Popcorn Packs Fiber and 4 More Things You Should Know

January 23, 2015

Popcorn is the go to snack at the movie theatre - but it might not be the best choice in this setting. Find out why and the many benefits of popcorn here.

Popcorn is the go to snack at the movie theatre, but after it’s been drenched in butter and doused with salt, it’s nutritional benefits are questionable. Ready-to-eat popcorn sales are growing by the minute. Topped with exotic spices or a little salt, this crunchy filling snack might be something you want to grab when you are feeling hungry. Find out the various reasons why here.

It’s a whole grain: Whole grains, or foods made from them, contain all of the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. This means that 100 percent of the original kernel, all of the bran, germ, and endosperm, must be present to qualify as a whole grain. Whole grains are generally rich in B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. If you want to learn more about whole grains click here

Fiber rich: At 1 gram of fiber per cup, popcorn fiber is one of the keys to its well-documented digestive benefits. Recent research has shown that corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine and helps increase short chain fatty acids, or SCFAs. SCFAs supply energy to our intestinal cells thus helping to lower risk of intestinal problems, including risk of colon cancer.

Nutrition: Popcorn has a large amount of vitamins; folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K, as well as being a source of iron, potassium, zinc. It’s also key to note it protein content. 

Antioxidant rich. Corn is a great source of a variety of antioxidants – and the combination depends on the color of the corn. For instance, yellow corn is rich in carotenoids, and provides especially high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin. Both great for eye health. Some of the phytonutrients in corn may be able to inhibit angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) helping to lower the risk of high blood pressure. Keep in mind that none of popcorn’s health benefits are found in the white fluffy part, instead, if you want the maximum benefit to your health – the fiber and the antioxidants – then you need to eat the kernel.

Portion size. A single cup of air-popped corn has a mere 31 calories, with 0.3 g of fats. Popped in oil, however, the values above can roughly be tripled. Go ahead and indulge in several cups, it will keep you busy chewing for a while. 

For more on the many benefits of corn click here.