· Food & Recipes · 9 Of The Best Reasons To Snack On Popcorn

9 Of The Best Reasons To Snack On Popcorn

benefits of popcorn

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks for a lot of reasons—it’s easy to make, inexpensive, delicious, and it can be dressed up for special occasions like parties. Popcorn is equally delicious paired with savory or sweet flavors, and there are infinite ways to jazz it up with seasonings and other ingredients.

While my beloved movie theater popcorn isn’t healthy by any stretch of the imagination, popcorn alone has all sorts of great health benefits. Here are 9 reasons to consider making plain (or at least lightly buttered/seasoned) popcorn your new snack of choice.

Related: How To Make Amazing Homemade Popcorn In Your Microwave

9 Surprising Benefits Of Eating Popcorn As A Snack

The woman holds a bag of popcorn, enjoying her favorite snack.

1. It’s A Whole Grain

Popcorn is a “whole grain,” which means it’s a good source of dietary fiber. In fact, a 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn contains 2 grams of dietary fiber. That’s approximately as much fiber as half of a cup of sliced carrots, 7 dried apricot halves or 1 whole, medium-sized peach.

2. It’s Nutritional

Ounce for ounce, popcorn has more protein and phosphorus than potato chips. (And more iron than eggs and spinach!)

uses for popcorn

3. It’s Rich In Antioxidants

A team of researchers from the University of Scranton found that popcorn’s crunchy hull is rich in polyphenols and ferulic acid — strong antioxidants responsible for protecting the body from various diseases and conditions. Popcorn actually contains more polyphenols than fruits and vegetables.

4. It’s Naturally Gluten Free

Finely ground, it can be used in place of breadcrumbs for a great crunchy coating on chicken and fish, or seasoned like croutons and topped on a salad.

uses for popcorn

5. It’s Brain Food

According to researchers at Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, nibbling on popcorn revs the brain’s production of revitalizing beta waves, upping alertness by 25 percent in 5 minutes.

6. It’s Low In Calories

Popcorn is sugar free, fat free and low in calories. Just 31 calories for 1 cup air popped popcorn! Plus, “popped corn” is mostly air, helpful for satisfying hunger and cravings without damaging your diet. Fiber-rich popcorn also prevents appetite-fueling blood sugar fluxes, which could help you drop up to 2 pounds a month.

uses for popcorn

7. It’s Versatile

Popcorn is an incredibly versatile snack. Eat it plain, lightly buttered, spicy, or slightly sweet. It’s all delicious.

8. It’s Inexpensive

At just 19 cents an ounce, popcorn is one of the least expensive snack foods on the market today.

uses for popcorn

9. It’s Good For Your Heart

Eating a fiber-rich diet has been found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. As I mentioned earlier, popcorn is packed with fiber, making it an ideal snack for getting your recommended amount of daily fiber.

Unfortunately, movie theater popcorn is loaded with butter, oils, and salt that all but cancel out these benefits. But as long as you use a light hand with you, you can enjoy all the benefits this naturally healthy snack has to offer.

What’s your favorite way to make or eat popcorn?

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Food & Recipes

  • Pop some popcorn in your microwave, and when it’s done, dump half the bag into a big bowl. Spray all the hot popcorn with olive oil cooking spray (or oil of your choice) and sprinkle with dry ranch powder. Dump the rest of the bag into the bowl and repeat. Then take a large rubber spatula and gently toss to make sure all the kernels have some ranch goodness on them. I’ve tried this with many different seasonings, such as McCormick’s Meatloaf or Cheesy Taco, with great results.

  • I have popcorn everyday at 4:30. Although I have an air popper, I use my silicone microwave popper bowl. When it is done, I spray with liquid ammino (like soy sauce) then sprinkle with nutritional yeast (kinda tastes like cheese). No oil or butter, hardly any calories! Have heard of people using pickle juice spray too! Vegan oil-free Nana.

