Popcorn is a low calorie, high fiber alternative to chips and cookies as a snack. Its benefits don’t end there, however.
Polyphenols are a plant-based chemical that help protect against free radicals in our body’s cells. This can help reduce risks of heart disease and even some types of cancer. Popcorn, according to a recent presentation of the American Chemical Society, contains almost twice the polyphenols of the average fruit. It’s no replacement for fruit in terms of the other nutrients fruits provide, but it’s still significant.
How much polyphenol are we talking?
“A single serving of popcorn – about two tablespoons of unpopped kernels – contained up to 300 milligrams of polyphenols, the researchers found. By contrast, the average polyphenol content of fruit is about 160 milligrams per serving, while a single serving of sweet corn contains 114 milligrams.”
- CNN article on popcorn
Popcorn is also 100 percent whole grain, making it surprisingly viable part of a healthy diet. The healthiest way to eat popcorn is using plain kernels, but adding a small amount of oil or butter is okay. Other low-calorie methods of sprucing up popcorn include Parmesan cheese or even chili pepper (if you want a kick). A less healthy, but tasty, style is to put a little chocolate syrup into the bag and shake it, lightly coating the popcorn.