Posted on Aug 09, 2018, 12 a.m.
The long time delicious movie theatre companion and comfy night go to snack at home has been enjoyed for many years. There are many health benefits associated with this air popped muchie that most people have never heard of, I was today years old when I came across this lovely bit of information.
Popcorn carries health benefits including the ability to regulate blood sugar, improve digestive process,help protect against osteoporosis, lower cholesterol levels, help weight loss, inhibit cognitive decline, and help prevent premature aging.
Popcorn is a type of corn with a hard hull containing the starchy interiors that when heated pressure inside the hull increases until the pop occurs. Popcorn comes in a variety of forms including types to be cooked in a microwave as well as unaltered kernels that can be made in small appliances made specifically for popping corn, or in a pot with lid. Heat alone is enough to create popcorn, there is no need to use butter or oils as it can impact the polyphenolic content of the hull once it pops and will remove a lot of its health benefits.
Popcorn has been enjoyed in cultures for over 6,000 years around the world and even comes in different colours. Healthy food benefit limits are ended when toppings such a salt, butter or other flavourings or topping are poured on to it, then it moves into the domain of unhealthy junk food. If consumed plain popcorn is a delicious and beneficial snack food. Health benefits are derived mainly from its impressive content such as fiber, antioxidants, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B complex, and polyphenolic compounds.
Popcorn is a whole grain containing fiber from bran helping to improve digestion along with B complex vitamins and vitamin E which will stimulate peristaltic motion of smooth intestinal muscle and induce secretion of digestive juices to help keep the digestive system healthy.
The fiber content can also help strip off excess cholesterol from walls of blood vessels and arteries helping to reduce overall cholesterol levels and lower risk of cardiovascular conditions, and help reduce strain on the cardiac system.
Fiber content also has impact on blood sugar helping to regulate the release and management of blood sugar and insulin levels. Decreasing fluctuations in blood sugar is helpful in diabetes making a good snack choice for individuals suffering the difficult disease.
Popcorn used to be classed as an unhealthy snacking item, recently it has been found that there is a large amount of antioxidant capacity within popcorn as the hull contains large amounts of polyphenolic compound which is a powerful antioxidant that defensively scavenges and eliminates free radicals associated with a variety of disease in the body which includes cancer.
Free radicals do much more damage than cancer they have been closely linked to age related symptoms such as age spot, wrinkles, cognitive decline, macular degeneration, dementia, hair loss and a wide variety of other things.
One cup of popcorn has 30 calories and the fiber content can help to make you feel full as it inhibits release of ghrelin the hunger hormone which can help prevent overeating for individuals trying to gain control of their weight. Popcorn is also low in saturated fats and natural oils contained within it are primarily healthy and essential.
Popcorn is only a healthy snack if consumed plain, when it is doused in butter, oils, salt, or other toppings it negates the positive impacts it can have. It is best to avoid prepackaged and microwave popcorn as it typically has added salt butter and/or oils; and once popped some chemicals in packaging materials can break down and/or destroy phenolic compounds to severely reduce popcorn’s impact on helping to protect against free radicals.
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