You might be surprised to find out the health benefits of popcorn. And there are a lot of them! You should probably stay away from the butter drenched version at the movie theater, but a few cups of air popped corn kernels is actually a healthy snack. It’s considered a whole grain and has several vitamins and minerals that make it nutritious in addition to being delicious. Check out these great health benefits of popcorn and then get popping!
Because popcorn is a whole grain, you can count on it having tons of fiber, which makes that one of the best health benefits of popcorn you’ll ever find. A single ounce of popcorn contains more than 4 grams of fiber! Fiber does your body good by helping keep digestion normal and healthy, controlling cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and helping keep your appetite under control.
2. Low in Calories
Another great thing about popcorn is that you can eat quite a bit of it for very few calories. In fact, one cup weighs in with just 108 calories. That makes it a perfectly portion controlled snack. Just remember that if you douse your popcorn in butter and salt, the calorie count goes up.
Your body relies on adequate protein intake for virtually every function it performs. That includes playing a role in healthy muscles, enzyme production, hair and nails and much, much more. Protein is also a source of energy and gives your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. One cup of popcorn contains over 4 grams of protein.
Many people shy away from carbohydrates for fear of the weight implications. The truth is that carbs are your body’s main source of fuel, so you need some each and every day. The trick is to choose the good kind from foods like popcorn and skip the refined versions from things like cake and soda. One cup of popcorn contains 22 grams of carbs.
Potassium is a nutrient that plays a big role in controlling your blood pressure. A deficiency is rare, but dangerous. Without enough potassium coursing through your blood, you run the risk of suffering from a heart attack. Fortunately, a cup of popcorn adds 85 milligrams to your daily needs.
6. B Vitamins
Popcorn is never going to be enough to cover all of your daily B vitamin needs, but it does contribute. Popcorn contains vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. These are nutrients that perform many functions in your body, including keeping red blood cells healthy and developing normally. B vitamins also help convert the foods you eat into energy your body can use. Popcorn is such a tasty way to help you meet your daily intake recommendations.
7. Folic Acid
Also called folate, folic acid is an important nutrient, especially for women of childbearing age. That’s because it helps prevent several neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy. The trick is to get enough all the time because the development of such birth defects occurs before a woman knows she is pregnant.
What’s your favorite popcorn toppings? I’m a butter and salt kind of girl, but popcorn has always been one of my favorite snacks. What other benefits of popcorn can you add to the list?