All About Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain, full of fiber and antioxidants in this simple snack. Popcorn is a variety of corn kernels which expand and puff up when heated. A popcorn kernel's strong hull contains the seed's hard, starchy insides, called endosperm with 14–20% moisture, which turns to steam as the kernel is heated. Pressure from the steam continues to build until the hull ruptures, allowing the kernel to forcefully expand, from 20 to 50 times its original size, and then cool. Want some great reasons to eat popcorn? I’ll give you seven!

Top 7 Reasons to Eat Popcorn:

1. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:

Popcorn contains fiber that absorbs liquid cholesterol made by the body and pulls it out into the stool, reducing your overall cholesterol levels. This, along with other great fiber sources, can help to lower the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

2. Improves Digestion:

Popcorn is a whole grain. Grains contain 3 main parts: endosperm, germ and bran. This means it contains all of the fiber that can help to improve digestion, aids proper bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation.

3. Keeps Blood Sugar Levels Steady

It helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, and can prevent low glucose. Due to all that fiber, the starches in popcorn absorb more slowly in the bloodstream, preventing large spikes and subsequent crashes in glucose after eating. It still contains a bit of starch, though, so be careful to control the portion.

4. It Is Friendly For People Who Have Diabetes:

A high-fiber diet is healthy for people with diabetes. Popcorn is full of fiber that easily gets digested and won't cause a sudden blood sugar spike. You can safely include up to 3 cups of plain popcorn as a snack if you are a person with diabetes.

5. Reduces the Risk of Cancer:

Popcorn contains large amounts of poly-phenolic compounds, one of the more powerful types of antioxidants. Antioxidants are the powerful defensive agents that can eliminate free radicals to prevent cancer.

6. Weight Loss:

Plain popcorn contains only 90 calories per 3 cups, which is 15 times less than the average bag of potato chips. The fiber content in popcorn will make you feel full and curb hunger. It is also very low in fat if it is kept plain.

7. Popcorn Contains a Bit of Iron:

According to the USDA, just 24 grams of popcorn (around 3 cup cooked) contains 0.75 mg of iron. Adult men require only 8 mg of iron in their diet each day and adult women require 18 mg of iron per day.

Want to try making it at home, from scratch? Check out this article to get some flavor ideas!