The Health Benefits of Popcorn
Claire Miles - January 30, 2022

Popcorn is a whole-grain food that provides many health benefits. If we needed an excuse to eat more popcorn, this is it. It is naturally low in fat and high in fiber, protein, and several vitamins and minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, niacin (vitamin B3), thiamin (vitamin B1), and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Popcorn is a great snack food that can be prepared in a healthy way, for example by integrating it into a low-fat, high-fiber diet. The health benefits of popcorn include its ability to aid digestion and protect against disease, among other things. Popcorn has been shown to have many antioxidants.

 

Woman hand into bowl of popcorn

Getty Images/Moment/Karen Ilagan

 

One cup of popcorn typically contains as much as 2 grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber also helps to regulate the body’s use of sugars, which can help to prevent diabetes. Popcorn is also low in fat and contains no cholesterol, making it a healthy snack option for individuals concerned about heart disease. Popcorn provides the body with protein. Protein is important for tissue repair and maintenance of muscle mass, among other things. Among popcorn’s many health benefits are its ability to aid digestion. Popcorn is made up of starch, which requires the help of digestive enzymes to break down in the small intestine.

 

Popcorn has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which help protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can cause cell damage and increase one’s risk for cancer. Popcorn can also promote healthy teeth and gums. Popcorn is not sticky, so it does not adhere to the teeth as other snacks might. Popcorn is naturally low in sugar, making it an ideal snack choice for individuals concerned about cavities and periodontal disease. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of dietary fiber. Air-popped popcorn is a healthy option for individuals looking to snack in a way that is low in fat and high in fiber. Popcorn can be prepared in a variety of ways to add unique flavors without adding many calories or fat content.

 

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