We’ve been warning you about the dangers of microwave popcorn for years now. So we forgive you if you’re thinking that telling you to pop some corn is a bait and switch. But it’s not, we promise!
Microwave popcorn is dangerous. Everything from the bag you pop it in to the fake butter coating those kernels, makes the snack bad news. But traditionally popped corn is a horse of a different color.
In fact, popcorn prepared the way your mom and grandma used to make, on the stovetop, can be a perfectly healthy snack.
The trick is to use a regular-non nonstick-pan and the right fat, like coconut oil or organic olive oil. Or opt for an air popper instead.
Either way three whole cups of popcorn will run you less than 200 calories. But even more importantly, it brings some serious health benefits to the table.
6 GREAT reasons to make some healthy popcorn today
Following are six excellent reasons to ditch the unhealthy chips and pop some delicious, nutritious healthy popcorn instead.
1. A surprising source of protein:
Reducing the carbohydrates in your diet is important. Most of us get far too many of them. But not all carbs are bad. And don’t forget some carbs, such as popcorn, provide a good amount of protein, too.
For each cup of popcorn you eat, you get a gram of protein. Compared to other salty, crunchy snacks, that makes popcorn a protein powerhouse.
2. Free-radical-fighting antioxidants:
A study out of the University of Scranton revealed that popcorn is surprisingly rich in antioxidants. An average serving of fruit has around 160 mg of polyphenols, while a serving of popcorn offers nearly twice that amount, with 300 mg.
Antioxidants support your immune system and fight premature aging. And the polyphenols in healthy popcorn could lower your risk for inflammation, cancer and heart disease.
3. Whole grains:
You know how you’re always being encouraged to eat more whole grains. Well, believe it or not, popcorn counts!
Popcorn is 100 percent whole grain. There’s literally nothing processed about it, which means you’re getting all those whole grain benefits in every bite including supporting healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Plus, since healthy popcorn is a high-fiber food, you stay fuller, longer, which can help you lose weight.
4. Encourages healthy digestion:
Fiber doesn’t just satisfy your hunger, it also encourages healthy digestion. The insoluble fiber in popcorn keeps things moving through your digestive system, which can keep you from getting constipated. Plus experts say a diet rich in insoluble fiber could help reduce your risk of colon cancer, as well.
5. Loaded with nutrients:
Unlike most pretzels or chips, popcorn is a nutritionally dense food. A single cup provides calcium for your bones, potassium for your muscles, lutein and zeaxanthin for your eyes, magnesium for your cell function and more. Popcorn even contains as much iron as spinach, for healthy blood.
6. Won’t spike blood sugar:
If you thought, you had to swear off snacks to maintain healthy blood sugar, think again. The kind of fiber found in popcorn doesn’t break down in your system, so it doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes in most folks. In fact, popcorn can help you keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
So put down the chips, and go ahead and make some homemade healthy popcorn instead.