  • There are chemicals used to make microwave popcorn. In fact, many of the workers in these factories develop breathing issues and /or lung cancer from the dust. Microwave popcorn should be banned, but somehow, it continues to be made anyway.
    I would venture a guess that “Money Talks” if placed into the right hands.
    How unfortunate for the familes of those that get sick.

    • Ok, I did a bit of a research on this. There are updates online that now say diacetel has been removed from the popcorn, but there are still questions about the safety of the paper bags being used. I wouldn’t doubt that all kinds of paper is treated with chemicals during the manufacturing processes aren’t a good thing, no matter what it is used for.
      To get an idea of how things were done “back then”, go to:
      blog.publicgoods.com/is-microwave-popcorn-bad-for-you/ This is only one of many articles on this subject out there. Just Google it.
      BTW: air popped popcorn tastes very good and in the long run, cheaper to make. There are brands in the stores that are non-Gmo. Just look for this on the label.

  • We use a West Bend popper and barely have to use 2 tsp. of veg. oil. Makes fabulous popcorn. It’s the one with the big plastic dome. And there are even different kinds of chili sprinkles. One that I like has the mild pepper, some lemon flavor and some salt. And my last doctor said the old thing about not eating popcorn and seeds if you have diverticulosis is bogus. Chew it up well and keep your insides moving well and you won’t have a problem.

  • Love Love popcorn! We melt coconut oil and add some sea salt and nutritional yeast flakes. It can’t be beat but we make sure to get organic popcorn none of the gmo varieties for us!

  • Hmmmmmmm -my husband buys the microwave popcorn but there’s a lot of talk about the chemicals –great idea to try popping in the microwave in a covered casserole or a paper bag! Karenbomagat.etsy.com

  • I love popcorn! I carry some to work in zip lock bags with a handful of mixed nuts added to it. Makes a great satisfying snack when I get hungry and keeps me away from candy bars.

  • POPCORN was the only snack that kept my boys full til suppertime ………………….THE KING OF SNACKS,,,,,,,,,,,Love it with butter and dry (like Krafts) parmesan cheese……………..I want to get a whirlypop popper (on top of the stove and has a crank for stirring the kernels) reviews say it tastes just like theater popcorn………….someday…….

    • We have used our Whirly Pop Theatre Style popper for over 20 years and the popcorn is amazing! We hosted a monthly Movie Night for a few years and were so spoiled that I took enough from home for everyone rather than use an air popper or microwaved varieties. We’ve given several as gifts, too. We now use organic, unrefined coconut oil in the pan (it just needs about 2 Tablespoons per 1/2 cup of popcorn) and organic popcorn from the bulk foods section of a local supermarket ($1.99/lb). It’s great straight or with added melted coconut oil and/or kosher or sea salt. I highly recommend it!

  • I read somewhere on line (might have been here) that instead of buying the “bags” that you put in the microwave (they get rancid quickly and have who knows how many chemical preservatives in them?) if you don’t have an ‘air popper”……just put the dry corn in a microwave safe bowl, cover and pop. You can use a plate for a cover. I use a 2 qt. casserole with it’s own cover. You have to play with the timing and amount of dry corn to use. I use slightly less than 1/4 cup, and it takes about 5 minutes. MORE than enough for me.

  • How do you get dry ingredients to stick to air popped popcorn? My flavorings usually end up at the bottom of the bowl not on the popcorn

    • Never use water to try to get dry ingredients to stick to air popped popcorn. Instead, lightly spray/spritz it with oil. You can use an oil mister and spray any type of flavorful oil or you can use canned oil sprays. Spraying works great because it lets you use very little oil to get the desired effect. You shouldn’t use water because popped popcorn is essentially starch and starch dissolves in water – you’ll end up with mushy popcorn.

  • When my husband was a child in Argentina; there was a man who sold popcorn with orange marmalade mixed in. We can’t get it right–the pop corn ends up soggy. Any ideas???

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