthy snack if consumed without any added sugar or salt.
In fact, when made the right way, popcorn contains plenty of nutrients and vitamins and can prove beneficial to your overall health in the long run. Today, we will look at some of the lesser-known but important health and nutritional benefits of adding popcorn to your diet.
# It improves digestion
We often forget that popcorn is a whole grain. It consists of all of the fiber from the bran, along with the minerals, B complex vitamins, and vitamin E. The high fiber content in popcorn helps in improving digestion and smoothening bowel movements that helps prevent constipation. Furthermore, fiber encourages the peristaltic motion of intestinal muscles and leads to the release of digestive juices. This eventually helps keep our digestive system healthy.
# It’s a great snack for those on a diet
A lot of us tend to add dollops of butter or caramel to a bowl of popcorn or sprinkle a good amount of salt over it before eating it. That, of course, takes away its health benefits. However, did you know that one cup of air-popped popcorn contains about 30 calories? That is five times fewer calories than one serving of plain potato chips. Additionally, the fiber content in popcorn slows the rate of digestion and thus reduces hunger. Even plain popcorn, in fact, is low in saturated fat. You can hence use popcorn as a heart-healthy snack that can keep you filled while also helping reduce your waistline a little.
# It’s full of vitamins and minerals
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, popcorn contains about 8 percent of your daily value of iron. We’ve mentioned above that the little kernel of popcorn is rich in fiber and some vitamins. Some of the other vitamins found in air-popped, unsalted popcorn include calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Popcorn also contains many vitamins, including vitamins B6, A, E, and K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
# Popcorn contains cancer-fighting antioxidants
Popcorn contains surprisingly large levels of healthy antioxidant substances called polyphenols that help reduce the risk of cancer along with heart diseases.Furthermore, the American Institute for Cancer Research states that polyphenols, like those found in popcorn, block enzymes that control the spread of cancerous cells. While more research is needed in this regard, it can be safe to say that adding popcorn to your diet will only be beneficial.
# It's a whole grain
Like we mentioned above, popcorn is a whole grain. Apart from containing fiber, this also means that each kernel consists of bran, germ, and endosperm.
# Helps regulate blood sugar
In comparison to other snacks, popcorn's glycemic index is quite low. A food's glycemic index specifies how much your blood sugar will rise after you consume the food. A number of snacks can result in a sharp rise in your levels of blood glucose. Fortunately, popcorn does well in this category.