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Popcorn could be the perfect healthy snack

Popcorn could be the perfect healthy snack
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When you wonder “Is popcorn healthy?” you have to narrow down the type of popcorn you’re munching on. If it’s air-popped popcorn – not the fatty, butter-drenched stuff you get at the movies – then you’ll be happy about the answer.

Check out these healthy foods that really aren’t.

It has few kilojoules – if you pop it the right way

It has few kilojoules – if you pop it the right way
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The healthiest type of popcorn is air-popped, which only has 125 kilojoules per cup.

Popcorn could be healthier than fruits and vegetables

Popcorn could be healthier than fruits and vegetables
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Yep, you read that right. According to a 2019 analysis in the journal Antioxidants, popcorn is loaded with polyphenols, compounds found in plants that act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Polyphenols are heavily diluted in fruits and vegetables, which are 90 per cent water. Yet popcorn is made up of about 4 per cent water, so the polyphenols are more highly concentrated, especially in the hulls (the hard shells that get stuck in your teeth). One serving of popcorn can contain up to 300 mg of polyphenols, according to a prior study from the University of Scranton, which would account for 13 per cent of the average daily intake. Fruit accounts for 255 mg of polyphenols per day, and vegetables bring in about 218 mg per day. That said, popcorn doesn’t have many other vitamins and nutrients, so it can’t completely replace fruits and veggies in your diet.

Popcorn may help fight cancer

Popcorn may help fight 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, notes the American Institute for Cancer Research. The traditional way to reap these health benefits is by eating fruits and vegetables, but the high concentration of polyphenols makes eating popcorn a healthy alternative. Since they can also prevent inflammation and plaque buildup, foods rich in polyphenols may help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Popcorn gives you your fill of whole grain

Popcorn gives you your fill of whole grain
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Popcorn is one snack that is 100 per cent unprocessed whole grain. Just one serving of popcorn contains more than 70 per cent of the recommended daily whole grain intake.

Do you know why popcorn pops? Find out here.

Popcorn may help relieve constipation

Popcorn may help relieve constipation
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Since popcorn is all whole grain, its insoluble fibre helps keep your digestive tract in check and prevents constipation. A 3-cup serving contains 3.5 grams of fibre, and a high-fibre diet can help promote intestinal regularity.

Here are some surprising home remedies for constipation relief.

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It’s the perfect dieting snack

It’s the perfect dieting snack
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High-fibre foods take more time to digest than non-fibrous foods, so they can 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.

Read on for the link between complex carbohydrates and fibre.

Popcorn is diabetic friendly

Popcorn is diabetic friendly
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Even though fibre is listed on food labels under total carbohydrates, it doesn’t have the same effect on blood sugar as refined carbs like white bread. High-fibre foods don’t contain as much digestible carbohydrate, so it slows the rate of digestion and causes a more gradual and lower rise in blood sugar, according to 2015 research in the journal Circulation.

There are endless options for popcorn toppings

There are endless options for popcorn toppings
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You can put way more on popcorn than just butter and salt. Add cinnamon or apple pie spice for a sweet treat, or go spicy with hot sauce, wasabi, or curry. You can also give your snack an Italian flair with grated Parmesan and a dash of olive oil. Basically, anything in your spice rack can add more flavour without very many kilojoules when you’re eating popcorn.

Popcorn has more iron than spinach

Popcorn has more iron than spinach
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Not by much, but it’s true: 28 grams of popcorn contains 0.9 mg of iron, while 1 cup of raw spinach has 0.8 mg. These numbers seem small, but adult men only need 8 mg of iron in their diet each day. Adult women, on the other hand, need 18 mg per day (because of the blood they lose during menstruation). Up to 18 per cent of women are low in iron, according to a new research paper by the University of Western Australia.  So get your fill of iron however you can.

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Source: RD.com

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