Air-Popped Popcorn, A Healthy Snack?

Everybody just love eating popcorn when going to the movies, or when you fire up your DVD player to watch a late night flick with family or with your sweetheart at home.

But probably many of you don’t know that this is a considerably healthier snack you’re not eating frequently enough. Popcorn is more than a movie buddy — it’s a health snack.

Yes its true! Tasty and guilt-free popcorn is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fiber. Not the one drenched with butter, coloring, additives and different flavors; but the plain and air-popped popcorn.

Air-popped Popcorn

This is the healthiest type of popcorn in which every cup popped will render 1.25 grams fiber, 30.5 calories, 1 gram protein and low fat values.

Air-popped popcorn is very easy to prepare; either by using hot air popper or the traditional over the stove with a little canola oil. Some put the kernels in a brown bag and light microwave for 2 minutes.

What makes Air-popped popcorn healthy?

Polyphenols are compounds found in plants which act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation. One serving of air-popped popcorn contains up to 300 mg of polyphenols.

Polyphenols help neutralize free radicals which can damage your cells and contribute to rapid cell destruction. It can stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.

High concentration of polyphenols in air-popped popcorn (higher than fruits and vegetables) makes them the healthier alternatives in preventing cardiovascular diseases, for they can prevent inflammation and plaque build-up.

Air-popped popcorn is the only 100 percent unprocessed whole grain snack, better than cereals, so it gives you your daily recommended intake of whole grain. As a whole grain, its insoluble fiber aids your digestive health and relieves constipation.

If you’re in a diet, this popcorn is the perfect snack. High fiber foods take more time to digest so it will keep you full longer, especially munching it between meals.

This can make you less tempted by sweets and fatty foods too, just don’t add too much salt and butter. They’re not weight-friendly.

Since the fiber present in popcorn is not as the same as the fiber in white bread that get digested easily, so it won’t cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar. Hence, air-popped popcorn is healthy for diabetics.

What are some Air-popped popcorn’s health risks?

‘Popcorn Lung’
Diacetyl is a chemical contained in most microwave popcorn with a fake butter flavoring.  This has been found the culprit that cause lung cancer in most popcorn factory workers who had been exposed to this chemical for a long period of time.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid is a cancer-causing agent found coated in bags of microwaveable popcorn. It releases toxins once heated and is associated with liver toxicity, prostate, kidney and tumor growth.

Unhealthy Toppings
Many people cover popcorn with salt, butter or other toppings that destroys much the positive impact of what air-popped popcorn could give.

Corn Allergy
Corn has some allergens that others can not tolerate.

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