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Snack Smart: 7 Surprising Health Benefits Of Popcorn

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What Is Popcorn?

Popcorn is quite simply, a type of corn that has a hard endosperm, hull, or shell, containing a starchy interior. When this popping corn is heated, the pressure inside the hull increases and eventually a POP! occurs. Historically, there is an evidence that popcorn has been enjoyed by cultures for more than 6,000 years since corn (maize) has been an important part of many cultural diets in ancient times. 

Popcorn is enjoyed around the world, in nearly every place where normal corn is consumed. However, its limit as a healthy food ends when you begin pouring salt, butter, or other flavourings or toppings on the popcorn, and then it moves into the realm of unhealthy junk food. However, if popped corn is eaten plain, it is both a delicious and beneficial snack for many people.

Nutrition Facts Of Popcorn 

The nutrition values of popcorn amount per 100 grams are 

  • Calories- 375
  • Total Fat- 4.3 g
  • Saturated fat- 0.6 g 
  • Polyunsaturated fat- 2.5 g
  • Monounsaturated fat- 1 g
  • Sodium- 7 mg 
  • Potassium- 7%
  • Total Carbohydrate- 24%
  • Dietary fiber- 52%
  • Sugar- 0.9 g
  • Protein- 22%
  • Iron- 16%
  • Vitamin B-6- 15%
  • Magnesium- 30%

Health Benefits Of Popcorn 

The health benefits that include eating popcorn are following: 

  • Controls Blood Sugar

Even though fiber is listed on food labels under total carbohydrates, it doesn’t have the same effect on blood sugar as refined carbs, like white bread, that get digested. Fiber isn’t broken down by the body, so it won’t cause a sudden blood sugar spike.

  • Prevents Cancer

One of the many powers of polyphenols, like those found in popcorn, is their ability to block enzymes that cancers need to grow and, in doing so, regulate the spread of cancerous cells. The traditional way to reap these health benefits is by eating fruits and vegetables, but the high concentration of polyphenols makes popcorn a healthy alternative.

  • Prevents Aging

Free radicals have been closely linked to of age-related symptoms like wrinkles, age spots, macular degeneration and blindness, muscle weakness, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, hair loss, and a wide variety of other things. 

  • Antioxidant

In popcorn’s case, the antioxidants are found in the hull and are called polyphenols. Like all antioxidants, polyphenols help protect against cancers, heart diseases, and other illnesses that are caused by free radicals

  • Weight Loss

A normal cup of popped popcorn contains only 30 calories, which is approximately 5 times less than the same amount of greasy potato chips. High-fiber foods take more time to digest than non-fibrous foods, so they keep you fuller longer. Snacking on air-popped popcorn in between meals can make you less tempted by sweets and fatty foods. Just don’t load up on butter and salt.

 

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